Alamexo

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Alamexo

Alamexo

Alamexo is the new Mexican kitchen on State St. and Gallivan Plaza that replaced ZY Restaurant a few years ago.  I really loved ZY and was sad to see it close.  When Alamexo opened, I read a few reviews on-line that said the food was expensive and just so-so.  I decided to wait a bit before giving it a try.  That wait finally came to an end last night.  I’ll have to confess that this was one of those moments in my life where I thought to myself “What the hell took you so long to eat here?”  I love food and writing about food, but I love even more getting really excited about my meal, and telling others about it.  Alamexo is a must visit!

First let me address the concerns that I read online in early reviews about Alamexo being expensive.  People need to understand first what Alamexo is and what Alamexo is not.  Salt Lake City has a LOT Of Mexican restaurants, but we do not have Mexican fine-dining.  I can think of two Mexican places off-hand that are truly top notch in this town and that is Red Iguana and Frida Bistro.  All others, while there are some that are very, good, are generally the same price range and cuisine offering.  Chips and Salsa, a few burritos and tacos, some horchata, plates around $10.  That is what a lot of people have come to expect here in Utah, because quite simply that is all we really know.  That is why when places like Alamexo come around and break that mold, and go above and beyond, people aren’t used to paying the prices Alamexo charges for their entrees and complain.  If you pit Alamexo up against some of my other dining favorites in SLC like Copper Onion or Pago, you will see the price is right on point.

My wife and I arrived Friday around 6 pm without reservations.  We were able to get a table and were sat right away with the caveat that Alamexo needed the table back by 7:15.  True to their word, the place was jammed packed with guests by the time we finished our meal.

The Alamexo Bar

The Alamexo Bar

One of the things I loved about ZY was the restaurant space and ambiance.  You will find the same with Alamexo.  I believe that the chef/owner is the same group while I chatted one of the waiters my wife and I recognized.  The chef studied in NYC in some pretty high-end Mexican restaurants and has applied that training to the Alamexo menu.

Guacamole prepared fresh table side.

Guacamole prepared fresh table side.

I would definitely recommend trying some of Alamexo’s guacamole prepared table side.  Our waiter brought out a cart with all of the fresh ingredients and prepared the guacamole in a molcajete right in front of us.  The end result was this:

Guacamole at Alamexo

Guacamole at Alamexo

The guacamole reminded me a lot of Taqueria 27, which is a good thing, because both iterations are made with fresh ingredients to order.  There was definitely enough for a table of 2 to finish off with a large side basket of chips.  One thing I wanted to note, because it was brilliant, was the salsa that comes with the guacamole.  It was a mixture of pasilla, jalapeño, and chipotle chiles.  The chipotle gave it a nice smoky taste, I really loved the salsa.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This tortilla soup absolutely blew my mind away.  I’m kicking myself for not taking a video of how it is prepared and delivered to the guests.  A mistake I plan on fixing next week when I return for lunch.  Alamexo brings you a bowl just with the pulled chicken, tortilla strips, avocado, and Oaxaca cheese inside.  They then take a kettle of hot pasilla chile based broth and pour it all over the first set of ingredients, melting the cheese immediately in this bath of delicious Mexican bliss.  Every bite was incredible, I even took some bites mixed in with a little of my guacamole left over.  Just insane how good this soup is.  For the longest time in my Salt Lake City life, the Cafe Rio tortilla soup was my favorite.  Move over Cafe Rio folks.  This right here is the best chicken tortilla soup you will find in Salt Lake City.  I’ll ready to fight whoever tries this and disagrees with me.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos

The carne asada tacos is probably where sticker shock first hits those who don’t know any better.  The entrée is listed at $20.  I remember thinking when my wife ordered it, that these tacos better be laced with cocaine and gypsy tears for that price.  However, seeing that my mind was just blown by the soup and guacamole, I expected really great things.  Guess what?  Alamexo delivered yet another home run.  These tacos had adobo marinated steak in a cast iron skillet of Oaxaca cheese, and all the fixings to go along.  Oh my what a delicious entrée!

Enchiladas Mole Poblano

Enchiladas Mole Poblano

If you are guessing from this review that I enjoyed Alamexo and that odds are that I loved my enchiladas, then you would be correct.  These enchiladas had pulled pork seasoned with avocado leaf, and baked in the traditional mole poblano.  The mole sauce was phenomenal as was the pork, the toasted sesame seeds, esquites, and white onion gave a good texture to the dish.

Cinnamon Tres Leches with raisins and pineapple

Cinnamon Tres Leches with raisins and pineapple

At this point in the meal, my wife and I were already stuffed, but I warned her as she got up from the table to visit the lady’s room, that if Alamexo had a dessert menu, and that dessert menu had tres leches, that I would be ordering a portion.  Sure enough as fate would have it, Alamexo had just that.  If you are a fan of tres leches, but are tired of the condensed milk soaked, frosting covered versions you find in many of the Mexican supermarkets around town, then you will find this a refreshing spin.  Not overly sweet, but true to what tres leches is, I found this to be one of the better versions in Salt Lake.  Probably the best I’ve tried since the stuff I had up at Log Haven.

Finally with every table as they bring you the final check, a plate of complimentary churros fried up to perfection.  Ladies and Gentleman.  I give Alamexo two thumbs up and an A+ for their food.  All my wife and I could talk about on our drive home was how much we enjoyed the food.  Please visit their website here, and plan a trip soon.  You will not be disappointed.

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  1. Restaurant Review Roundup – March 2015 - Gastronomic Salt Lake City - […] Alamexo http://www.slcfoodradar.com/2015/02/21/alamexo/ […]
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