Upcoming Events Rundown

Here’s a summary of some events happening around the neighborhood.

Solitude Chocolate Lovers’ Festival

Chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk and chocolate covered strawberries are just a few reasons chocolate lovers will unite at Solitude Mountain Resort on Saturday, March 24. The resort’s 28th annual Solitude Chocolate Lovers Festival celebrates all things chocolate at nine stations located both on and off the mountain.

Guests begin their day at 9:00 a.m. by picking up a complimentary “Chocolate Lovers Passport” at Moonbeam Base Area or in Solitude Village. Guests will follow the map on the passport to enjoy complimentary chocolate delights and earn a passport stamp at each chocolate station. Completed passports are due by noon to be entered into a drawing for great prizes, such as a pair of Solitude lift tickets, helmets, goggles, t-shirts, and mugs from Canyon Fever. The prize drawing begins at 2:00 p.m. in the Moonbeam Plaza.

Chocolate vendors for the event include Chocolate Conspiracy, Solstice Chocolates, Hatch Family Chocolates, Utah Truffles, Honeycomb Grill, Winder Farms, Amano Artisan Chocolate, Creamies, and U.S. Foods. The event is free to the public.

For more information on the annual Solitude Mountain Resort Solitude Chocolate Lovers Festival, contact Solitude Communications Manager Sherri Harkin at s.harkin@solitudemountain.com801-536-5784 or visit solitudemountain.com.

Park City Restaurants Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The town’s famed bars and restaurants are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a host of Irish-themed specials Saturday, March 17.

“No need for the luck of the Irish here, whether you celebrate at home or head to the restaurants and bars downtown, you’re going to have a blast no matter which establishment you choose this St. Patrick’s Day,” PCARA executive director Ginger Ries said.

Deer Valley Grocery~Café

The café is serving a delicious lamb stew and polenta, featuring tender Niman Ranch lamb, winter vegetables, rich red wine sauce and fresh herbs, served over white cheddar polenta with crispy shallots. Be sure to leave room: Irish soda bread, sugar cookies and chocolate stout cupcakes with Baileys Irish cream filling will also be available from the Deer Valley Bakery.

Empire Canyon Grill at Deer Valley Resort

Feast on a grilled Reuben sandwich with corned beef, caraway sauerkraut, caramelized onions, Swiss raclette and thousand island dressing on a house-made rye swirl bun at this ski lodge on Empire Mountain at Deer Valley Resort. Irish soda bread from the Deer Valley Bakery will also be on offer.

Fireside Dining at Deer Valley Resort

Enjoy Irish whiskey fondue and sticky toffee pudding, served with date and ginger cake and brandy toffee sauce, at this popular dinner destination at Empire Lodge at Deer Valley.


This Irish pub on Historic Main Street making a weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. The celebrations kick off with karaoke Friday night, plus a day-long party Saturday: bagpipes perform Saturday afternoon, followed by a performance from Ryan Walsh in the evening, and a DJ set from Anthony Moto until the end of the night. Commemorate Flanagan’s biggest event of the year in the photo booth with fun costumes, plus swag and prizes through the night and special awards for the best Irish kilt in male and female categories. For dinner, enjoy Flanagan’s top-notch pub fare, plus two specials: grass-fed New York peppercorn steak with grilled onions, house-made peppercorn sauce, mashers and veggies; and Flanagan’s famous slow-roasted prime rib, encrusted with roasted garlic, mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, and served with horseradish sauce and house-made au jus.

Red Rock Brewing

This buzzy brewhouse at Red Rock Junction will be serving beer specials, plus a corned beef and bangers-and-mash special, alongside Red Rock’s award-winning brews and a menu that boasts delicious classic pub fare and much more.

Red Rock is also co-hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Parade after-party in Salt Lake City. Dress in your best green and join Red Rock and Mountain West Hard Cider from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for live music and 17 vendors serving food, games, cider, beer and whiskey. Admission is free, and the Tullamore Dew “Party Trolley” will be picking up guests at the end of the parade and offering rides back to the party’s gates.

