• Utah Eats 5, and That’s a Wrap!



    The day has finally come…. my daughter’s birthday (which we have been celebrating all month!) is finally here. Boy did we eat well for the big day! We started out with a fabulous lunch at The Black Sheep Cafe in Provo. It is a fusion of Native American, Mexican and good ole American food. In my opinion.. a perfect combination! I have to mention that when we arrived (which was at noon… lunch started at 11:00), the waiter informed us that some of their most popular items on the menu were not ready yet and would not be ready for another hour or so. I was so perturbed by that I almost left. Really?? An hour after you open, you still do not have some of your main selections and appetizers ready? He assured me there was still plenty of items I would love, so lucky for me I stayed! That was so true that I want to go back to try the items that were not ready yet.


    This is their Navajo taco. Yes… it was as good as it looks! It is made with their house made fry bread topped with pulled pork and and taco fixings. It is not for the faint of heart. Or one that is eating “light.” We loved it!


    Look at their house salad. What a great and creative presentation! It was served with a fantastic vinaigrette. 


    Now this… was the favorite of the whole Evans clan. We inhaled it in nothing flat! It is their Green Chili Stew. They married the perfect spices, vegetables (including squash and corn), tender pork and cheese. I don’t know how they managed to make a chili so amazing, but it they did… big time! 


    They also serve pretty good burgers on their house made flatbread. The meat is tender and they offer a variety of burgers with different cheeses and toppings. You also can choose regular or sweet potato fries (both of which are great!) or their street corn which I also loved. I have to also mention their cilantro lime rice is worth getting. Loved it!


    For those of you that know me, you know I am a water only girl. I do not care for soda, juices or anything else. Boring, I know… but it is what it is and I love my water! With that said, my family ordered this… their house made cactus pear lemonade. The waiter told my kids to trust him on this one… so they did. And man… it is worthy of mentioning here. It is really, really good! With one order, you get that whole bottle! So my kids each had their own bottle… no need for refills here! Definitely worth trying… I think you will be hooked!


    Now I mentioned that this day was my daughter’s birthday, so yes we did more than just eat! Provo has a place called the Provo Beach Resort that has a flow rider that is a lot of fun for the kids and adults alike. My boys went to a flow rider in San Diego that has a beginner and advanced flow rider. This one was a perfect intermediate level. My girl was happy to just body board while our boys wave boarded. You pay per session which lasts 1 hour and costs 20.00 plus a first time 5 dollar waiver fee. Their older sister also took them to a trampoline place called Lowes (also in Provo) and they loved that place as well. The kids in Utah are back in school ( I love that we southern Californians don’t go back to school until September), so my kids practically had they place to themselves. Who wouldn’t love that?


    Dinner was at one of my favorite places in Utah… Communal. Another great place that uses local produce, meats and cheeses. My girl is happy to be here too! Their menu is changes every time we visit. I am always excited to see and taste what they are serving.


    They started us out with maybe one of the best rolls I have ever sunk my mouth into. And coming from someone who prides herself on MY amazing rolls… that is saying a WHOLE lot! 


    We will go straight to the main entrees. We ordered a lot of starters, but let’s get straight to these or this post will never end! This is their braised short rib. Tender and delicious. 


    Roasted Chicken. Pleased the whole table.


    Skirt steak. Tender and so good!


    Pork belly done right. It seems everyone is doing pork belly. I have had 

    poor, mediocre and great pork belly. This falls under the great category. 


    We ordered a few sides. This here is their roasted corn and it was fantastic! We also had their potatoes gratin and mac cheese. We thoroughly enjoyed all three. 


    For the big finish, we ordered the peach cobbler (peaches were hard, not sweet or ripe inside the cobbler), a lime and strawberry sorbet (both were excellent) and this carrot cake with vanilla ice cream. I am a hard critic on baked goods and this made the grade. It had a nice caramelization on the outside but they managed to keep the cake moist on the inside. It was a fantastic meal that we thoroughly enjoyed. Their staff are always so nice and the service has always been great. We have always had a wonderful experience here and always enjoy the wonderful food! Communal is always a must stop for me when I am in Utah. 


