Boulder, Utah, is an upscale oasis along Highway 12, one of America’s most dramatic scenic byways. There are only a few eateries in this tiny, isolated town, and they all have conscientious design and gourmet aims. The fancy restaurant has a conspicuous Tesla charging station in the parking lot. The Magnolia Street Food food truck is the town’s roadside attraction.
This aqua-colored love bus is permanently parked in front of the museum for the surrounding Anasazi State Park. Breakfast and lunch are made from scratch and presented quickly by a loving couple who work as a team. They named their restaurant after their daughter, Magnolia Grace, who was born the same year that the business was founded. She is now almost old enough to greet visitors. It’s a Partridge Family adventure in food service.
Burritos include achiote rice and soft stewed beans, flavors that hit a sweet spot between health food store and neighborhood taqueria. A burrito known as “the Carlos,” with crispy pork and pickled onions. is the right hearty choice for a long morning’s lunch. Tacos are available if you’d prefer a lighter snack.
Loaded fries are the best part of a meal. They are dark brown, hand-cut russets fried in peanut oil and topped with beef picadillo and Cotija cheese with carrot/jalapeño escabeche to finish. All of the ingredients are fairly salty, but it never feels like too much. The fries alone are worth stopping for, but when they are fully dressed, they become a lunch to remember. Everything from this kitchen is even better with some of its super-hot habanero salsa drizzled on top. This sauce elevates the fries to greatness.
When we visited, we missed breakfast tacos because house-fermented kimchi — a vital ingredient — wasn’t quite mature yet: testament to Magnolia’s commitment to making every thing in-bus.
Vegetarian options include meat-free burritos; French fries topped with sauteed kale, mushrooms, avocado, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and cilantro; “Sweet Magnolia,” (griddled sweet potato, mushrooms, goat cheese), and, of course, breakfasts starring cage-free eggs.