My Cuisine Wishlist for Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City continues to broaden its culinary chops, offering a wide variety of cuisines from around the globe. However, we still have a ways to go. Often we only have one or two restaurants offering a particular cuisine, and to use baseball parlance, I’d love to see us have a deeper bench. In no particular order, here’s my list of cuisines I would like to see in the city.

Cuban

We desperately need a solid Cuban food restaurant. And I’m not just talking about the sandwich. We need a place that offers ceviche, plantains, yucca fries, empanadas, vaca frita, and roasted pork. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a solid Cuban sandwich, head over to Beltex Meats early on Saturday mornings to pick up one of their Cubans. They only make a small amount of these sandwiches on Saturdays, and always sell out. And it’s no wonder they are so popular, since the sandwich features their in-house smoked ham, roast mojo pork loin, house-brined pickles, Weber’s mustard, Swiss cheese, fennel marmalade, and Red Bicycle bread. It’s the best Cuban I’ve tasted anywhere.

Beltex Meats November 2016
Prepping the Cubans at Beltex

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The Haps

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Photo Courtesy Argentina’s Best Empanadas

The SLC food scene is on FIRE right now with new openings, new menus and other goodness. Here’s a rundown on the latest.

Feldman’s Deli: after a week-long vacation, the always-delicious Jewish deli is now open, and will begin serving breakfast next week from 8-10:30.

Oak Wood Fire is now open in SLC. One of my favorite restaurants in Draper, Oak Wood Fire has moved into the beleaguered space in the Peery Hotel on 300 S West Temple. The interior has been renovated, and if the menu and service is anything like that offered in Draper, this will be a welcome addition to SLC. I’ve never had a meal there short of outstanding. Their pizzas, fries, and pastas are all top-notch. Open for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

Sweet Lake Biscuits and Limeade is open. Sweet Lake is another Farmer’s Market success story, beginning as a small food cart, and now opening their own space at 1700 S 54 W. Their shop is open every day from 7am to 3pm, and offers your basic (but delicious) biscuits and limeade all the way up to The Pokey Joe: a biscuit sandwich featuring pulled pork, coleslaw, mint limeade salsa, and crispy onions.

Argentina’s Best Empanadas. Continuing the Farmer’s Market success theme, Argentina’s Best Empanadas has now opened their own space at 357 S 200 E, open Tuesday through Friday 8am to 2pm. This mother-daughter duo prides themselves on using local, organic ingredients, such as Morgan Valley Lamb. ABE features everything from your very traditional beef-filled empanadas to breakfast empanadas featuring scrambled eggs and bacon. I’m excited to try the Lemon Beef empanadas.

The Big O Donuts is now open at 171 E 300 S. Big O is a vegan donut shop, open from 8am to 2pm or until sold out. The donuts have been featured at Sugarhouse Coffee for a while, but now they are available at their very own storefront. My dreams of having a 24 hour donut shop in SLC are getting closer to fruition, as Big O opens late nights on some weekends for the bar crowd. At $2.95 each, these dough babies aint cheap, but I look forward to trying their Orange Cardamom, Key Lime, and Lemon Basil flavors.

Trestle Tavern, a new project by Scott Evans of the Pago Group, is opening this Monday, July 18th, in the former Fresco spot at 15th and 15th. The menu will be tavern-influenced, with a nod to Eastern Europe/Bohemia. Liberty Tap House, but with pierogies, chicken paprikash, spaetzle, and borscht? Guess we’ll find out next week!

Amour Cafe opened a few weeks ago. You can check out my post on this hot new space here.

Mollie & Ollie has opened downtown in the old Bayleaf Cafe spot on Main Street, and has been beautifully renovated. M&O features salads, noodle bowls, and grain bowls, and focuses on healthy, organic ingredients. 159 South Main Street. Monday through Saturday 10am to 9pm, Sunday (!!!) 10am to 3pm.

Have you checked out the SLCeats hashtag on IG? If not, you need to–it’s blowing up! Clicky here.

From Scratch Sweet Shop

We Utahns love our sweets (I type as I eat a bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream). And David Brodsky thinks he has just the think to satiate our sweet tooth. Brodsky is the owner of From Scratch, a restaurant tucked into Gallivan Avenue, that specializes in scratch-made products (all the way down to their ketchup and jams). He has been working on a small little space tucked into the side of the dining area that he has prepped to be a quick-serve counter serving various baked goods, and eventually, ice cream.

Having done the sit-down atmosphere at From Scratch, David wanted to try out the concept of more of a grab-and-go bakery. Bakery customers will be able to choose whether to eat their goods in the dining room (no waiter service in the morning) or take and go on their way to work or school. Publik coffee will be served, but for now, no espresso.

Brodsky plans on offering a rotating selection of pastries, including brioche cinnamon rolls with brown butter frosting, coffee cake, scones, cookies (four chocolate chip, peanut butter, cookie sandwiches), deep dish quiche, muffins with house made jams and butter, and, various breads.

Oh, and donuts of course. David has been experimenting to find the perfect cake donut recipe over the past several months, and has failed more times than he cares to admit. But he feels they have finally nailed it, and will be offering various flavors such as lemon, blueberry cake, traditional glazed, as well as chocolate with caramel.

For the lunch crowd, The Sweet Shop will sell various grab-and-go sandwiches to satisfy the demands of the ever-growing downtown lunch crowd.

Eventually, Brodsky intends to add an ice cream machine into the mix, turning out pints of various flavors. Think Bi-Rite in San Francisco or Salt & Straw in Portland. I’ve always thought it odd that there isn’t a high-end, small-batch ice cream maker in SLC, so this would fill that niche. 

Sweet Shop opens next Tuesday, August 25th. Hours will be 7:30-2pm and is located right next to From Scratch at 62 East Gallivan Avenue.