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.

MidiCi, The Neapolitan Pizza Company joins The Gateway

From a recent press release:

In its ongoing effort to transform itself into a social and entertainment hub distilling all the best that downtown Salt Lake City has to offer, The Gateway has announced that they’re adding MidiCi, The Neapolitan Pizza Company, to its growing tenant roster.

“We’re so in love with everything MidiCi is about,” says Jenny Cushing, Vice President of Leasing at Vestar. “They put people at the center of what they do, and they’re particular about their food quality, service, affordability and the kind of atmosphere and experience they want to create. And that’s hand-in-hand with what we’re trying to create here at The Gateway. This is just the start.”

MidiCi has made a name for itself by offering authentic Neapolitan thin crust pizza, baked in handmade wood-fired ovens imported from Italy—right in the center of its restaurants—so that patrons can see exactly what goes into everything they make. From an extensive menu full of fresh and natural ingredients to a robust wine, beer, dessert and espresso selection, it’s all part of an authenticity and care that they bring to everything they offer.

“We like to create a place where people can put down their phones and enjoy the moment that they’re in,” says Amit Kleinberger, CEO of MidiCi. “And that’s why we’re so excited to be a part of the resurgence at The Gateway—because they’re building the kind of place where people can come and just enjoy themselves, and be present to the moment. This is a really exciting step for MidiCi, and we’re excited to play a role in what The Gateway is becoming.”

MidiCi will be opening in late 2017 as part of The Gateway’s new “restaurant row,” on the south end of the property.

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

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

 

7th Annual Tastemakers at The Gateway

Tastemakers is back for its 7th year, this time at The Gateway in SLC on June 8th and 9th from 5pm to 10pm. This is one of my favorite food events of the year in SLC–food purveyors from across the spectrum (restaurants, chocolatiers, cheese makers) are all in attendance, giving out tastes of their signature dishes.

The VIP pavilion will feature additional food producers as well as plenty of alcohol providers. In addition to wine and craft beers, there will be five signature Tastemakers cocktails available at the event.

Hop-on-hop-off busses will also circulate through the city, dropping ticket holders at various participating restaurants in Salt Lake.

The general pass is $30 per person and gives guests access to the venue and tastings from all participating restaurants. Alcohol is not included, but can be purchased on site. The VIP pass is $85 per person and includes access to the VIP pavilion, exclusive VIP tastings and a five-drink passes. Tickets are now on sale at tastemakersutah.com.

Guests receive a Tastemakers Passport, to be stamped after each sampling. The Passports are valid for both nights of the event and are later redeemable for exclusive discounts and coupons at participating restaurants throughout the summer. Instructions and a stroll area map will be available online and on the Tastemakers mobile site.

A portion of all proceeds will benefit Head Start Utah, a program that promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families.

In addition to The Gateway, Tastemakers is also sponsored by Nicholas & Co., Bulleit Bourbon, Don Julio, Spark Solutions Group, Wasatch Brewery, Ketel One Vodka, Squatters Craft Beers, Presto Print, Southern Wine & Spirits and Kostizi.

Participants include:

BEEHIVE CHEESE COMPANY

FINCA

CACHE TOFFEE COLLECTION

FLEMING’S STEAKHOUSE

CHIP COOKIES

FRIDA BISTRO

CHOCOLATE CONSPIRACY

HARMONS

CREMINELLI FINE MEATS

HIMALAYAN KITCHEN

MICHELANGELO RISTORANTE

HUGO COFFEE

MOUNTAIN TOWN

LAZIZ KITCHEN

OLIVE OIL COMPANY

MARKET STREET GRILL

NEW YORKER

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATE FACTORY

PARK CITY CULINARY

RODIZIO GRILL

CUMMINGS STUDIO CHOCOLATE

RUTH’S CHRIS

REDSTONE OLIVE OIL

SPENCER’S FOR STEAKS & CHOPS

THE EKLEKTIK

TEXAS DE BRAZIL

EVA’S

STONEGROUND

SQUATTERS

SUGARHOUSE DISTILLERY

PROPER BREWING CO

350 MAIN

PROVISIONS

PROHIBITION

LA CAILLE

CUISINE UNLIMITED

R & R BBQ

DISTILLERY 36

HARBOR SEAFOOD & STEAK CO.

KETEL ONE

DON JULIO

BULLEIT BOURBON

The Food Truck League Launches Finder App

If you’re like me, one of the struggles with food trucks is figuring out when and where they will be. You need to hunt each one down individually on their various social media platforms.

