Cabana’s Lomo Saltado: A delicious steak experience

Lomo Saltado: Jumping Beef Picture by Kristin Godoy
Lomo Saltado: Jumping Beef Picture by Kristin Godoy

Lomo Saltado. Translated it means jumping steak. In my opinion, it is the most delicious steak dish I have ever tasted. When they described it to me, they said it was like a stir fry where the oil is very hot and they cook it. I was imagining some kind of stir fry with rice and beans. No, this was more than that. This was tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned steak, onions and tomatoes on a bed of French fries. It is kind of like fajitas but better? I don’t know how to describe it accurately. And it was beautifully presented. I never thought I would say that steak is gorgeous, but this was just beautiful.

So after my last experience with Argentine food, I got to take a trip to Cabana in Payson to try some Peruvian and Mexican food. I didn’t really have high expectations. There are honestly a lot of Mexican restaurants around and I am pretty familiar with the basics. But I was instantly impressed with Cabana’s food. For one thing, everything is fresh and homemade.

I’ve been to a few Mexican restaurants where I have seen the huge cans of red enchilada sauce. Not impressed. The enchilada sauce at Cabana is made by rehydrating dried chilies and mixing them with blend of spices. It is delicious and the color is a vibrant red, so even the enchilada sauce is pretty. I got the chicken enchilada and that red enchilada sauce was delicious and fresh.

After a while, I kind of noticed that everything I ate was pretty. Even the chimichanga came out looking like a light fluffy little pillow and was kind of adorable. After asking a few questions, I found out that the chef used to work at Park City Mountain Resort. Anyway, you don’t want to know about cute food, you need to know about the flavor.

That adorable chimichanga was as delicious as it was adorable. Tender, seasoned, shredded beef and a perfect crust and served with rice and beans. It was one of the best chimichangas I have ever tasted and not super dense like some. It actually tasted kind of light because of the light crust, if a chimichanga can be described as light.

That Adorable (and delicious) Chimichanga  Picture by Kristin Godoy
That Adorable (and delicious) Chimichanga
Picture by Kristin Godoy

Another one of my favorite things (there were a lot of those) was the salsa bar. They have about 10 different salsas that are all freshly made. There was a salsa fresca, some tomatillo salsas, an amazing avocado-based salsa and just a lot of variety. All of them had a lot of flavor and complexity to them. They complimented the dishes as well as the hot delicious tortilla chips with refried beans (yummy) that were brought out while we were waiting.

The street tacos are a bargain at a dollar a piece. They are served on delicious corn tortillas with pork, chicken or steak. You can go to the salsa bar to customize as you like. Then, the mole. No, not guacamole. The chicken mole enchilada. Their mole sauce is sweet, nutty and has a lot of rich, complex flavors. It was delicious. They have a few mole dishes.

And finally, the horchata. You go some places and they serve a horchata that is super sweet and tastes like it was made from syrup. This is the real thing. You can taste all the flavors and the rich cinnamon sweetness, but not too sweet. Authentic and just divine.

OK. So here is your game plan. Go to Cabana, located at 75 S. Main Street in Payson. Get seated, get some chips and bean dip and make your choices from the salsa bar. Order yourself the Lomo Saltado. You could feed two people with it. Maybe order some street tacos too so you can try some of those. Get yourself a big glass of their horchata. Even if you don’t get the Lomo Saltado, all of their other dishes are delicious, fresh and authentic. Plus, if you don’t feel like Mexican food, they have some pretty amazing burgers and chicken sandwiches. So, whatever you are craving and no matter how adventurous you are feeling, they have something delicious just for you. And they have lunch specials for $6.99 with a drink so you can come try out a different dish each day of the week. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.