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Tyson Rollins
The pickup window in the main seating area of Tarahumara.

MIDWAY, Utah — So often we fall into the trap that Mexican food is what you get at any of the fast-food “Mexican” restaurants that dot the land. While this is what American Mexican has evolved into, it is a far cry from what might be considered truly authentic. It’s like comparing the fortune cookie to authentic Chinese food. But, as much as we might enjoy the American-Mexican we’ve come to expect, it is refreshing to find places like Tarahumara.

While researching restaurants in the Utah area of Midway and Heber, this Mexican restaurant stood out from other fare that you might find in the area. It is an unusual spice in Midway’s already diverse cultural background. After all, this is a place known for its Swiss heritage, not its Mexican food. We hadn’t received any personal recommendations (as we often do), but the online reviews were great, so we decided to make the quick trip from Provo to enjoy some Mexican delicacies.

The primary seating in the restaurant wraps around behind the main counter and caters to people who generally enjoy a more open and family-oriented setting. There is even have an event room for large parties. However, if you prefer a more adult setting, then the Cantina is the place for you. With its low lights, bar and comfortable setting, the atmosphere appeals to an audience seeking something just a little more personal than the main sitting area.

To address the food...wow. We’ll just say this: It was ridiculously good. In all reality this was probably the best Mexican food we’ve had since last summer when we stumbled upon Maria’s Cocina in Beaver, Utah. Very fresh, and with a lot more love than get at the fast-food joints.

We ordered a couple of things, one of which was duck tacos. They weren’t too greasy or too dry, and they were served drizzled with a tantalizing raspberry-Chipotle sauce. The other entrÉe we shared was sauteed shrimp with a tequila and orange sauce. It was awesome! In fact, if it were possible we would’ve taken a gallon of that sauce home with us. Even Tyson, who doesn’t like shrimp, thoroughly enjoyed it!

Another thing we really loved about Tarahumara was its salsa bar. Twenty different salsas, with a wide variety of colors and flavors. There was one selection that looked like a pot of red death, but we didn’t have the nerve to try it but. We did try five or six, and they were all quite good.

Altogether if you are in Midway scuba diving at the Crater, or shooting a few holes of golf, or even just enjoying a nice drive through a beautiful city, make plans to stop by Tarahumara. The restaurant is found at 380 E. Main St. Contact the restaurant by phone at 435-654-3465 and visit its website at tarahumara.biz to view the menu and pricing, and learn a bit more about the restaurant.

Tyson Rollins and Tyler Gaisford developed Utah's Forks in the Road. Follow their adventures at forkintheroadutah.com and on Twitter ForkintheroadUt.