Royal Street Café at Deer Valley Resort

The restaurant with one of the best decks in town will be serving a pair of specials for St. Patrick’s Day: a corned beef sandwich with Niman Ranch corned beef, braised apples, cabbage and Jarlsberg cheese on a rye swirl bun; and Irish whiskey semifreddo, made from layers of dark chocolate and whiskey mousse and milk chocolate Irish cream mousse in a shortbread crust.

Seafood Buffet at Deer Valley Resort

Two special desserts will be on offer: Irish whiskey and espresso mousse, and Irish cream and milk chocolate mousse, each served in a glass.

Silver Lake Restaurant at Deer Valley Resort

This lodge at mid-mountain will be serving a hearty shepherd’s pie featuring braised Niman Ranch lamb, pearl onions and green beans, topped with Yukon gold mashed potatoes. Irish soda bread from the Deer Valley Bakery will also be on offer.

Snow Park Restaurant at Deer Valley Resort

The ski lodge at the base of Deer Valley Resort is serving hearty lamb and spring vegetable stew, plus Irish soda bread and sugar cookies from Deer Valley bakery.

Squatters and Wasatch Brew Pub

Wasatch Brew Pub will be tapping a firkin of traditional Irish Stout at the strike of noon this St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy a brew with elevated bitterness and a crisp, clean body and a touch of roasted malt and bitter cocoa. Both Squatters and Wasatch will also be serving traditional corned beef and cabbage in addition to their locals-favorite menu and beer selection.

For more information about the PCARA and its member restaurants’ St. Patrick’s Day specials, contact Christa Graff, of Graff Public Relations, at christa@graffpr.com or 435-640-7921.

Texas de Brazil Gets Ready to Welcome Spring

Texas de Brazil will feature Brazilian Limeaide for a limited time at $3 per glass and $12 per pitcher, from March 19th through April 15th. This tangy sipper, available in multiple flavors, is a refreshing accompaniment to any of Texas de Brazil’s churrasco grilled meats or dishes in their vibrant 50-60 item salad area.


On Easter Sunday, April 1st, Texas de Brazil locations nationwide will open early at 11 a.m., serving its full rodizio-style dinner menu all day (regular dinner pricing) plus specialty brunch items including scrambled eggs, bacon, muffins, croissants, and Danish pastries available through 3 p.m.

Saffron Valley Tour of India Event

You’re invited to our first ever Saffron Valley + Salt Lake Magazine joint event: A Culinary Tour of India with Wine Pairings.  Proceeds of this event will benefit The Saffron Kitchen, Culinary School & Studio.

Like an old fashioned train journey through India, Lavanya from Saffron Valley will navigate you through each and every region and course telling you about the flavors, the culture and the background behind each dish.

You’ll enjoy a 7 course dinner with 5 wines that take you through the unique food quarters of India – from north, south, east and west.  We’ll have our wine expert joining us to showcase wines that pair exquisitely with each course.

Tickets are $125 / person and include 7 courses + 5 wine pairings (options for those not drinking are available).

In addition to dinner guests will be treated to henna tattoos and swag bags including a copy of the Saffron Valley Journal and a Saffron Valley spice sampler.

Net proceeds will benefit the our upcoming Saffron Kitchen, Culinary School & Studio which will be a non-profit space dedicated to helping underserved young adults develop commercial cooking skills to take them into the professional culinary world.

THIS IS AN RSVP / TICKETED EVENT ONLY.  You must pay in advance to reserve your spot. We sadly will NOT be able to accomodate walk-ins.  Due to the consumption of alcohol this is a 21+ event and you will be asked to present tickets and ID at the door. Register here.


 With the anticipation of spring in the air and the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, Oasis Cafe’s Chef de Cuisine Efren Benitez, has created fresh specials for March. Priced at just $30 and changing weekly to take opportunity of the freshest ingredients, the nightly three course dinner special includes a nourishing choice of soup or salad and changing entree and dessert options. Reservations can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or visiting www.OasisCafeSLC.com.

