Jason Mathis, Downtown Alliance executive director
As executive director of the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance, you might expect that Jason Mathis’ perfect summer day would take him to some far-flung corner of Utah, or at least out of the Salt Lake Valley.
Au contraire. Not only does Mathis still love the urban core where he spends the majority of his working days, but his lack of a car also means the Marmalade-dwelling dude spends his perfect summer days on foot, frequenting his favorite dining, shopping and playing spots. And they’re all within walking distance of the house he shares with his family and a 120-pound bullmastiff.
Mathis’ perfect day starts with breakfast at a spot he frequents on workdays and weekends alike. “I eat breakfast at Market Street Grill (48 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-322-4668, GInc.com) at least a couple times a week,” Mathis says. “Their $4.99 eggs Benedict is impossible to beat. … It’s cooler and has a better price-point than, like, Village Inn.”
If it’s a Saturday, Mathis is a regular at the Downtown Farmers Market (June 11-Oct. 22, DowntownSLC.org/Farmers-Market) and there are certain vendors he visits every week through the summer. He picks up some salsa from Rico’s (RicoMarket.com) and grabs whatever veggies are newly in season, depending on the week. And he always stops at the Crumb Brothers (CrumbBrothers.com) booth for a loaf of seven-grain. If their Farmers Market booth is out, he’ll head across the street to Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli (314 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-8669, CaputosDeli.com) for his crusty fix.
Having loaded up on products for cooking later in the week, it’s time for lunch. And for Mathis, the perfect lunch comes courtesy of one of Salt Lake City’s award-winning chefs, Nathan Powers of Bambara (202 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-5454, Bambara-SLC.com). The “Powers Lunch” is just $13 and offers a choice of soup or salad, a turkey wrap, burger or specialty of the day, and a still-warm cookie for dessert, all of them cooked to Powers’ exacting standards.
A free afternoon means possibly a hike up City Creek or some shopping in Salt Lake City.
“I really like the Broadway shopping district,” Mathis says. “The Green Ant (179 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-595-1818, TheGreenAnt.com) is awesome for retro furniture stuff. Frosty Darling (177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4790, FrostyDarling.com) is cool, as well. And also, Decades (627 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-537-1357) is a really cool spot. I just barely started going there, but I’m going to start buying all my clothes there. Really affordable, not that expensive at all.”
Dinner on Mathis’ perfect day probably goes down at Martine (22 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-9328, MartineCafe.com), a downtown spot he thinks is considered by many as mainly a business-lunch spot. And he’ll follow dinner with some cocktails with friends at Metropolitan (173 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-364-3472, TheMetropolitan.com). (Dan Nailen)
Stage Direction for a Relaxing Day
Pioneer Theatre Company’s Charles Morey
Ever wonder what an actor/playwright/theatrical artistic director does on his perfect day? Here is how Charles Morey would script it:
“Get to the pool at Steiner (645 S. Guardsman Way, 801-583-9713) early, before the kids in diapers and the midday sun become overwhelming.
“On the way home: Market Street Broiler (260 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-583-8808, GInc.com) for fresh swordfish or halibut or salmon—whatever’s fresh—and Liberty Heights Fresh (1290 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-583-7374 LibertyHeightsFresh.com) for local corn. Pull the hammock onto the shady part of the lawn or deck. Settle in with a summer reading project—all four novels in Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers saga, perhaps, or something long and Russian or German you should have read in college but didn’t that will make you feel virtuous to put on the shelf in August. Make sure you stay hydrated and have plenty of fluids at hand. My personal recommendation is a poor man’s mai tai: orange juice and Bacardi with a floater of Myers’s Rum.
“The perfect summer day is incomplete without a cigar, and your backyard hammock may be one of the few places left in the country where you can smoke one without contemptuous looks and derisive tsk-tsks. There are several options: a Monte Cristo club cabinet; a Romeo y Julieta vintage or, if you want to take out a second mortgage, a Padron Anniversario—all in Toro size, of course, and no Cubans—you know they’re illegal, don’t you? And overrated and overpriced, anyway. It’s best if your cigars have come from the world-class humidor at Jeanie’s Smoke Shop (156 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-532-9001) and have been aging for a few years.
“A late-afternoon snack—cheese, has to be cheese, to hell with the cholesterol police. Maybe “Barely Buzzed” from Beehive Cheese (2440 E. 6600 South, Uintah, 801-476-0900, BeehiveCheese.com) or that wildly over-the-top triple cream I can never remember the name of from Costco (Multiple locations, Costco.com).
“When the sun starts to set, start the grill. Charcoal only—no gas, it’s cheating—so you can grill the swordfish/halibut/salmon in time to eat on the deck just as the sun disappears into the Great Salt Lake. Let the guests bring the wine and hope they choose wisely. As the last color is stripped from the sky, watch the stately procession of Delta 737s pass the Kennecott smokestack and land at the airport; remark on the brightness of the evening star, or is that a satellite? Open the second (or third) bottle of wine, converse quietly of old books and good friends, or good books and old friends.” (Scott Renshaw)
Must Like Bikes
Krystal Barnard, Backcountry.com
A world without bikes is not a world that Krystal Barnard can fathom. Nor is one without her tight group of girlfriends. The Backcountry.com marketing guru (and former marketing director for local concert promoter Postfontaine) has an arsenal of bicycles and an array of friends to roll out the perfect day. To begin, she’ll hop on her commuter, a Swobo three-speed lovingly christened as “Maiden” and pedal from her Marmalade home over Capitol Hill to Oasis Cafe (151 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-322-0404) for the Oasis Scramble—a heap of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and cream cheese on a fresh croissant, paired nicely with a couple of cups of coffee—to get amped for a day of outside playtime.
She bikes back home over the hill, which serves as a mere warm-up for a pedaling excursion in the Wasatch mountains, and exchanges the commuter for something a bit beefier: a GT Avalanche 1.0 mountain bike. (Those who work at Backcountry.com drop gear brand names like it’s, well, their job.)
Barnard will then meet the rest of her usual mountain-biking posse—Summer, Lindsay, Bridget, Vanessa and Hollie. They’ll head to Sundance Mountain Resort (8841 Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, 801-225-4107, SundanceResort.com), Barnard’s favorite biking destination, to have their bikes lifted to the top, admire the stunning landscape, hit the single-track hard on the way down, then repeat. “On a perfect day, we’d also float the Provo River,” Barnard says. They'll rent rafts from High Country Rafting (3702 E. Provo Canyon Road, Provo, 801-224-2500, HighCountryRafting.com), which provides a shuttle to the put-in point. There’s an excellent chance that they’d tie a cooler or two to the floats.
Afterward, it’s time for the group to clean up and have a girls’ night out, outside. Barnard’s other obsession, aside from biking, is music, so she’ll end the day at Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, 801-581-4747, RedButteGarden.org) for a concert—perhaps the Fleet Foxes on July 22, which she already has a ticket for. But first, they need to make a stop at Whole Foods Market (544 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-924-9060) to pick up some picnic essentials like cheese, crackers, hummus and pita to pair with a bottle of malbec they'll procure on the way. (Austen Diamond)