The Food Truck League has launched an app that displays truck locations in real-time. This localized Utah app already has the largest amount of scheduled truck locations on any app in the country. During peak food truck season users can now find as many as 100 truck locations each week throughout the valley.

Food trucks have become a recent sensation in Utah, with over 100 trucks operating every day. This app gives users access to all the information they need to find and support local food truck businesses. Potential food truck customers no longer need to rely on word of mouth or sporadic social media posts to find their favorite food truck. They can now locate a truck with the click of their phone.

The Food Truck League Finder app has a litany of features that allows users to see upcoming roundups, follow a specific truck’s future schedule, or even request catering with their favorite truck. Use the map feature to find trucks near your location, or scroll through a list view showing all of the trucks scheduled for a selected time frame. Additionally, food trucks can use the app to provide periodic prizes and special offers.

“People are excited about food trucks — they love the concept, they love the food and they love the sense of community,” says Taylor Harris, a founding partner of the Food Truck League. “From the beginning, the goal of the Food Truck League has been to bring great food and communities together. We knew we needed a way to bring all the information we have to the community, and this app finally allows us to be able to do that in all the ways we envisioned.”

Holly with The Cluck Truck explains, “It can be frustrating as a new small business when people love your food truck, love your food, but your business can’t grow because your customers can’t find you. The Food Truck League Finder app makes it so easy for our fans to track when we’re near them so we can keep growing.”

The app is available now on Android, iOS, and online at thefoodtruckleague.com/events.
Throughout the spring and summer food trucks will offer promotions for any customer that presents the app on their phone upon ordering.

Sunday Gospel Brunch at The Gateway

Taking another big step toward establishing itself as a social, community-oriented downtown hotspot, The Gateway is kicking off a Gospel Brunch starting Sunday, April 9. The Gateway’s Gospel Brunch, held at the Grand Hall every other Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature a Bloody Mary bar by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and music by the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir, a performance group that tours the country. Local favorite Cubby’s Chicago Beef will offer their new unique spicy-beef-and-garden-fresh breakfast items, with beverages provided by 3 Cups Coffee. Future dates are April 23May 7 and 21, 2017.

Tickets are $19 each for brunch and an additional $6 for two drinks at the Bloody Mary bar, with additional drink tickets at $3 each. Proceeds will benefit Downtown SLC Presents, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting cultural and artistic experiences in downtown Salt Lake City. http://bit.ly/gospelbrunchgateway.

“Salt Lake City has a really cool food scene, so we wanted to do something different, with a lot more soul,” says Edie Trott, marketing manager at The Gateway. “We wanted to fill up Sundays with as much life as we could, so getting a gospel brunch together felt like a great way to kick it off.”

In addition to the brunch, The Gateway will also be hosting a series of free events starting in May, including yoga on Sundays, a concert series on Thursdays and a family movie night on Fridays. The Gospel Brunch marks another step in The Gateway’s ongoing initiatives to both revitalize itself and establish itself as cultural hub.

“We’re seeing so much momentum around The Gateway right now,” says Jason Mathis, executive director at Downtown Alliance. “As they continue their re-brand, they’re adding a lot more to their programming, and we’re excited to see what the summer holds for them. The gospel brunch is something we’ve been excited about for a while, and a big step for downtown Salt Lake City.”

Unity Gospel Choir

Easter Specials

Spring has sprung, and we just got two inches of snow last night, so that means one thing: it’s time for Easter. And along with Easter comes easter dining specials. See below.

Café Niche

Café Niche on 300 South is offering some mouthwatering Easter brunch dishes from Chef Andy Morrison’s kitchen on Sunday, April 16 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Specials include an entrée selection of Crab and Avocado Strata: a savory baked egg and bread custard with roasted cherry tomatoes and arugula for $15. Carrot Cake Cheesecake with house made ginger syrup and candied walnuts join other dessert selections for just $8.

Chef Morrison’s focus is on offering farm fresh dishes with amazing flavor. Selections are offered la carte from her brunch menu of traditional breakfast dishes, small plates, fresh salads, hearty sandwiches and desserts. Highlights include a hearty Biscuits and Gravy with house made cheddar jalapeño biscuits, sausage gravy and two local free range eggs any style ($10); the Wild Mushroom Scramble with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, eggs, arugula, lemon vinaigrette, balsamic reduction and pecorino cheese ($12); or the Niche Breakfast with bacon or sausage, toast, two fresh eggs, and two of the following: hash browns, sautéed spinach, half avocado, sliced tomatoes or fresh fruit.

