March 05, 2017

Chunga’s: a taste of Mexico City on the Wasatch Front

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By Judy Rohner

If you have been searching for a local restaurant that serves mouth-watering Taco Al Pastor, a central Mexico-style marinated pork dish, you will find it at Chunga’s restaurant.

After tasting their unique style of cooking, friends encouraged Roberto Contreras, his wife, and his brother Horacio to share their culinary talents. Using Horacio’s nickname, Chunga’s opened about seven years ago at 180 S 900 W. It replaced the former eatery, Freeway Pizza.

Chunga’s is a popular spot for people who live and work in the area, including police officers, firefighters, and even Utah Jazz players. Chunga’s recently experienced a spike in business after George Hill, a new point guard for the Utah Jazz, raved about it on Instagram when he posted, “By far my favorite place to eat…”

Owning and operating a restaurant is hard work. The day-to-day operations are shared by the brothers as they work long hours six days a week, making sure that quality products are used in the preparation of every meal. The eatery is closed on Sundays so that they can spend time with their families. Both Roberto and Horacio live near Chunga’s and their children attend local schools.

At their take-out or dine-in establishment, food is prepared daily and one can watch as workers meticulously prepare orders to each customer’s specifications. The menu selection is varied to appeal to all appetites. If Al Pastor is not your thing, there is a choice of other meats: grilled chicken, spicy chicken, grilled steak or chorizo.

Meals are reasonably priced. For $7, a huge burrito dinner is available with your choice of meat, flour tortilla, rice, beans, cilantro, onion and spicy ranch. For a nominal additional fee it can be made smothered enchilada-style.

For those who would rather have a vegetarian menu, mushrooms, zucchini flowers and cactus are available.

Providing great tasting food is the Contreras family’s number one priority. They truly live up to their business ideals, which are posted in acronym form above their grill: Comida, Higiene, Unico, Negocio, Gusto, Abilidad and Servicio. In short, Chunga’s is a restaurant that provides authentic food in a clean environment with outstanding customer service at a great price.

Located at 180 S 900 W, Chunga’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday they are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Telephone orders: (801) 953-1840.