    Now I already told you I am a crazy person when it comes to eating. Lucky for me, my family knows me all too well, so they weren’t too surprised (well maybe a bit) when, on our drive back to Park City I wanted to stop here. Dairy Keen is actually a fast food place that also has a drive thru and is very well known for their milkshakes. They are located in Heber, which is right on our way back to PC so I couldn’t resist stopping here for a major indulgence!


    I am sorry I did not get great shots of the different shakes we got. We dove right in before I remembered to take pictures! Except for this one… a snickers shake…. only because it came later. They have soooooo many flavors it is hard to decide what to settle on! I ended up with banana cream pie and oh my… I was in heaven! It had crushed Nilla wafers mixed in with all the banana ice cream goodness. I think everyone had a different favorite. The have so many flavors, you are sure to find something you will fall in love with. Their shakes are nice and thick…. the only way I like them. I am sure I couldn’t wait to unbutton my pants after this day! I hope you get a chance to try some of these amazing places the next time you find yourself in this part of the country. At least you will know of some great places to try and what great dishes they have to offer. Happy Eating!

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  • Utah Trip and Good Eats Part 1

     Can I tell you how surprised I am with the amazing food and restaurants Utah has to offer? First of all, they are on board with the eating local and organic train… well… a lot of them at least. Many more than we have here in Orange County. Who would’ve thought? If you are wondering what the big deal about eating local is, let me tell you. First of all, you will get produce that is fresh, at it’s peak and in season. And that my friends means fresh tasting and flavor packed food.What a week we had of amazing meals and baked goods! 


    I have some friends that highly recommended this place. The Tortilla Bar in Orem. This is a relatively new place with a great story and family behind it. I met one of the family members and he shared their story with me. First of all, the Oteo family is a large one and they are the heart and soul of this place. I love that they chose organic and local. It is evident when you eat the food. But as Mosi (one of the sons) says, ” The romantic part of the story is the humble truth of why we chose organic and local. Mom has been fighting cancer and she’s limited to where and what she can eat. Everything on the menu, mom can eat. Everything is her kind of food. I believe the success has been due to this alone. Tortilla Bar is family. It was meant as a vehicle to maintain our family close and at any given time you will catch 3-4 of our family members there cooking, serving tables, prepping food….. My favorite is when mom makes the tortillas. Something about the touch of a woman that makes them truly delicious. I always tell people you don’t just come to try the food here, you hear the story and embark on an experience.”


     Here are some of the delicious and creative tacos we devoured. Above is their hanger steak with apples taco. 


    Their avocado and beets taco (there is some delicious goat cheese from a local farm under all of that).


    This was my personal favorite, the Pork Pibil taco. Everyone had a different favorite. This is just a few of the many, many dishes we tried here including a delicious kale salad with pineapple. I love their take on food. Wonderfully surprising! The menu changes so it will be fun to see what dishes they come up the next time I am in town.


    Here I am at the end of our meal with my newest friend, Mosi Oteo. Stop by this fantastic, small restaurant next time you are in town and don’t forget to say hello to this awesome family while you are enjoying their delicious and creative dishes! Tell them Jenny sent you!


    After a long day getting our college- aged daughter moved into her new apartment, we set out with hungry bellies at a late hour. Can you believe we went for Mexican food again? It is a family favorite! They have simple, but oh so fresh food. “Everything is made fresh daily. We use pasture raised organic chicken and locally grown organic produce whenever available. We do not own a can opener.” My kind of place!


    Chicken Taco


    My Chicken salad with chicken that was so tender. We got here five minutes before they closed…. whew! Sorry for the terrible pictures. It was really good despite what it looks like with my pictures! Stay tuned for the many, many more wonderful eats from this week including the secret restaurant I am so excited to share with you (I guess it won’t be much of a secret anymore)! Now that the kids are back in school, I will hopefully have more time to blog about this amazing week we had. See you when you check back!

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