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Summer Guide

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Salt Lakers customize their perfect Summer day.

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // June 8,2011 -

“To days of ease, and nights of pleasure.” Ever clinked your glass to that? To some on our staff, that little toast describes the perfect summer day.

In 2010, the City Weekly staff regaled readers with our individual itineraries for maximizing the scorch of a summer day and the black velvet of a summer night. This year, we're kinda over ourselves. We decided to ask the pillars of our community how they make the most of summer. If these folks can’t make it happen, who can? Luckily, we learned that with all the Wasatch Front offers, both indoors and out, the fact is: A perfect day can be any day you choose.

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Dial Up Summer
Courtney Blair, KRCL radio host
Courtney Blair is up early for a Saturday morning—8 a.m.—but she and her husband, Jeremy, want to get the best pick of the produce at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park (300 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, DowntownSLC.org/Farmers-Market) for their Sunday-evening dinner. After working up an appetite while making their way through the market, the two head to Gourmandise (250 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-328-3330, GourmandiseTheBakery.com) for a slice of quiche and a strawberry napoleon to go.

Blair goes home to prepare for her radio show, Afternoon Delight, from 1-4 p.m. on KRCL 90.9 FM (KRCL.org/Afternoon-Delight). Before heading into the studio, she stops at Chunga’s (180 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-953-1840) around 12:30 p.m. for al Pastor. After her show, she’s in the mood for some crate-digging, so she visits either Randy’s Records (157 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4413) or Graywhale (Multiple locations, FatFin.com) to pick up the latest releases.

She meets up with her pals Trista, Laurie, Diana and Ryan at 7:30 p.m. for dinner at Pipa: Asian Tapas & Sake Bar (118 N. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-326-3639). They order five of their favorite dishes: five-spice wings, aubergine stacks, grilled asparagus and the must-have XoX noodles. When their bellies are full, they hit up Bar X (155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287) for a few Moscow Mules. A perfect summer day isn’t complete without some live music, and The Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0057, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com) is the place to hear independent artists from all genres.

Of course, Blair needs a late-night snack to finish off the day, and some fries covered in country gravy at the Bayleaf Bar & Grub (159 S. Main, 801-359-8490, BayleafBarAndGrub.com) hit the spot. (Shelly Guillory)

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Word to Your Mommy Blogger
Heather Armstrong, Dooce.com
Utah’s weather is anything but predictable, even in June. So Heather Armstrong, the celebrated Dooce.com blogger, decided to explain what her perfect summer day in July will look like, because she’s almost certain she won’t wake up to a couple inches of snow. That day begins with breakfast on the patio at Blue Plate Diner (2041 S. 2100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-463-1151, TheBluePlateDiner.com) with her husband, John, and daughters Leta and Marlo. It’s one of the only places her oldest, Leta, will eat anything. Heather throws dieting rules out the window and orders biscuits with gravy because it brings back memories of growing up in Memphis, Tenn. They finish the meal with Blue Plate’s legendary malt shakes.

After breakfast, she and John take the kids to Liberty Park (600 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City) to splash around in the water feature. They might even have a picnic. After a morning of soaking up sun and breathing in fresh air, they head back home. Because the kids aren’t big nap-takers, they’ll have to take turns catching some shut-eye.

One quick call to the babysitter, and John and Heather are heading off to the Rio Grande Cafe (270 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, 801-364-3302) to sit on the porch and drink margaritas. But they save room for dinner at their favorite restaurant, Takashi (18 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-519-9595), where they order ceviche rolls and the TNT roll, which packs the heat and, Heather confirms, “is one of the hottest things on the planet.”

After dinner, even though the night is young, the two head back home because, Heather says, “We’re old and married.” (Shelly Guillory)

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A Living Room Snooze
Doug Fabrizio, KUER radio host

The perfect summer day for KUER RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio starts with not waking before the crack of dawn for work. The 10-years-running program’s curious interviewer takes the rare treat of sleeping in when he can. Once up, he reads the paper and sips a cup of joe before breakfast with the family. He fries up bacon and flips pancakes with his wife, Alice, and their kids. “There’s nothing better than that ... and it’s something I can only pull off on a Saturday,” he says.

Once everyone’s scarfed their meals, they head down the street to Tony Caputo’s Deli (1516 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-6615, CaputosDeli.com) to pick up picnic provisions—quality bread and cheese, Tartufo Creminelli salamis and truffle-like treats by Chocolatier Blue are on the shopping list. “I love living in a walkable neighborhood because we can also pop into 15th Street Gallery (1519 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1515, 15thStreetGallery.com) or grab a book at The King’s English Bookshop (1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9100, KingsEnglish.com),” Fabrizio says.

