salt lake city

  • 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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  • Amazing Utah Eats Part 2

    Yes, this post is all about amazing food! A full day of amazing food! And some side activities too… because we are well rounded people. I’d say we were rounder after this trip than before it started! By the way, all the places I will tell you about in this particular post are located in downtown Salt Lake City.

    IMG_0009This place is all the rage for a particular baked treat that is out of this world good! 


    Have you heard of a kouign amann? I never did until recently and I do not know how these amazing delicacies never made an appearance in my life before! They are a buttery, caramelized, crispy with a gooey inside, flakey dream. Although this is my first and only experience with this treat, apparently Les Madeleines makes the best. FYI… kouign amann (pronounced kween-ya-man) is a specialty that was born in Brittany France. So make this a huge priority next time you find yourself in Salt Lake City. You can thank me later… because I know you will!


    As I told you I am crazy and make my family follow in my crazy ways….. so right after we left Les Madeleines, we headed to a cookie shop to try their goods. Ruby Snap Cookies…. oh my.


    They have SO many flavors and I can guarantee they will have one that has your name written all over it. Each one of us picked a different cookie that we chose as the best. The most amazing thing about this place? They let you sample as many of their cookies you would like and the sample is half of their big cookies! I sampled just about every one in the case! Look at the top of this picture and you will see some of the many samples I tried that I lined up. Well…. what was left of the samples. Let’s just say I can definitely handle my sweets. Maybe too well?


    Here is the box with the cookies we selected. A plethora of everyone’s favorites. And their sugar cookies? The only ones I like outside of my own. I seriously love this place and highly recommend you coming and sampling the soft and perfect cookies before you make your selection. You have been forewarned… sampling these babies are not for the faint of heart. You have to be be able to handle all of the sugar!


    It was time to take a break from food and sweets so we could be ready to enjoy dinner in less than four short hours! Downtown Salt Lake has a new shopping mall called City Creek. Here are my two shopping loving girls.. happy as can be.


    Right across the street from City Creek is Temple Square. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) built this beautiful temple that stands majestically in temple square as well as two visitor centers and other beautiful and historic buildings. If you have never had a chance to visit Temple Square, I highly recommend it! They give tours too.


    Me and my girls in the visitors center enjoying the statue of Christ. I love this place!


    Now… on to the secret (speakeasy) restaurant that I have hinted about. Not only was it yummy, but a fun and unique experience too! I will walk you through the whole experience. This is what you will walk up to. Bodega is a front that they built when they built the restaurant(complete with graffiti on the windows). This place is opened up just two short months ago. Inside you will find a small market on one side and a small bar on the other side. You wouldn’t think there was anything else to this place…. unless you know the secret! 


    Above a doorway you will see this neon sign. Did you notice that THE REST is the lit part? Well, that is because after you go under the sign, there is a door that will lead you to The Rest (the name of the name of the secret restaurant). You can only go through the door if you are given a key. And just how do you get a key you ask? If you call and make a reservation, the person at the store will hand you a key with  your name on it. 


    Here is mine with the number of people in my party. To get the number for The Rest, you call the store (Bodega) and ask for the number for the restaurant below. Here is the tricky part. When you call the number, you have to leave a message for a reservation. If you don’t get a call back, you are in! They will call you back if they are full and cannot fit you in. Good thing I told you, right?! Lucky for me, a friend (thanks Mosi!) knows the owner and had the owner call me directly and got us in. I never would’ve figured out the whole “you are in if you don’t get a call back” thing.


    Here we go!


    We are in! Did I mention the restaurant is below the market? Once you enter through the door, you head downstairs. 


    This a landing area as you head down the stairs. There are a lot of stuffed animal heads throughout the place. This is as far as I am going to show you. Yes, I took pictures of the restaurant (which is very cool by the way), but I want you to see it for yourself for the first time when you go. It is part of the experience! They also have a sitting library room. Loved this place and so did my kids. Now… let’s talk food!


    This is one of our starters. Deviled eggs with pork belly bacon. SO good!


    Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, but it was not a well lit restaurant so this is what you get. Now these my friends are onion rings made with pickled onions. Inventive and Y.U.M.M.Y!


    Beer can chicken with the most amazing potato and mushroom side dish. They bring it out to show you the cooked bird before they take it back to cut it into pieces for you. The chicken is so tender!


    This is their Hobo Trout. Amazingness…. serious amazingness! By far everyone’s favorite at our table. I don’t know how they make trout so over the top good, but they do. Trust me and order this!


    They only offer one dessert and this is it. Blueberry filled beignets with a mocha cream side. It wasn’t the best beignets I have had, but they weren’t the worst either. We ordered more than what I showed you but I liked the entree’s I showed you the best. There was a lot we didn’t get a chance to try this time around. I know I will be back. My whole group loved the whole experience of this fun place. I can’t wait to take my hubby here (he had to fly home for 24 hours and missed this dining experience). You all should make a point to try this place out when you find yourself in the Salt Lake area. It is such a fun experience and they offer great food too! 

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