Cafe Silvestre – 01.24.2011

Cafe Silvestre
282 West 7200 South
Midvale, UT

Like many places where the passion for outdoor recreation is only matched by sheer ruggedness of the terrain, Salt Lake City and its surrounding ‘burbs has a love affair with Mexican food.  Inexpensive, spicy, filling and loaded with carbs:  Mexican is the ideal fuel for the lazy couch potato as well as the extreme snow athlete.  Cafe Silvestre stands out to be the BEST mexican in SLC without the glitz and glam of its competitors.

The tried and true favorite among Salt Lake locals seems to be the humble smothered burrito.   This dish is rather unassuming with a burrito shell (usually flour) filled with either chicken or pork and smothered with a mexican style gravy topped with shredded cheese and diced onions.  Ordered by itself or in multiples, smothered burritos are on every menu and deliver a solid meal.  Cafe Silvestre’s smothered chicken burrito looks like everyone else’s:  a flattened flour log covered in a pool of gruel-like brownish red sauce.  Not very enticing I know.  After the first bite however, time slows down, your pupils widen and a fiesta erupts in your mouth when you swallow that morsel.  Silvestre somehow makes a knockout smothered burrito that is so far unmatched in all my travels.  I suspect the secret lies in their salivating smothering sauce.  Trust me when I write this:  if ever in SLC, you MUST find a Cafe Silvestre and order their smothered chicken burrito with cheese and onions.

Having experienced and loved the smothered burritos at CS before, I opted to try the Large Combo.  You get a choice of meat and immediately chose the shredded beef.

Large combo plate – hard shell taco, tostada, enchilada, smothered burrito, chile verde, and rice & beans.

If you are hungry and love mexican, order this combo.  Each of the above included items tastes distinct and different.  Mexican is often unfortunately the same 5 basic ingredients rearranged in different shapes but tastes exactly the same.  Not so here, the chicken smothered burrito taste is discernible from the chile verde (though in the picture it’s not).  The shredded beef taco is moist and pull apart tender and is really really good.  The rice and beans are out of this world good, no small feat considering these are  humble and basic dishes.  Silvestre also gets bonus points for omitting sour cream.  Though tasty (and I do enjoy it), it makes a mexican dish taste better than it really is, masking the flavor of chilies and spices.  Comprende?

Shredded beef taco filling

The best mexican in Salt Lake City, with 3 locations.
Of course the free chips and salsa are good.
Large combo plate satisfies your tastes, hunger, and your frugalness ($12)

Cafe  Silvestre is only in Salk Lake City.

A large satisfying meal rich in protein, rice, beans, and cheese forces you to quickly “break the silence” with your  friends in about 1 hour.

– BRU-ito


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