What to Eat: La Puenta

There is something to be said about homemade food. It has a delicious freshness that is just unmatched in mass produced food. La Puente Homemade Mexican Food is an example of how delicious homemade can be. 

Chips and salsa both made on site and you can tell a difference. The thin yet crispy texture of the chips is perfect and the salsa spot on. They also make their sauces and tortillas from scratch. I can personally tell in the flavors that everything is very fresh and delicious. One of their signature dishes is the Chile Verde sauce which while traditionally is green, is actually a slight orange color at La Puente with their proprietary blend of seasoning, and it is delicious! People travel from all over Utah just for their Chile Verde.

Traditional Mexican rice and refried beans are also fresh made, there are no cans in the back. Everything is made onsite or nearby and it shows in the flavors. 

We had a chance to meet Jesus who is the son of the owner, Jesus Sr. Jesus Sr. immigrated to the United States in the mid 1980s and started working as bus boy and dish washer at a Mexican restaurant. He worked himself up through the restaurant business in different positions. As immigrants often do, he saw the limitless opportunity that is uniquely American and he saved up his money and purchased his first franchise La Puente restaurant in 2005 in Bountiful UT, then relocated to Ogden in 2011.

La Puente was started in Salt Lake City and is patterned after New Mexican food. In the 1500’s New Mexico was still part of Mexico and the mixing of their traditional foods and flavor with imported European cuisine, especially from Spain, were the predecessors to the food you can today enjoy at La Puente. It is called New Mexico Mexican Cuisine. The original La Puente was founded by the Tovar Family in Salt Lake they started offering limited franchises to people with the same values and with the same focus on fresh delicious food. 

In 2011 Jesus Barbosa opened our local La Puente on 12th St. just west of Washington Blvd. They are in the building where Fazolis was previously located. Jesus does a majority of the cooking and is very particular about the flavors and freshness of the food. Being a family business, his son who goes by Jesse has grown up in the business and helps run the restaurant today. Their desire is to have a family restaurant that people will want to come back to over and over. 

Jesse is often the face of the business as he is out serving tables and interacting with their customers. He was joined by his uncle and a cousin the night we visited the restaurant. He loves working with his family and meeting and interacting with his customers every day. He also loves that he gets to see his parents every day. That is a commendable sign that an adult man loves seeing his mom and dad every day.

Some other customer favorites are the Enchiladas, Burritos, Tacos, and most love smothering the dishes in their signature Chile Verde sauce with melted cheese. Jesus Sr has even added several dishes to the menu including a delicious Shrimp Cocktail, Carne Asada and Fish Street Tacos.

We recommend stopping by for a lunch or dinner at La Puente, your tongue will thank you. 

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