Starting at 11:30 a.m., Niche starts mixing mimosas and Bloody Marys. More adventurous diners can choose Adrian’s roulette cocktail. Guests choose a spirit and whether they would like something refreshing or spirit driven and are pleasantly surprised with new taste treats.

Caffe Niche is located on the corner of 779 East and 300 South / 801-433-3380 http://www.caffeniche.com / Facebook: CaffeNicheSLC

Current Fish & Oyster

Current Fish & Oyster welcomes the onset of spring and Easter. Current is extending brunch hours on Easter Sunday April 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will be closed for dinner that evening. Current’s bright and urban patio boasts the blooms of the season and will be seated for Easter dining, weather permitting.

Special Easter brunch offerings from Current’s kitchen include: ham and Zursun bean cassoulet with farm-fresh local egg; light and delicious spring vegetable hash; local trout and spring vegetable niçoise; or a chopped lobster salad with fresh spring greens and a lemon tarragon vinaigrette.

Brunch highlights include “for the table” offerings of East and West Coast oysters, shrimp cocktail, house lox and ricotta doughnuts. Diners can enjoy traditional or crab benedict, a delicate seafood cobb salad or hearty shrimp and grits, along with omelets, buttermilk fried chicken, French toast or pancakes or the Un-Common burger, one of the best in town.

The $6 Mimosa bar is available at 11:30 a.m. featuring fresh squeezed juices of orange, white peach, strawberry and pear. These join brunch cocktail selections of an oyster shooter, Bloody Mary, Irish Coffee or a refreshing Current Radler with Sierra Nevada hefeweizen, ginger liqueur and grapefruit juice.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 801-326-FISH (3474) or visiting www.CurrentFishandOyster.com.

Bambara

Bambara welcomes guests to their Easter brunch on Sunday, April 16. Special holiday offerings include a one-of-a-kind oyster bar, hearty carving station, made-to-order omelet station, and a wide variety of decadent pastries and desserts.

Brunch will be available 10:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m. with a special Easter evening offered 5:30 p.m.—8:00 p.m. Bambara’s historic bar, The Vault, will be open 11:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m. with a unique selection of specialty cocktails. Reservations are highly recommended.

The brunch menu, including coffee, juice and soda options, costs $54 for adults, $44 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $14 for children 12 and under.

“A meal on Easter Sunday is such an important tradition for family and friends,” said executive chef Nathan Powers. “We enjoy relieving our guests of the pressure of hosting at home and welcome them to come celebrate with us instead.”

For more information about Bambara or the Easter brunch celebration, contact Christa Graff, of Graff Public Relations, LLC, at 435-640-7921 or christa@graffpr.com.

Oasis Café

Oasis Cafe on 500 East will serve an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 16 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will be seating on their beautiful courtyard patio, an urban oasis, weather permitting. The buffet will include the popular prime rib carving station and a chocolate fountain for dessert. Cost for Adults is $35 per person, children age 13 and under $18 and is free of charge for children under the age of 3.* Reservations are highly suggested and can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or visiting OasisCafeSLC.com.

Dinner will be served from 5 until 9 p.m. with the creative daily menu filled with local organic vegetables, sustainably ranched meats and freshest seafood, the buffet is a favorite with locals.

Oasis Cafe is located at 151 South 500 East in downtown Salt Lake City. Reservations can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or by visiting http://www.oasiscafeslc.com. Hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 -8:00 a.m. for coffee and pastries, then 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.. Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Park City Dining

APEX AT THE MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
Buffet, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$55 for adults, $25 for children ages 5-12
Enjoy the fresh, regionally inspired selections for a delicious Easter Sunday brunch.

BILLY BLANCO’S
Egg hunt and Easter Bunny, starting at 1 p.m.
Note: Taking place Saturday, April 15
Even the Easter Bunny can’t resist this raved-about destination for “Motor City Mexican.” Meet the Easter Bunny, fill your baskets with candy- and toy-filled eggs – and be sure to keep an eye out for golden eggs with special prizes. The event is BYOB, for “Bring Your Own Basket,” and while you’re there, be sure to check out Billy Blanco’s burgers, tacos, salads and much more.