Oasis Cafe’s March 3-Course $30 Specials come with a starter course of soup or salad and change weekly:

March 5 – 11: Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and basil with a smoked sweet potato salad of corn, shallots, spinach, baby heirloom tomatoes and yellow bell pepper puree with chocolate roulade and strawberry ice cream for dessert.

March 12 – March 18: Blackened Swordfish with mango salsa, grilled zucchini, onion, potatoes, asparagus, red and green bell peppers and white corn sauce. Honey roasted pear with Mascarpone pistachio cream for dessert.

March 19 – March 25: Soy Sauce Infused Halibut with herb mixed orzo pasta, tomato fennel sauce; fennel, asparagus, roasted tomatoes and soy sauce reduction. Apple cake for dessert.

March 26 – April 1: Pan Roasted Scallops with roasted wild mushroom risotto, truffle oil, garnished with mixed herbs of celery leaves, parsley, chives, tarragon. Final course is Efren’s famous bread pudding.

Soy Scallops. Photo courtesy Oasis Cafe


Martinis and Oysters were meant to be together like star-crossed lovers. On Wednesday March 14 from 5 – 7 p.m., Under Current Bar will host a casual social event featuring Big Gin. Their founder and distiller Ben Capdevielle will entertain guests with the story of Big Gin and Captive Spirits Distilling. The public is welcome, there is no cover charge and all menu items may be ordered a la carte.

Martini selections by Managing Partner Amy Eldredge will feature Big Gin’s catalogue of London Dry, Bourbon Barred Aged and Peated Gin, paired with a variety of oysters from the acclaimed kitchens of Current Fish & Oyster.

“We are very excited to be hosting Big Gin here at Under Current. Our mission from day one has always been to carry unique and interesting products here at the bar, and we especially love supporting small, family-owned, local distilleries,” says Eldredge. “This is a beautiful series of gin, and you really can’t beat the classic pairing of oysters and martinis.”

Ben Capdevielle, owner and founder, began distilling gin as a hobby with his father, “Big Jim.” Jim learned how to distill from his father, Ted, and happily passed the tradition along to Ben. After ten years behind bars and in kitchens, Ben started making Big Gin, aptly named after his father, “Big Jim.” His company, Captive Spirits Distilling sold its first bottle of Big Gin in February 2011. https://www.captivespiritsdistilling.com/big-gin.


Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar’s first whiskey dinner of 2018 combines the best from celebrated High West Distillery paired with Chef Jonathan LeBlanc’s five-course tasting menu of lauded beef from Snake River Farms on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is just $85 per person (or $55 per person without whiskey pairings). Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 801-746-4441. Reservations may be made on www.stanzaslc.com, but a notation about the whiskey pairing dinner needs to be included.

The pairing of Chef LeBlanc’s menu of the Snake River Farms beef and High West whiskey cocktails include five courses: Kurobuta Pork Belly paired with the Rye Boulevardier; American Wagyu Skirt Steak with a Rye Sour, an intermezzo of Apricot Orange Blossom Sorbet; American Wagyu Teres Major with a Prairie Manhattan; and a final course of High West Double Rye Brownie Sundae paired with a Boyscout cocktail.

“We deliberately selected some of our favorite classic cocktails in order to showcase the whiskey better. We kept is simple, so the high quality of the High West whiskeys really shines through and you get a truer pairing.” says Hillary Merrill, general manager. “I love American whiskey and its versatility in cocktails with the various nuanced flavors that pair so well with Chef LeBlanc’s food.”

Stanza is located at 454 East, 300 South in Salt Lake. Reservations can be made by calling 801-746-4441, info@stanzaslc.com or by visiting www.stanzaslc.com.

