SHARING LOVE THROUGH FOOD
Simple, Modern Mexican
By Mary Crafts
One of my favorite restaurants in Utah that is synonymous with "chicken soup for the soul" is the family-owned and operated OTEO. To know the operator, Mosi Oteo, and his family is to know the values of hard work and commitment. To know Mosi's food is to know his quest to share love with the world through food. Even though they don't actually sell chicken noodle soup, their food is filled with the warmth of family and the goodness of Mother Earth. My first encounter with the family was many years ago when I went to their first tiny restaurant, Tortilla Bar, to write a restaurant review for a local Utah magazine. My first thoughts were: Did they know they can't make money with only 18 seats? And did they know that Utah diners will not come to a Mexican restaurant without free chips and salsa? Wow, was I in for an awakening!
Many years after that first review, Mosi shared with me this story: "I remember being told that Mary Crafts was coming to the restaurant and that she would be doing a piece for a magazine. I heard that she was 1 00% the woman to impress. It didn't matter what Yelp said. It didn't matter what Trip Advisor said. The only thing that mattered in Utah was if Mary approved of your restaurant. I heard she was not an easy sell but she was meticulous and somebody that cared about her recommendations. Mary, you were wearing a gray hat and scarf, and simply the way you carried yourself, I knew everyone was right." Fortunately, I not only liked his restaurant, I adored it! The freshness of the julienne green apple salad, the perfection of the beef, and the seasonings that elevated Mexican cuisine to a whole new level of world-class food for Utah to discover.
I followed Mosi and his family to their new location in Lindon, now named after the family name: OTEO. They describe their restaurant as: “Oteo is a modern, family-owned Mexican restaurant in Lindon, Utah, serving traditional Latin American dishes infused with chef Sam Oteo's unique flavors.”
The menu is very simple and perfect. Choose your protein. Choose your style of preparation. And done. My favorite appetizer is still that green apple salad I had so many years ago and the Queso Fundido when I want to throw all caution to the wind! My favorite entree is still the same incredible tender beef in the sope presentation, but it truly doesn't matter what you order as it is all made with the same family love infused into every bite. They have recently moved across the street in Lindon and are busily expanding their outdoor patio seating.
Sharing Queso Fundido is a family favorite
Mosi is a true entrepreneur whose most important goal is to be of genuine service to everyone that walks through the door. To that end, the family has purchased the old Dalton's restaurant in Payson and I can't wait to see what creative things await all of us! Oteo's in Lindon will not disappoint any authentic seeker of the best Utah local food and is worth a drive from any part of the state. Come, let us break bread (or tortillas) together!
The restaurant is located at 1 90 S. State Street in Lindon, Utah. It is open Monday through Saturday. Follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/oteolindon for hours, events and amazing pictures of their tasty food.