DEER VALLEY RESORT
Special menu items
The award-winning restaurants at Deer Valley Resort are serving a range of specials to celebrate Easter. At the Deer Valley Grocery~Café, enjoy scrambled egg toast with Cabot white cheddar, asparagus, baby heirloom tomato, chives, Niman Ranch ham and fresh arugula on toasted wild rice harvest bread. Royal Street Café is serving rosemary-rubbed lamb chops with mint chimichurri, roasted heirloom baby carrots and herbed fingerling potatoes. And the Snow Park, Silver Lake and Empire Canyon restaurants are serving hot cross buns, featuring spiced, enriched dough and dried fruits, crossed with cream cheese frosting.

GRUB STEAK
Buffet, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$32.75 for adults, $16.75 for children ages 12 and younger
Grub Steak is serving a delicious brunch replete with Easter favorites and Grub Steak classics. Enjoy selections like boneless leg of Utah lamb, slow-roasted angus beef, eggs Benedict, herb-baked cod, country link sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, roasted lemon chicken, pulled prime rib sliders, cheese blintzes, shrimp quiche, deviled eggs and grilled salmon filet. Cheeses, pastries, breads and fruits will also be on offer, plus a cereal buffet for children and Grub Steak’s famed salad bar and fruit bar.

HIGH WEST REFECTORY
Buffet, 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
$35 for adults, $17.50 for children 12 and younger
The dining room at High West’s distillery will be open Sunday, serving its delicious weekend brunch. Reservations are recommended and can be made at OpenTable.com. Complimentary tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will also be on offer, and the tasting room and general store will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

J&G GRILL AT ST. REGIST DEER VALLEY
Buffet, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$70 for adults, $40 for children 12 and younger
J&G Grill is serving a lavish buffet featuring char-grilled Wagyu tri-tip, Caprese eggs benedict, smoked salmon rillettes, pate, lavender-scented French toast with blueberries, golden beet and orange salad with arugula and fresh ricotta, sautéed baby squash and mushrooms, smoked cheddar potato gratin, house-made granola and fruit parfaits, petite pastry and dessert displays and more. Champagne, mimosas and St. Regis’ famous Bloody Mary will be on offer, and a children’s egg hunt will be held on the slopes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

POWDER AT THE WALDORF-ASTORIA
Buffet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$49 for adults, $24 for children ages 3-11
Everything from donuts to slow-roasted buffalo tenderloin is on offer at Powder’s delectable Easter brunch. Enjoy more than a dozen gourmet selections, including honey glazed ham, to egg frittata, French toast, smoked bacon, chicken sausage, charcuterie and cheese, a trio of salads, soups, a raw bar with shrimp, oysters and sashimi, fresh fish and vegetables, a bakery display with banana bread, pumpernickel, croissants and Pullman brioche, and a selection of desserts from the pastry shop.

RIVERHORSE
Buffet, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$65 for adults, $35 for children ages 12 and younger
This raved-about restaurant is serving a sumptuous brunch with classics like eggs Benedict, a lamb carving station, housemade meats, omelets made to order, seafood, signature desserts and a special kids buffet. A special Easter Dinner will also be served from 6 to 9 p.m.

SQUATTERS PUB & BREWERY AND THE WASATCH BREW PUB
These two locals’ favorites won’t be serving Easter specials, but “hop on over” for their raved-about brunch fare plus their $2 Midday Marys, Mimosas and Eye Openers.

STATE ROAD RESTAURANT
Buffet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$25.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 2-12
This Kamas staple is serving a range of Easter classics, from eggs any style, buttermilk biscuits, maple sausage links and Applewood bacon, to a carvery with house-smoked Black Forest ham and aged prime rib. Rock shrimp, peeky toe crab cakes, smoked Shetland salmon, a range of breads and fruits and yogurt and granola will also be on offer, plus red velvet cake, carrot cake and cookies for dessert.

TUPELO PARK CITY

Sticky toffee waffle, spinach and feta tart, warm asparagus toast, deviled eggs. Sounds like a menu I could get into. Reservations made via OpenTable or by calling (435) 615-7700.

 

Oasis Patio with Diners
Courtesy Oasis Cafe

 

We Olive Salt Lake City

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Step into We Olive in Trolley Square, and be prepared for an education. On a recent visit, franchise owner Stephanie Ennis and her son, co-owner Josh Garcia, took time to walk me through various olive oils, allowing me to taste and pick up on the various nuances of each one. Stop by, and they will be glad to do the same with you.

Just like cheese, wine, and chocolate, tasting olive oils properly involves a few steps. Pour a small amount into a cup. Step 1: Swirl. Cover the top to trap the aromas, and rub the cup against the palm of your other had to gradually warm the oil and release the flavors and aromas. Step 2: smell the oil. Step 3: Slurp it into your mouth, incorporate oxygen to further enhance the taste. Step 4: Swallow.

