Peppers Freaking Cantina baby. It was a tough choice for my favorite St. George dive, but I’m pretty happy with this choice. My first night in St. George I got in my car looking for anywhere to get some groceries for the week I would be staying. I finally found an Albertson’s open. After grabbing some chips and drinks (just the essentials) I asked the checkout girl this question “If she had to move away from St. George forever, where would she eat on her last day?” She answered Casa Donna Maria. With that in mind, I suggested to the group I was with that we try out Casa Donna Maria in St. George. We went there, and I was pretty in-impressed, it seemed like the whole group was. The food wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. I really felt that I let the group down, as the food critic guy.
The next day I spent licking my wounds for my failed attempt at choosing a good place to eat. I got a lot of comments around town, that Mexican restaurants in St. George were basically a dime a dozen. It was Thursday, and while I loved Benja Thai & Sushi, I knew there must be another hidden gem in St. George somewhere. After looking through Yelp and Urbanspoon, I noticed that Peppers was getting a lot of buzz and high marks for their food. I started asking around, and not many people had heard of it. However, the 2-3 people who HAD heard of Peppers Cantina said it was amazing, so with that in mind, myself and a few trusted associates went to dinner there on a Thursday night.
We almost didn’t find Peppers. There was one being built over by the Red Cliffs area next to Red Robin, but that location was still under construction. We had to go a little further south to Brigham Rd Exit before we located Peppers, but it was worth the few extra minutes. Let me introduce these plates to you. Pictured above is the first thing I tried on Thursday. (We eat at Peppers 3 straight nights). I went with the flat enchiladas. On the menu, you can get a single layer enchilada or for only a buck more, you can add a second layer. No brain decision if you ask me. The waitress even suggested I tried a fried egg on top, so I did so. Here is the thing about Mexican restaurants. It’s pretty hard to mess up rice and refried beans. The area that separates out truly great Mexican restaurants from pretenders, are the sauces, and the meats. You can get bland ho-hum red or green sauce from pretty much anywhere. And for the meats, most places will let you choose your burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, tacos in either chicken, carne asada, or carnitas which is basically pork. But how good is that meat? Is it dry and flavorless? The reason I loved Peppers so much is all their meats, from the carne asada to the carnitas that I tried on my flat enchiladas were moist and delicious. I also went with a medium green chile sauce on my enchiladas. Medium was the perfect word to describe it. I knew the kick was there, but it wasn’t too overpowering to make me go to the water-glass after every bite. The rice and beans were good, but then again, they didn’t have to be extraordinary, because the main dish was so incredibly good, that this plate was an immediate winner.
On the second night I went with another Peppers speciality, their burritos. Again they sell them in either chicken, carnitas, or carne asada with your choice of red or green sauce and melted cheese on top. I mixed it up a bit and went with the carne asada. I knew the carnitas were the bomb, but really wanted to test this place. There are a lot of Mexican places out there that might do chicken really well, but their carne asada sucks, or maybe they have good carnitas but the other options are gross. I wanted to be fair to my readers, so they knew which meats to stay clear of, but guess what? All of the meats you can choose from at this place are amazing so it doesn’t even matter. Just go with what sounds good to you. For $1 more you can make your burrito “Garbage Style” which basically means, they fill it up to the brim with lettuce, tomato, onion, you name it.
Only at Peppers will you find the new chimi technology known as the Beso Chimichanga A.K.A The “Kiss” Chimichanga. You may laugh at this, but that is what is on the menu. It’s the new technology. The other guys don’t have it, you can only get it here. Verdict? Vaca Santa! (Holy Cow) What an incredible dish this was! Each “kiss” was filled full of meat and cheese. The chimichangas were not over-fried making them hard to cut into, or under-fried making them oily. They were perfect.
Uhm still not convinced? Check out this carne asada plate! Yes cows, were harmed in the making of this plate. That is a lot of meat, and it was spiced perfectly. The meat was tender and done just right. I didn’t order this, but my co-worker caught me drooling, so he graciously gave me a sample.
I don’t know what else to say. This place was so good! After three visits, and multiple dishes, I gave Peppers Cantina every opportunity to NOT impress me with something, but time after time, they delivered delicious food to our table. I can’t recommend one single plate because all of them were fantastic. As of right now, this is my favorite place to eat in St. George, and it is only 2 minutes from I-15, if you are just driving through town. The whole menu was full of great choices, and the prices were around $10 bucks a plate. If I make it back to Dixie land again soon, this will be my first stop.
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