Then he loads everyone up, including Wally the dog, and they head for the hills. They’ll hike (picnic in tow) up above Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, RedButteGarden.org), to the Living Room—a favorite Shoreline Trail destination that has man-made rock chairs and benches. He likes the spot for its casual hike, topped with a stunning vista of downtown and the Salt Lake Valley.

“The perfect day would also include a nap,” Fabrizio says. “Some people have an aversion to them or even look down on them, but I love it.”

Afterward, Fabrizio would take his wife out for a date to The Copper Onion (111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3282, TheCopperOnion.com), where they’d sit at the communal table for the same reason he likes going to the Living Room. “I love the chance circumstance that you just don’t know who you’ll be sitting next to or who you might meet,” he says. The desire to connect and hear people’s stories, even on his downtime, obviously, makes him a perfect fit for his day job.

To end the evening, they’d stroll around East Broadway like they had nowhere in particular to be, eventually, though, walking back to Broadway Centre Cinemas (111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmSociety.org) to catch an artsy indie flick. (Austen Diamond)

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Downtown Diva
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)

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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)

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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)

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Conscientious Detector of Good Times
Rocky Anderson, High Road for Human Rights founder

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson’s perfect day would begin after a perfect night’s sleep—something that has eluded him for years. “I’ll start with what I’d do after I bound, energized, out of bed, shower and enjoy my morning dose of rock & roll (Led Zeppelin would be perfect).”

Perfection for Anderson would kick off reading an article in The New York Times about the war-crimes indictments of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo and every member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, all of whom, he claims, knew about torture and did nothing about it.

Energized by the welcomed news, he meets up with several friends and his son (visiting from New York because he missed his dad) on the Silver Fork Lodge deck (11332 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City 435-649-9551, SilverForkLodge.com) for breakfast, partaking in delicious vegan sausage.

After finishing his fourth prostate-cancer-preventing cup of coffee and some sourdough pancakes (the starter is over 50 years old!), he spots an attractive woman approaching with a check to provide a large permanent endowment for High Road for Human Rights (HighRoadForHumanRights.org), the nonprofit Anderson leads to halt worldwide human-rights abuses such as human trafficking, sex slavery, genocides, kidnapping and torture.

His group then drives to the Brighton parking lot (12601 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Brighton) and—with backpacks loaded with a fine pinot grigio, cheese, apples, French bread, sardines and a great novel—hikes to Lake Mary. “During stimulating lakeside conversation,” Anderson fantasizes, “I learn that minimum mandatory sentencing laws have been repealed, the Supreme Court has recognized that corporations are not persons after all, and Christians, Jews and Muslims have agreed their religions really do forbid killing.” Then, after enjoying some quiet time reading, they hike back to the bottom of the Brighton chair lift and drive for lunch outdoors at Faustina (454 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-746-4441, FaustinaSLC.com) or Wild Grape (481 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-746-5565, WildGrapeBistro.com).

Back home, on his quiet backyard deck, “I read a magazine—and discover that burning coal is now illegal and the war on drugs has been supplanted by a war on climate change,” he imagines.

“After a little cloud cover cools down the valley,” Anderson continues, “I run up City Creek Canyon to the two-mile sign (my best time ever) and then enjoy a magnificent high as I run back down the winding road. I then stop by Matrix (533 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-799-4999) for my semi-annual (not nearly often enough!) deep-tissue massage by Julietta.”

He drives home; takes a long, hot shower; dresses; fixes salad and bakes salmon; and welcomes several friends for a quick dinner before walking two blocks to an encore of the U2 concert at Rice-Eccles Stadium. After the best concert ever, “Several of us gather again at my home for good conversation and the sharing of camaraderie so essential for anything close to a perfect day.” (Jerre Wroble)

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Making the Scene
Utah Jazz’s Ronnie Price

When it comes to having a perfect summer day, Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Price follows the three Fs: family, food and fun.

“On a perfect summer day, I hang out with my family and my kids as much as I can,” Price says. “There’s so much to do in Utah.”

Price and his family always try to fit in a few short trips during the summer. “My brothers-in-law like to go boating … it’s always good to go with them. We go to East Canyon (5535 South Highway 66, Morgan, 801-829-6866) and Lake Powell (Kane County, 435-644-5033) every once in a while. Me and my wife travel down to St. George a lot and spend time there. I golf a lot.”

When he’s in town, Price spends time with his family—and there’s usually a meal involved. “I enjoy food. I’m not a picky eater; anything that’s around and available when I’m hungry I pretty much just take advantage of,” he says. “We have some family that lives in Cottonwood Heights, and we like to eat at Porcupine Pub & Grille (3698 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-942-5555, PorcupinePub.com). We get takeout from there all the time. My wife is a big fan of Café Rio (Multiple locations, CafeRio.com). She loves it. I enjoy it, but she enjoys it a lot.”

