Park City Eating on a Kendrick Budget

Hello?

Hello?

Is this thing on? The long national tragedy is over. I remembered my login to this blog and actually went out somewhere to eat so I have something to write about for the first time since October of last year. If I’m being truthful, it’s because interests have shifted to things other than food, and I’m still trying to figure out where food blogging even fits in any more. 

But when I find something truly exciting and remarkable, I’ll be sure to post it here. 

Onwards. We spent a really nice weekend up at Deer Valley, and while my spouse and I didn’t spend more than $50 for any given meal (because we’re cheap and I believe in the law of diminishing returns when it comes to food), I wanted to share with you some great food spots that we really enjoyed.

First stop: Sammy’s Bistro. I will admit that I never heard of this place before Guy Douchieri stopped by to feature them on his show. We stopped by on a Friday night on our way up from Salt Lake, and the place was busy, but not packed. Service was great and very friendly. I went with the cumin lime Mahi Mahi tacos, which were topped with a nice slaw as well as a chilled mango salsa. I guess from the description I was hoping for a little bit more bang, but while the tacos were cooked perfectly, I found myself reaching for the Cholula to kick the flavor up a bit. But overall, a very good dish. 

image

We finished the meal off with a really nice pecan caramel bread pudding, topped with vanilla ice cream, which was just as rich and moist as you would expect. Why do people hate the word moist so much? Moist. moist.

image

Sammy’s is a great little place for a meal, and the menu is full of delicious sounding items at very reasonable prices. My tacos were $14 and the bread pudding with ice cream was probably around $8.50 or so. I’ll be back to check out the NY Strip Sandwich, and the Savory Chicken Bowl With Rice, which I believe was featured on Guy’s show.

Next stop: lunch at Vinto. Vinto is one of my favorites in SLC, and it’s no surprise it’s one of my favorites in PC. The PC shop is located at the very bottom of Main Street, which makes parking a little bit tricky. I had the daily special of fettuccine with roasted corn, mozzarella, basil, and sea salt. And while the pasta was cooked to perfection, the dish as a whole was a bit bland.

image

My wife’s choice of fettuccine with mushrooms and artichokes was spectacular, and will be my dish of choice the next time we go. Service was ok, but we seemed to be forgotten a bit by our server who had his hands full with larger tables in addition to ours. Our starter dish of asparagus arrived at the same time as our entrees, so we had the privilege of choosing whether we let our main go cold, or the app. A diet coke that was ordered never materialized, and by the time the server checked in halfway through the meal, we just skipped it. But Vinto is like Tom Hanks. Even though he has his flops from time to time, you just love the guy and keep coming back to him because when it’s right, it’s just right.

image

And finally, we stopped at the brand spanking new Bird & Barley. While we were at Sammy’s Bistro, our server asked if we had heard about Sammy’s new restaurant five doors down, Bird & Barley. We had not, and she encouraged us to check it out, as they only opened a couple days before.

image

Bird & Barley focuses on fried chicken and beer (I’ll leave it to you super sleuths to figure out which refers to which). And while they have their liquor license, they’re waiting to get their taps and lines installed, which they think will happen soon. B & B will offer some private-label beers, which Sammy the owner developed in conjunction with Wasatch, such as jalapeño cream and other beer that I can’t remember because I don’t really pay attention to beer. But jalapeño cream sounded intriguing.

image

You can order a “plate” meal for $10, which comes with either rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, or baby back ribs. You then get to choose two sides among the selection of mac and cheese, green beans, broccoli slaw, mashed potatoes, fries, roasted beets (why would you pay to eat these?), corn on the cob, or sweet potato fries. I went with the fried chicken, which was as perfect as you can get fried chicken. Nicely crisp, with their own special mix of rosemary and just the right amount of spice in the breading. Just what you would expect from a restaurant specializing in fried chicken.

image

Other selections are a variety of salads (pear and beet, chopped Caesar, or quinoa. The also offer a crab cake Po’ Boy and a Hawaiian Grilled Chicken sandwich, which was really tasty. 

image

Sadly, our sides of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes arrived maybe not even at room temperature, but once we made it known to the manager, he was quick to get two new sides fired and brought them out piping hot. So kudos for resolving this issue so quickly.

Park City is always in desperate need for quality food in the $10-$20 range, and B&B is a very welcome addition to the PC dining scene.

image

image

moist.

