Lucille Grover's La Comida Mexican Restaurant is a dream come true, she says, and features many of the authentic old Mexican recipes her grandmother taught her when she was a little girl growing up in Salt Lake City.
"When I was a child, I would sit and watch my late grandmother, Benordina Gonzales, cook in her restaurants in downtown Salt Lake and Ogden. She was from old Mexico, below Mexico City, and cooked real Mexican meals."I loved to eat her food as much as I loved watching her cook and I dreamed, even then, of having a restaurant of my own someday."
Her husband, Frank, a forester with the U.S. Forest Service, a well-known gun collector and long-time director of the Utah Gun Collectors' Association, also enjoys Mexican food, she said.
"I used to make authentic Mexican dishes and brought them to gun shows when my husband had a display or sales table so he'd have plenty to eat. Other club members sampled some of my cooking and asked me to make things for them to eat, too.
"Then, about six years ago, the collectors' association board of directors asked me to set up a cafe at the Union Station in Ogden during a two-day weekend gun show."
She said everybody liked the food so well they asked her to set up cafes at all the other Union Station shows. "People used to come into the station - pay the price of admission to the gun shows - just so they could eat our Mexican dishes."
In April of last year, she and her husband and their daughter, Mindy, 19, opened La Comida at 251 S. State St., in the International Antique Mart. The restaurant, built like a cantina in a village square, seats 80 people. It is open for lunches from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, caters to big eaters and dieters alike, and has a variety of Mexican dishes.