Lorenzo’s in Park City is a fish in water
February 20, 2010
Lorenzo Gutierrez grew up in the Chihuahua province of Mexico helping out in his father’s butcher shop. A small businessman, his father supplied restaurants in town and Lorenzo made many of the deliveries.
The chefs at the restaurants only wanted to buy the finest-quality ingredients for their kitchens. Gutierrez grew fascinated with their profession and wanted to be a chef when he grew up.
If he was hanging out with a kitchen’s staff and they became busy, they’d ask his help sorting through incoming goods to pick out the best produce and other materials.
Eventually Gutierrez was able to open his own seafood restaurant in Chihuahua and continued the tradition of using only the best ingredients.
Eventually the troubles around Juarez prompted his family to move to Park City, where he and his wife climbed the ranks to become managers with Deer Valley Lodging.
When that ended last spring, he and his wife Leticia decided to use money saved from a housekeeping company she’d begun on the side to start another restaurant.
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In early January, Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant opened in the old Atlantic Pizza spot in Holiday Village. Although starting in Salt Lake City would have been easier, Gutierrez’s daughter Marissa said her parents had put so much of themselves into Park City they wanted to be a part of this community.
"We like Park City," he said. "I’ve always had a dream to put my own business here."
Lorenzo’s opened 13 years to the day since the family began housekeeping in Deer Valley, she said.
It was a huge risk, Marissa explained. The start-up capital was hard-earned money from her mother, and Marissa quit her own steady job to help and wait tables. But entrepreneurship is a family tradition and they believe in Lorenzo’s abilities as a restaurateur.
The Park City market is not necessarily lacking in affordable Mexican food, but it is lacking in affordable Mexican seafood, Marrisa explained. That’s Gutierrez’s specialty.
So many people have lamented the need to drive to Salt Lake City for a simple shrimp cocktail. Everyone likes good seafood no matter where they’re from Mexico or America, locals or tourists, she said.
Also, many eateries make food from a particular region in Mexico, but the Latinos here come from all over. The kitchen staff at Lorenzo’s has filled the menu with dishes from everywhere in Mexico. For example, the shrimp fajitas are Guerrero style and pork carnitas are Michoacan style.
Additionally, Lorenzo’s strives to be "more fresh, more homemade and more authentic," she said.
The salsa bar is proof enough of Lorenzo’s commitment to flavor. In addition to pico de gallo and salsa verde, it includes salsa de mocajete, chipotle with Serrano, salsa brava, creamy cilantro, roasted jalapeno, arbol in oil, chile de arbol and creamy chipotle.
Marissa said they set themselves apart with good dishes, good presentation and good service. Lorenzo said the secret to success is as easy as cleanliness and using the very best ingredients.
Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant
1776 Park Avenue #8