Price’s wife, Jenni, also leads the way when it comes to shopping. “I don’t really shop for myself at all—I don’t like buying anything for myself,” Price says. “But my wife likes to shop, so she has fun with it. We go to the Tanger Outlet (6699 N. Landmark Drive, Park City, 435-645-7078, TangerOutlet.com). I like the Polo outlet. I live in North Salt Lake, so The Gateway (18 N. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, 801-456-2000, ShopTheGateway.com) is the closest mall to us. ... I’ve been finding myself in the Apple store a lot lately.”

Just because it’s the off-season doesn’t mean Price can take a break from staying in shape. “I’m always working out in the summertime. There are a few people I work out with, including Xtraordinary Sports Performance (3003 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-953-1434, XtraordinarySportsPerformance.com) with Erick Land. It’s fun because it’s helping me get better.”

For Price, a perfect night on the town involves music. “When we have babysitters and just like to get out, we sometimes go to the piano bar Keys on Main (242 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3638, KeysOnMain.com). We’ve been to The Red Door (57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030, BehindTheRedDoor.com) a few times. I think the last concert we’ve been to together in Utah was probably Celine Dion. It was great. I’m all over the place with the type of music that I like to listen to, especially in concerts. I’m just a big fan of music. I love artists, and I love people who are good at what they do. (Rachel Piper)

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Garden Goddess
Sharon Anne Leopardi, B.U.G. Farms

It’s 8 a.m. on Saturday, and Sharon Anne Leopardi jumps on her bike and heads down to the Shiva Center (2065 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-485-5933, FlowYogaSLC.com) for a Kalari class—a powerful blend of yoga, martial arts and dance. She continues sweating it out with a morning hike dodging rattlesnakes along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail by the “H” rock (BonnevilleShorelineTrail.org). She then heads to Omar’s Rawtopia (2148 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-486-0332, OmarsRawtopia.com) for a tabbouleh salad and a chocolate gogi smoothie—much-needed fuel for the rest of her busy day.

After lunch, she’ll spend some time chilling with her chickens and pulling weeds in one of her eight backyard urban-garden farm plots (B.U.G. Farms, 1136 First Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-718-7478, BackyardUrbanGardens.com).

She goes home for a quick shower and change of clothes, and then meets up with a few friends around 8 p.m. for a tasty dinner at Forage (370 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-708-7834, ForageRestaurant.com), where she might even dine on some of the veggies she grew since she sells to the restaurant. There are plenty of concerts this summer, but Sharon and her friends make their way to The Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0557, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com) to knock back a few Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ales from Epic Brewery (825 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-906-0123, EpicBrewing.com) and take in the live tunes of David Williams. (Shelly Guillory)

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Pedal Power
Kyle Whittingham, University of Utah football head coach

Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham’s ultimate day involves fun in the sun, combining the outdoors with family time. “We’re a very active family,” he says. “We like to go on family bike rides and just exercise in general, whether we go down to the high-school track and go jogging or something of that nature.”

“It would start with getting on my road bike and going on a ride, maybe up to Little Cottonwood Canyon (9600 South Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake City),” he says. “After that, going boating at one of our lakes or reservoirs that are close by, Jordanelle (State Route 319, Heber City, 435-649-9540) or East Canyon (5535 South Highway 66, Morgan, 801-829-6866).” While his wife and kids might want to stop on the way for snacks at a gas station, the former linebacker says, “I’d just as soon pack a lunch and take it with me than stop and get something. I’m old-fashioned.”

Besides providing opportunity for relaxation and recreation, boating is “a great way to bring the family together,” Whittingham says. “You’re all sitting out there on a boat and there’s nowhere to go; you’ve got to visit with each other. That’s an activity that’s made us closer as a family.”

He acknowledges that Salt Lake City is “filled with great restaurants,” but his ideal post-boating dining destination is his own patio, for a family barbecue. “I’m really low maintenance; it doesn’t take much to please me.” After the barbecue, Whittingham might go to a movie, or hit the road again on his motorcycle. “That, to me, would be a fantastic day.”

Though much of the Whittingham family’s summer activities involve experiencing Utah’s outdoors, there’s one area of the state that he hasn’t yet explored. “I haven’t utilized southern Utah like I should,” he says. “I really want to go to Moab. That’s intrigued me for years. Maybe this is the summer that I’ll be able to break away and do that. You hear all the great things about Zion National Park (State Route 9, Springdale, 435-772-3256) and all that, but for whatever reason, I haven’t taken advantage of that.” (Rachel Piper)

Next // River Ride: The Jordan River Parkway’s wild, wonderful biking adventure.

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