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.


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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Howdy Homemade Ice Cream


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Photo courtesy Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

“Come for the ice cream, but stay for the people” is a common saying of Tom Landis, founder of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream. This Dallas-based ice cream concept touts ice cream made in-house using high quality ingredients that yield unique results, such as the Dr. Pepper chocolate chip ice cream, a favorite in Dr. Pepper-obsessed Texas.

Oh, and the other unique aspect of Howdy? The majority of their employees have special needs related to Down Syndrome or autism.

“Our main goal and hope is that people recognize exactly what our employees can do instead of what they can’t do,” Will Nielson, son of the Howdy Salt Lake store said in a recent interview with the Deseret News. “I think when a disability or a special need comes up, often our mind starts running on to what are the limitations or the disabilities instead of thinking about (how) someone with autism, they have great retention skills, and someone with Down syndrome, they’re just naturally the most happy and loving people that you come across.”

Howdy Salt Lake is located at 2670 South 2000 East, across the street from Feldman’s Deli.  Local contractor Chris Nielson, who has a son with special needs, fell in love with the Howdy concept and brought it to Utah. The store features some local flair, offering sorbettos made by Amour Cafe, as well as a Publik coffee chocolate chip. All of the other ice creams are made in-house and feature everything from your basic cookies and cream all the way to a Dr. Pepper chocolate chip.

I particularly enjoyed the cheesecake ice cream, which is everything you’d hope it would be: rich and creamy. If you’re a fan of Coldstone’s sweet cream ice cream, this is the one for you. The Dr. Pepper ice cream was unique, but I was left wishing that a bit more of the soda flavor would have shone through. But it is a fun idea, and definitely worth at least sampling. Other favorites were the cinnamon brown sugar and the orange dream.

I love everything about the concept, from the location, the smart design, the delicious ice cream, the prices, and most of all, the wonderful smiles from everybody behind the counter. It is heartwarming to see the community coming out to support the shop, as evidenced by lines out the door when we stopped by.

Howdy Salt Lake
2670 S 2000 East, Salt Lake City


Regent Street Beat

Regent Street continues to slowly build out as broadway shows fill the Eccles Theater. Two items to mention: Pretty Bird, Viet Pham’s new spot which will serve Nashville Hot Chicken, is scheduled to open in October, according to Pham. Although I would serve that hot chicken with a side of healthy skepticism, since a recent snoop inside indicates little to no construction activity inside.

Second shop is the Last Course ice cream dessert studio. Construction has started, and I was unable to sleuth out any additional information online regarding this spot, so keep your eyes peeled for additional information later on.

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.