$85 Five-Course Wine Dinner includes:

Kurobuta Pork Belly: jalapeño-corn maque choux, parsnip puree, pepper jelly

Paired with Rye Boulevardier: Double Rye, sweet vermouth, capelletti

American Wagyu Skirt Steak: Rendezvous Rye chipotle chimichurri, cilantro-pesto whipped potatoes, vegetable pearls

Paired with Rye Sour: Rendezvous Rye, lemon, honey, bitters lab habañero

Apricot Orange Blossom Sorbet

American Wagyu Teres Major: American Prairie glazed pearl onions, smoked cannellini beans, roasted red pepper preserve

Paired with a Prairie Manhattan: American Prairie, Ransom vermouth, Angostura

High West Double Rye Brownie Sundae

Paired with a Boyscout: Campfire, Chocolate bitters, simple, orange


Bringing back one old favorite and introducing two new offerings, Current Fish & Oyster’s executive chef Alan Brines has created some $12 lunch specials to complement the weekday mid-day menu. A guest favorite, Current’s Chicken & Waffle with white cheddar-green onion waffle, jalapeño and maple syrup joins two new dishes: Cauliflower Sandwich, with arugula, white bean purée and green romesco; and the Roasted Pork Sandwich with slow roasted pork, lemon aioli and arugula, both of which come with house-cut fries or salad.

“We wanted to do something special and new for our lunch patrons,” said Andrew Cliburn, general manager. “These $12 specials make dining regularly easy on the pocketbook while offering a wider arrange of choices for our frequent diners and new ones alike.”

Always with a highlight on freshness and high-quality ingredients, the cuisine is straightforward with a spotlight on healthy choices and sustainability. The lunch menu, served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. each week, entices with the best of East and West Coast oysters, along with the best chowder in town, crab cakes, grilled calamari and chef’s addictive smoked clam dip with house-cut chips.

Salad offering include the hearty seafood cobb; healthy grain salad with heirloom grains, legumes, root vegetables and curly kale; Current’s grilled chicken salad with golden raisins, candied pecans and Beehive cheese; or Caesar and house salad courses.

Lunch specialties include guest favorites of Current fish tacos, delectable fish & chips, poached tuna melt, grilled chicken sandwich, the “un-common” burger or a grilled fish sandwich with the freshest catch of the day. The seafood bar boasts shrimp cocktail, two-minute ceviche, green lip mussels, grilled oysters and the best East and West Coast selections available daily.

Patrons can pair their lunch selections with Day Drinks of the Brown Derby, made with honey, grapefruit and bourbon; or The Kid with herbs, lemon and gin; or the Antoinette with vodka, Elderflower, grapefruit, lime, rhubarb bitters and sparkling wine.

As always, Current boasts a beverage program that is purposeful in its overall direction, the entire menu has an innovative, flexible and changing focus, based on seasonality, new finds and education. Inspired and nuanced, the menu includes white and red wines on tap and a nice array of white, bubbly and reds by the bottle and by the glass. A signature cocktail menu with a nautical slant, distinctive craft beer and cider offerings round out the beverage menu. Sherry is offered – not your grandmother’s cooking wine. These are the real deals, extraordinary, with endless flavors in each glass.


Café Niche’s Chef Andy Morrison has been playfully at work in her kitchen coming up with some new taste delights. She is offering her new $30 dinner menu of three courses nightly for dinner Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. with offerings changing weekly. Cost per person is $30 and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Wine pairings will be offered tableside by the knowledgeable staff. Café Niche is closed for dinner on Sunday evenings.

Chef Morrison’s March dinners start with a choice of daily soup or Niche salad and end with dessert choices of Affogato — espresso, daily gelato and a house made cookie; or her sumptuous house made sorbet.

Weekly entrée selections for March 2018 include: vegan nachos, lamb burger, lemon saffron chicken and a hearty chicken pot pie. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 801-433-3380 or by visiting www.caffeniche.com.

Café Niche’s March 2018 3-course menus:

March 5: Vegan Nachos: butternut cashew sauce, multigrain tortilla chips, black beans, jalapeños, roasted peppers, pico de gallo, cilantro and green onion. Diners have the option to add blackened salmon.

