Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's open almost all the time - check it out!
So good, even birds want some!

Almost fifteen years ago, my friend Mandi introduced me to "The Bakery" in downtown Salt Lake.  We were both getting over bad boyfriends and The Bakery is a great place to drown your sorrows, so to speak.  The drowning commenced in rice pudding, little eclairs and sometimes even salad with Green Goddess dressing, also a first for me.  The Bakery described in one word -- YUM.  I have visited many times and have never been disappointed - not once.  My favorites include their rice pudding (of course), the pear tart (new), the raspberry tart, the "little brothers" (baby eclairs) and any of their cookies.  They also sell amazing bread (their rye bread is the perfect thing to serve with corned beef) and I noticed something new today -- bread pudding.  Can't wait to go back and try it!  After Abby's flu shot this afternoon, she definitely needed a treat.  So, of course we stopped at The Bakery!  She got two cookies and I got rice pudding (yes, Blair - there is one in the fridge for you!)  When we came out, there was a cookie someone must have dropped in the parking lot, with some very interested birds who didn't want to leave it, even when we were trying to get in our truck.  Yes, it's so good even birds want to eat there!  The Bakery is located on 300 East between 200 South and 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City.  Try it out, you won't be disappointed!  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sonora Grill - Ogden

So, since Kristin posted her bad sushi experience, I realized that this forum could be used for pans of places as well as praising good eateries. The Sonora Grill in Ogden unfortunately falls into the "panned" category. I say "unfortunately" because I REALLY wanted to like this place. Having grown up in Ogden and watched it's up and down cycles, I am very excited about how downtown really seems to be going through a transformation. I love going to Ogden on a weekend evening and seeing all the restaurants, bowling alleys and movie theaters packed with people. I had been wanting to try the Sonora Grill for a while, since it is located smack dab in the middle of all the great places associated with downtown Ogden.
Jeff and I are also big supporters of locally owned, non-chain establishments and I thought that this place would fall into that category. We went on a Saturday evening, arriving around 6 pm and were told it would be about a 15-20 minute wait. No problem. About 45 minutes later, we were finally shown to a table. I understand that telling people how long the wait will be is a tricky process, by being off by over a half hour bugs! We didn't see a waitress for about 15 more minutes after being sat. By this time, we had already decided what we wanted, but our VERY air-heady waitress wouldn't take our food order until after we had our drinks - EVEN after we told her all we wanted was water. Weird. She eventually brought us some chips and salsa (which were pretty good, with the disclaimer that the chips were big and round and you had to break them into smaller, more bite-size pieces by yourself), and then proceeded to leave us alone, with no water refills for about another half and hour. During that time, she tried to bring us two different other table's chips and salsa, and we would request more water, which finally came with our meals way after we had decided that we would never return to this restaurant. The actual food, once it appeared, was decent, but not spectacular. Service is a deal breaker for me. Even if the atmosphere is cool (it was), and the food is good (and it was), if you can't even manage to feed me in a timely and polite fashion, I am not a happy camper. So in short, don't be fooled by the awesome location and fancy building, the Sonora Grill is no place to go out to eat!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Great Fall Foods in Utah

As long as I can remember, we've been visiting Logan in the fall, for the best food of the season -- namely apples, apple cider and cheese.  Abby & I made a trip today, met Mandy, Tony & Cole and had a great time.  Our first stop was Zollinger's for apples & cider.  Mmmm....the cider is chilling in my fridge right now and I hope I can save a little for Blair when he gets home later.  I'll try.  We also got some apples for Kati's family and a few bags for us.  Blair will make some pie, hopefully tomorrow.  Our next stop was Crumb Brothers, a new spot on the "fall food tour of Logan."  They make incredible bread and we bought two loaves - crusty sourdough for dinner tomorrow and a herb baguette for dinner tonight.  Yum.  We then stopped at the best sandwich shop on the planet (at least in Utah), Logan's Heroes.  I had the hot pastrami (my dad got me hooked on hot pastrami YEARS ago at the Der Ratskeller in Salt Lake) and this one was perfect.  Hot pastrami, mustard, mayo, swiss cheese and pickles on a white sandwich roll.  My mouth is watering, just remembering.  Our last "foodie" stop was at Gossner's for cheese.  We bought "squeaky cheese", sliced Swiss for a future dinner featuring "malibu chicken" and some raspberry honey from Cox's Honeyland.  All great local places - yay!  And, then following a hot tip from my Mom, we stopped at Sumida's Fruit Stand on the way home (on "Fruit Way" - Highway 89) where their squash and pumpkins were very much on sale.  I got four acorn squash, two banana squash, two spaghetti squash and three pumpkins for $3.82.  I LOVE FALL IN UTAH!  YAY!  