According to Josh, the three things you want to taste for with olive oil is the bitterness, the fruitiness, and the robustness (high-quality olive oils contain high levels of oleocanthals, which tend to create an urge to cough. The more “robust” the oil, the more likely you are to cough after tasting). I tasted a few different types of arbequina oils, and could instantly pick out tropical notes such as banana in one, while the other arbequina was much more mellow and one-dimensional. Thus, tasting is key.

All of We Olive’s oils are sourced from family farms in California, as opposed to other olive oil companies in Utah who source theirs from Tunisia. We Olive knows their farmers, and understand the provenance of their products.

One of the struggles of the olive oil industry is the lack of consistent regulation and certification of what makes olive oil “olive oil” and what makes extra virgin “extra virgin.” While there are rules in place, there is no international enforcement body to ensure the rules are followed. Josh and Stephanie pointed out that olive oils need to be consumed within 18 months of pressing the olives in order to preserve the taste and health benefits before the oil turns rancid. But large conglomerates of olive oil producers (those kinds that you will likely find in grocery stores) frequently hold olive oils for much longer, and have been known to blend in other types of non-olive oils into their olive oils in order to increase the shelf life. All of this done, of course, without disclosing anything to the consumer.

We Olive also has a wide selection of various balsamic vinegars; some produced in California and some in Modena, Italy. They have the straightforward balsamics, and also have some more outside the box varieties, like mission fig, peach, pear, and blackberry. No artificial flavors are used in these vinegars, rather, fresh purees are blended in. My personal favorite combination was their pineapple balsamic paired with their jalapeño olive oil. It would go perfectly on a fruit salad or as a unique vinaigrette for a salad. They sent me home with a bottle of their mission fig balsamic vinegar, which I used to make balsamic-glazed pork chops over polenta with wilted spinach.

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Venture towards the back of the store and you will find the We Olive wine bar, where you can sit at the bar or a table and taste various wines alongside some delicious food. I was able to taste their cheese and charcuterie plate, featuring Creminelli salumi and prosciutto, a dish of stuffed African peppadews, prosciutto-wrapped dates (my favorite), an orchard salad, as well as a cheese and garlic flatbread. Josh is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, and has worked in various chef roles at the New Yorker and other Gastronomy restaurants, so attention to detail with food at We Olive is a high priority. Various reds, whites, rosés, mimosas, and beers are available, including local producers Ruth Lewandowski, Proper Brewing, Mountain West Cider, and Talisman Brewing in Ogden. They plan to open their patio as soon as things warm up this summer, allowing diners to sip and dine while people-watching Trolley Square shoppers.

Josh and Stephanie are also building out a strong selection of local food producers for their grocery section, and currently carry Slide Ridge Honey, Four Sisters sauces, as well as various local pastas.

The next time you’re at Trolley Square, stop by, say hi, and ask them to take you on a tasting tour. You’ll learn more about olive oils and vinegars than you thought possible. And stay for a sip or two. And be sure to check out their events page which features various cooking demos, tastings, and other events.

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I was an invited guest of We Olive. Opinions are my own.

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Preview: Alamexo Cantina

During his travels throughout Mexico, Chef Matt Lake, owner of Alamexo, most enjoyed eating at the vibrant local cantinas. These open-air restaurants, some more boisterous than others, emphasize community and togetherness as friends and families gather around tables to share in various freshly-prepared dishes.

These memories have informed Matt’s latest culinary project: Alamexo Cantina, opening in May in the 9th and 9th neighborhood. The cantina will be the lower-key little brother to Alamexo, keeping the same attention to ingredients and the cooking process, but trading white tablecloths for bottles of cerveza and a six-foot comal.

I stopped by to taste some of Matt’s planned dishes for the cantina. I would expect nothing less than exceptional from Matt, and judging by these test plates, he’s well on his way towards that goal.

Alamexo Cantina, opening mid-May

1059 East, 900 South, Salt Lake City.

Audio Interview, Chef Dana Herbert

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As part of the grand opening of their brand new store at the Fashion Place Mall, Macy’s brought in Chef Dana Herbert to give a cooking demonstration and share some recipes from his new cookbook, “Sweet and Savory Union.” Chef Dana is the winner of TLC’s show Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker.

After his demonstration, I was able to chat with Dana for a few minutes to discuss the Macy’s Culinary Council, his cookbook, and ask him if he could only have one small appliance in his kitchen, which would it be?

Hit play below to listen to the interview.