Spitz, a new restaurant specializing in the Döner Kebab, opened this week in the former Lenny’s Sub Shop space at 35 East Broadway.

The interior is everything you’d expect from their interior designer, CityHome Collective. Clean, welcoming, warm, and funky.

Döner meat is roasted on a spit similar to tacos al pastor, or the pastrami at Crown Burger. Surprisingly, Spitz doesn’t have their centerpiece attraction on display, instead relegated to hiding behind closed doors in the back.

Admittedly, I am a neophyte in all things Döner, so I naturally associate the Döner Kebab to something of a mishmash between a wrap and a Greek gyro. I tried the Street Cart Döner, which is a traditional sandwich or wrap with a zesty garlic aioli and fried lavash chips added. It had the right amount of meat, sauce, and lettuce, and is a generous portion. I quite liked it.

Sweet potato fries are good, but are like every other sweet potato fry you’ve had elsewhere. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, although the aioli the fries were served with was especially delicious. The fried pita strips served with hummus are great, and I’m curious to try the crispy garbanzo beans with olives on my next visit.

Service is a bit unusual for the downtown lunch crowd. You order up front, they bring out your food and bus tables, but drink refills are also handled by the staff, which seems to be a bit clunky when they get overwhelmed with the lunch rush. But I’m sure they’ll work these glitches out over time.

Spitz adds some lunchtime diversity to a city brimming with traditional sandwich shops. And judging by the big crowd they had on day one, I think a lot of people are excited to see this new place open up.

Tonkotsu Ramen, Naked Fish Japanese Bistro. Perfect on a cold day.

Alamexo has recently opened in the space previously occupied by one of my favorites, ZY. In fact, Alamexo has the same owners, staff, and even the same chef: Matt Lake.

Matt moved to Utah a few years ago from New York, where he worked as chef for one of New York’s premier Mexican restaurants. After a few years operating the contemporary American restaurant, ZY, Chef Lake decided to go back to his culinary roots and switch to Mexican.

After an incredibly quick menu and restaurant decor switch (Lake didn’t want to close down for three months and have to lay off staff) which took only a few days, ZY has now transformed to Alamexo. And while I’m sad to see ZY go (Lake was adamant that we will see ZY once again in Salt Lake), Alamexo is a very welcome addition to SLC.

You won’t find any other Mexican food in Salt Lake in such a contemporary, modern environment. But don’t equate “contemporary” and “modern” to “expensive.” Entrées range from $13-$25 with sides and appetizers filling in the $3-$12 range.

Go with the guacamole, made tableside by your server in a molcajete. For $10, it’s a little on the pricey side for one avocado’s worth of guacamole, but worth the show.

My favorite side dish was the Mexican corn. Sweet, fresh corn accompanied by hints of chile, lime, and cotija. My mole poblano enchiladas were rich, complex, and the pork was cooked perfectly. Lake has always said the he doesn’t choose his signature dishes; his customers do. And I have a feeling that these will be on the menu for a while.

A dining companion’s steak dish was equally tasty and cooked spot-on.

As we went during their soft opening week, desserts were not on the menu, however, the kitchen brought out the best churros I’ve had. Don’t leave Alamexo without ordering some.

I’ve always viewed Matt Lake and ZY as a bit of a sleeper in the SLC dining community. I attribute part of this to Lake’s low-key demeanor. He is a guy that cooks because he loves to cook. He’s not in it for the fame. But if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he won’t remain a sleeper for long. Salt Lake’s lucky to have him.

A new restaurant will be opening soon on Gallivan Avenue across from Bangkok Terrace.

From Scratch will focus on just that: fresh breads, pizzas, and baked goods made from scratch. So much so, that the owner has imported his own wooden flour mill from Austria to mill his own flour. Tables are made from old butcher blocks, art was commissioned from a NY artist, and lights are custom creations.

I really like the look of this place. It has a certain “San Francisco” styling that you don’t see much in SLC. As a downtown worker, I’m especially excited about the bar where single diners can plop down for a quick lunch.

From Scratch will be open for breakfast and lunch only to begin with. A special section of the restaurant will serve take-out items like espresso, in-house pastries, and house-made ice cream.

The owner hopes to open for dinner later in the year, and plans to pursue a liquor license.