March 12Lamburger: lamb and beef patty, mustard aioli, caramelized onions, mushrooms, Teleme cheese and sumac; rolled into lavosh cracker bread

March 19Lemon Saffron Chicken: lemon saffron chicken breast, arugula, tomatoes, campanelle pasta, Feta cheese, lemon oregano vinaigrette

March 26: Chicken & Sausage Pot Pie: chicken, sausage, mushrooms, peas, herbs, promontory cheddar, nutmeg spiced pie crust, side salad


Alamexo Cantina

Alamexo Cantina-2.jpg

During his travels throughout Mexico, Matt Lake, chef/owner of Alamexo Kitchen downtown, was always struck by a certain type of restaurant. The cantinas he encountered are vibrant, lively, and most importantly, promote a sense of community and togetherness. Families, friends, strangers gather around tables sharing various dishes and libations, telling stories and laughing together.

These memories drove Matt’s vision as he put together his newest project: Alamexo Cantina, which opened this week in the 9th and 9th neighborhood. The style of service is different than at Alamexo downtown. The cantina cuisine is reminiscent of a street market in Mexico, but in a sit-down situation.

“Everything will come family style, everyone orders and you have it all at once, mixing and matching. I don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. But I do want it to be fun. It needs to be super easy and fun,” says Lake. “The best way to get at this concept is that I wish I could pick what people eat but I can’t. I felt this was the closest way to get to that experience of just letting the chef guide your dining experience. Whatever time [of the day] you come it’s the same [price]. One menu, all day long, with a wide array of shared dishes.”

The space itself is striking, with bright, vibrant colors contrasting with the dark tables and ceiling. A large glossy Adam Finkle photograph adorns the back wall, showcasing the multitude of ingredients involved in making a molé. The centerpiece of the bar area is a large mural by local artist Harry Baldwin, and depicts the iconic Espolón Blanco label. There is a gorgeous candle wall that is interesting during the bright daytime hours, but turns into something living, breathing, and very special at night. My favorite part is that most of the front wall separating the dining room from the patio breaks down, opening up completely and blurring the line between inside and out. This will be the spot to be on a warm evening. The kitchen itself is small, and is limited to a long comal (flat top griddle) and two fryers for chips. That’s it.

“We’re limited in the kitchen. But with that limitation comes clarity,” says Lake.

For those of you who haven’t been to Alamexo downtown, or his previous project, ZY, I highly suggest you try Chef Lake’s creations out. He is, in my opinion, one of the most talented chefs in the city. He won Food & Wine’s Best New Chef award in 1996 and worked at New Heights in Washington D.C. and Rosa Mexicano in New York City, one of the city’s first and foremost upscale Mexican restaurants. He graduated at the top of the class while attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He, along with his team, make everything from scratch, from roasting whole chickens to making the various molé sauces.

Alamexo Cantina-6
Chef Lake
So be sure to stop by, grab some guacamole and a drink at the bar, or dive right in to some dishes to share with some friends.

Alamexo Cantina
1059 East 900 S
Salt Lake City
(801) 658-5859

Reservations not accepted


Alamexo Cantina-14




Addendum: Johnny Slice

I’m going to keep this one brief, but I felt it merited a follow-up.

Back a few years ago (ok, maybe quite a few more than that), I was a mediocre little league basketball player. The only hot streak I ever had was the record number of consecutive games in which I would warm the bench. Of course, at the end of season awards ceremony, I was always the proud recipient of the “most improved player” award, even though technically I probably didn’t improve and even more technically it was a stretch to even classify me as a player. But they needed to award me something, and most improved was all they had left at the bottom of the trophy pile.


I wanted to post an addendum to my previous review of Johnny Slice and award their pizza the SLCeats Most Improved Player award. Except unlike my little league awards, this one is actually merited. It pained me in my initial review to praise the pizza place for everything except, well, the pizza. Truth be told, it wasn’t that great and I wasn’t a very big fan. But to their credit, it appears that ownership listened and made the necessary course corrections, because in the numerous times I’ve been since, their pizza has improved remarkably and is now among my favorite slices in SLC. The buffalo chicken pizza, laced with bleu cheese, is my new favorite.

Anyways, that’s it. Credit where credit is due. Johnny Slice is making some mean pizza now. Go and enjoy.