Friday, October 24, 2008

X-Treme Sushi-Bountiful

Today Blair called me at work to report there was a new sushi restaurant in Bountiful, X-Treme Sushi at 500 South.  Yes, it was in a strip mall - but so is Tokai, our favorite place so I wasn't swayed by location.  After Abby's daycare Halloween party, we had to try it out.  This is my recommendation:  DON'T GO THERE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!  You can get better sushi at Costco.  And, if that's what you think sushi is, I feel sorry for you.  When we first walked in, we were hit by an overpowering smell of disinfectant.  OK, that put me off a little, but hey - it's a new place, just getting started -- I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt.  We sat down at a table (nice tables, but it was more "fast-food" decor than anything else) and a very nice waitress asked what we'd like to drink (water for me, Sprite for Abby) but they didn't have water.  What?  Who doesn't have water?  They brought us two Sprite cans, no glasses, no ice.  Strike one.  The menu was sparse, but included the choice of a "half-roll" instead of ordering a whole roll, so I was impressed by that.  We ordered a 1/2 Alaska roll and 1/2 Playboy roll, plus two orders of Miso soup.  The soup was served in a square bowl (no, that is not an oxymoron) with soup spoons.  Seriously?  Soup spoons?  Even Abby didn't like the miso soup because...it was too salty.  This is from a girl who LOVES salt (me, too) and I couldn't even take more than three spoonfuls before I was done.  Strike two.  They brought the sushi out right after (thank goodness, I thought) and it looked OK.  I had to ask for wasabi (what?  Ask for wasabi?  What kind of place is this?) and we dug in.  Oh my word, it was so awful.  SO AWFUL!  The rice was DRY, the rolls fell apart and even the "middle" of the rolls weren't good.  The avocado wasn't ripe and was hard to chew and the shrimp wasn't shrimp tempura...it was just shrimp.  Yikes.  Strike three.  I graciously asked for a "to go" container, as not to embarrass the poor waitress, but let's just say that is the LAST time I'll go there.  Maybe people in Bountiful don't know sushi and this place will survive...but a Mikado is opening up next month in the Commons, next to Costco, just down the street.  Let's just say this place will NOT be a problem, as far as competition goes.  I predict they won't be there long.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Les Madeleine's

I was lucky enough to be invited by my fellow "foodie" friend, Amanda to take a class at Les Madeleine's, an absolutely yummy local bakery.  It's become very famous lately, as Romina Rasmussen (the owner & pastry chef) recently appeared on the Food Network show, "Road Tasted with the Neeley's."  Amanda suggested we go to the class and learn a little more about the "magic" she produces and wow - it was all that and more.  Especially for someone as terrified of baking as me.  We now have recipes for Pumpkin Cheesecake, an Apple Tart, and a Poached Pear Napoleon -- with all the instructions about how to make them like she does.  I've included several pictures to illustrate what an enjoyable afternoon it was.  And, yes -- she has another class coming up in November and yes - you get to eat what you learn to make.  Rock on, foodies!  

The Poached Pear Napoleon

The Apple Tart - isn't it beautiful?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Exciting September Food Events

It's finally September, and I'm posting about those food events as promised. Definitely things to participate in.

The first is the Greek Festival that happens every year on the weekend following Labor Day. This year it starts on September 4 and ends on the 7th. The food is really great and the atmosphere is fun. But, I'd recommend trying to go at a time most people won't. The lines will be shorter that way. It takes place at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 279 South 300 West in Salt Lake. They've even got a section of the block set apart for the kiddies.

And my favorite September food event is Dine-O-Round. Actually, it happens twice a year, spring and fall. Here's how it works: many restaurants in downtown Salt Lake offer a Dine-O-Round menu consisting of 3 courses. Sometimes you get to pick, and sometimes not. Most of the time I've found that they'll have it set up so that you can pick between 2 different choices for each course. Sometimes you're really lucky and have more choices. The prices are either $15 or $30, and a few locations offer a 2-course lunch for $10. Some of my favorites from the past have been Bambara, Martine, and Baxter's American. Acme has really good food, but I don't know what their Dine-O-Round menu is like. Here's the website for more info, a list of restaurants, and some restaurants post a menu: http://www.downtownslc.com/events/dine-o-round.htm. Going to some of these places during Dine-O-Round can be completely worth it. For example, at Bambara you definitely save money because 2 people, 3 courses is definitely more than $30 each. But at places like Biaggi's, you get good food, but maybe don't save quite so much. So check it out and try out a new and cool place in downtown SL.

And of course, for those less discriminating palates, but also out for a good time, the Utah Fair starts on September 4 and ends on the 14. I hear there will be deep-fat frying of twinkies and those weirdo frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches... I know I'll be there!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


So, my cute parents took me out to dinner the other night to a place called epic (707 E Fort Union Bldvd). The atmosphere was really cool and the food was fabulous. It's a little more pricey but nothing crazy. The entrees ranged from 18-30$. They had a tons of yummy side salads. The appetizers are awesome. We ordered a grilled artichoke drenched in Parmesan and butter. Oh my, so good. They also have tons of cool flat breads with yummy toppings. For dinner, I got the grilled tenderloin with a reduction and the yummiest mashed potatoes. My mom got a chicken Marsala, and holy cow the sauce was so good. My dad got a really good shrimp fettuccine. I would highly recommend this place. We didn't get desserts, but it seemed like a place that would have fabulous desserts.