The Paris Bistro & Zinc bar
Eric DeBonis’ Paris Bistro & Zinc Bar delivers a little slice of Paris to the east side of Salt Lake City with its authentic Parisian charm and cuisine. This is the real deal, with French fare such as bouillabaisse, escargot, pissaladière, confit de canard, daube de boeuf, steak au poivre and so many other menu selections to delight even the staunchest Francophile. The wine list with its terrific array of French wines perfectly rounds out your Parisian getaway at The Paris. J’adore!
1500 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-5585, TheParis.net
2. La Caille
Best Wood-Fired Pita Pockets
Red Rock Brewing Co.
A burger served in a wood-fired pita pocket instead of a bun makes one feel healthy and hip. That pocket can also be the home for your veggie or barbecue-pork sandwich, or one of Red Rock’s grinders—spicy Italian sausages or meatballs, plus tomato sauce and Provolone cheese, all packed into a warm, crisp pocket. And if you really want to get warmed up, try Red Rock’s Drioma Russian Imperial Stout: a chocolatey, dark black ale that packs 10.1 percent alcohol by volume but goes down smooth. It’s beer and dessert.
Multiple locations, RedRockBrewing.com
Gabor Brothers Main Street Grill & Pizzeria
In a town smothered in franchise food, Gabor Brothers is a breath of fresh air for made-from-scratch Italian fare. Delicious pizzas, pastas (be sure to try the carbonara), calzones and sandwiches are Gabor Bros.’ strong suit, but tried-and-true Gabor aficionados return again and again for the airy, delectable breadsticks, which are justifiably renowned in Davis County. Housed in a converted auto-repair shop, Gabor Bros. is all too easy to miss, so look for the zombie mannequin out front.
197 N. Main, Layton, 801-544-4344, GaborBrothers.com
Sala Thai Kitchen
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside—this calamari is the bomb. Sala Thai’s deep-fried squid rings are served golden brown, with housemade sweet & sour dipping sauce on the side, and are so soft they practically dissolve in your mouth—no chewiness here. Let these luscious rings be the start of a great night at Sala Thai, a classy, no-kitsch restaurant with great service and even better food.
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-328-2499
Best Whiskey Brunch
A Bar Named Sue
A Bar Named Sue was already established as the go-to club on Highland Drive, with 50 whiskeys and more than 40 beers to choose from, as well as free pool, shuffle board, darts, video games and jukebox tunes all rocking the basement. Then, in late 2012, it got even better with new food menus—specifically the brunch, an instant clientele favorite featuring items like the Johnny Cash breakfast (two eggs atop potatoes covered in chili and cheese) and the Sue’s Benedict (bacon, avocado, tomatoes and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce). Now, you can spend morning to night at A Bar Named Sue—everybody wins.
3928 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-274-5578
Best Steaks With a Smile
Carvers Steaks & Seafood
The best steaks in the south Salt Lake Valley are to be found at Carvers, where cuts like the Kansas City strip and porterhouse are cooked to order, and to perfection, along with delicious seafood fare like coconut-crusted halibut and basil-mustard salmon—all sure to put a smile on your face. And speaking of smiles, Carvers supports Operation Smile by donating to help change children’s lives and helping to fund operations to fix cleft palates.
10720 Holiday Park Drive, Sandy, 801-572-5177, CarversUtah.com
Best Low-Point Beers
Higher alcohol content makes for a quicker buzz, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a better beer. Bohemian Brewery has been operating on this principle for 10 years, and its exquisite low-point beers are all the proof required. Bohemian’s Czech Pilsener, Viennese Lager, Cherny Bock and Bavarian Weir (as well as seasonals like the Keller Rye Lager, Munich Dark Lager and Dunkelweizen) are all brewed with ingredients from the ominous-sounding German Beer Purity Law, laid down by late founder Joe Petras: malted barley, hops, yeast and water only (with the occasional exception for summer wheat). The technicalities don’t matter; taste does.
94 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-566-5474, BohemianBrewery.com
Rio Grande Cafe
For more than 30 years—way before south-of-the-border fare was hip—family-owned Rio Grande Cafe has been dishing up good Mexican food next to the train tracks, in the former Rio Grande terminal. If you love trainspotting, grab a seat on the shaded Rio Grande Cafe patio and order up a Margarita and an enchilada, the latter of which has achieved cult-like status with Rio Grande lovers.
270 S. Rio Grande St. (455 South), Salt Lake City, 801-364-3302, RioGrandeCafeUT.com
Best Speedy Gourmet
If you are looking for a quick meal and want to stay away from the mundane, Blue Lemon is the perfect choice for on-the-go eats. When dining in groups, order anything off the starter menu (hint: the flatbread options are fan favorites) to kick off your gourmet meal. All entrees are under $15, which means you don’t have to break the bank to dine well.
Multiple locations, BlueLemon.com
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