Village Baker Downtown

I was excited when I saw that the Village Baker was moving into the main floor of the new 111 Main building in downtown Salt Lake City. I’ve been a fan of Village Baker since I lived down in Draper and frequented their West Jordan location. The new downtown shop opened a couple months ago, and has had a brisk business ever since, without a doubt helped by the continued growth of the downtown workforce and the accompanying strain this growth has placed on downtown lunch spots. I rarely venture out for lunch past about 11:45 because lines at almost every downtown dining spot will be 10-15 people deep. Maybe I’ll develop a new measure of downtown economic growth and base it on the line length at 12pm at sandwich shops.

Breakfast sandwiches, coffee, soups, salads, pizza, sandwiches, a variety of sweets and pastries–you name it, and this place will likely have it. As opposed to Kneaders, Village Baker’s bread selection is less rustic and artisan and centers more squarely on traditional American bread pan breads: honey wheat, honey white, French, and sourdough, with other specialty breads such as sunflower whole wheat, raisin, multigrains, and cinnaburst loaves produced on a rotating weekly schedule.

One popular sandwich is the turkey cranberry ($3.74 for half, about $7 for whole). The turkey, which was somewhat clumsily and unevenly placed in the sandwich, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce were contained by two thick slices of honey wheat bread. This sandwich is one of their more popular menu items, and I can see why: it’s delicious. I wasn’t initially sold on cranberry on my sandwiches, but once I tried it, there was no going back. For an extra $2.50 you can make your sandwich a combo and get a beverage and your choice of either chips or a large cookie. Sorry Lays, but I’m going for the homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookie every time.

On another visit I tried the turkey, provolone, and avocado sandwich ($4.32 for a half sandwich and I think around $7 for the whole). This one came served with thin slices of bread despite my request for the thicker slices, and was, simply put, anemic and a little bit sad. It lacked the filling robustness I’m accustomed to at Village Baker. This sandwich was a boring dud.

The pizza is delicious, and extremely well priced at about $2 per slice. At that price I have to imagine they will give some other downtown pizza places a run for their money. The slices are generous, sauce well balanced, cheese is perfectly stretchy and gooey, and the thicker crust has the perfect chew. I’m a fan.

Their cookies are good, but sadly not as good as those that I remember from the West Jordan location. At West Jordan, the cookies are thick and chewy, whereas at the downtown spot they are much thinner. This results in a crisper, drier cookie that makes me yearn for their more robust southern brethren.

For breakfast, I was impressed by their savory breakfast roll ($3.59), which features hash browns, red and green peppers, mozzarella and bacon. The rolls are packaged for a quick to-go option, but the kitchen is more than happy to warm it up for you, which I would highly recommend if you have the time.

The space itself is bright, cheery, and well decorated. During the warmer months, patio tables are placed outside on the sidewalk, greatly expanding their capacity. During the colder times, diners are restricted to limited seating on the main floor, but Village Baker anticipated this and came up with a brilliant solution: they build a mezzanine floor above the kitchen, where I imagine 30+ hungry diners can fit at any given time.

Service is of the “order at the counter and take a number to your table” variety. I’ve always been helped by cheerful people at the order counter as well as those delivering my food. I’ve had them ask me how things are as they walk by delivering orders to other tables, which is greatly appreciated and shows me they care.

Does downtown seriously need another soup and sandwich place? Yes. While I’d love to see a bit more variety hit downtown dining spots, demand for noontime noshing continues to strain eateries, so it’s nice to have another sandwich spot to help relieve some of the lunch rush pressure. Village Baker is a top-notch addition, and I’m glad they chose to come downtown. Judging by their crowds, I think they’ll do just fine.

Brunch at Fireside on Regent Begins June 3rd

Fireside on Regent is off to a solid start, and now that they have their feet under them, Chef Richey is opening for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30-2pm beginning June 3rd. Richey is no brunch novice, having previously expanded Pago’s menu to include brunch as well. Expect to see French toast, croque madam, burgers, hash, salads, and special brunch-only pizzas on the menu.

Fireside on Regent
126 South Regent Street, Salt Lake City

“Slice of Ice” Iceberg lettuce, sundered tomato aioli, “landshark” ham, poached egg, chives


El Chubasco

I won’t lie, my taste buds may have been influenced a bit by my ravenous post mountain bike situation, however, I am here to declare the following important factual information: the carne asada burrito at El Chubasco is hands down the best rendition in all of our fair state. And I don’t say that lightly, with strong competition such as Hector’s giving chase in a close 2nd.

But up here the meat still looks like meat, is crispy in all of the right places, and has a healthy dosage of melty cheese, black beans, and pico to make this food baby the top food baby around.

If you haven’t been to El Chubasco, get there. I think they have other stuff on the menu, but I haven’t really ever checked.

1890 Bonanza Drive, Park City

Magleby’s Springville

Look, I’ll just cut to the chase: this place was not great. Passable? Yes. More than passable? Nope.

I had no idea there was even a Magleby’s in Springville until a coworker brought me here. I knew they were up in Provo/Orem, but didn’t know they had ventured this far south. The restaurant is located in a fantastically-renovated historic building on the main drag. If I had to guess, it was an old bank building that has been freshly redone. Unfortunately, that was the most exciting part of my visit.

The interior is what I like to call Utah County Cliché. I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be a higher than normal ratio of Roman columns, stark white interiors, and painted mural ceilings in Utah County than anywhere else (except, maybe, you know, Rome). Except that in Rome, they are done well. The restaurant space is huge, and doesn’t exactly feel warm or welcoming. It just seem…..vast and strangely empty.

Our service was, again, less than great. I counted a grand total of two overworked servers working a dining room filled with over 30 people. With a ratio like that, you’re bound to have some disappointments. Drinks went unfilled and desserts (which, I believe, is one thing Magleby’s is known for) weren’t even offered for our consideration.

The food was mediocre. I had the prime rib sandwich. I’m not sure how many days the prime rib had been hanging out in the walk-in, but it was tough and flavorless. The sandwich lacked any sort of imagination or flavor, and was as boring as you get.

And then there was the pickle.

The sandwich was accompanied by the saddest, most down trodden pickle I have ever seen. It looked like it was taken straight from the jar, dropped, stepped on, then lived a life of sadness camped out begging under the highway overpass, only to then find his way home to my lunch plate.

The only redeeming part of the meal were the fries. They serve my favorite kind of fries: the ones that are straight out of the freezer, with that extra little layer of breading around them, which make for a crunchy, flavorful bite. I really liked them, despite the runny “fry sauce” they were served with.

I didn’t take any pictures. You wouldn’t have wanted to see them anyway.

So, that’s about it. I won’t be going back, and wouldn’t suggest you stop there, either.

50 West Café opened its doors last week for the lunch crowd. The café is part of the new Wiseguys comedy club located at–you guessed it–50 West 300 South. The menu offers plenty of choices without being overly complicated.

Service was confused. They give each customer a number to take to their tables, and it seemed that the little number tents were pretty useless since each server came out, wandering aimlessly around the café with plates of food, not sure who they actually belonged to.

Execution was less than perfect with a really tasty chicken club and chipotle chicken salad being balanced out by undercooked fries and a medium rare steak that came out basically blue on the inside. I think with a bit more time they will be cranking out consistently great food and the kinks in the service will be ironed out.

At $12 for a sandwich, fries, and drink, I won’t be eating there too frequently, but I’m sure it will make its way into my lunch rotation from time to time.

Open 11-3pm Monday through Saturday. More info at www.50westslc.com

Penny Ann’s Opens Second Location in Draper

Penny Ann’s is now open in Draper! This family-owned and operated shop has been cranking out the best breakfast on Main Street in Salt Lake for a few years now, and have now expanded to a second location at the south end of the valley.

Their food is incredible (make sure you get their “heavenly hotcakes” and try the Reuben for lunch). But what really makes this place special is that everyone there makes you feel like you’re home when you’re there. They are always so welcoming and happy to see you. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a slice of their famous pie while you’re there.

This location is much bigger and spacious than their original location, but it still has the homey feel to it.

If you want the best breakfast in the valley, stop by Penny Ann’s. Open from 7-3 during the week, serving breakfast and lunch, and 7-2 on weekends, serving breakfast only.

The new pie kitchen! (still getting set up)