Park City: Gourmet Gluttony by the Fire
By Rachel Piper
Just over the mountains from Salt Lake City is Park City, the perfect staycation location for locals. But since I don’t have money to burn, most of my budget usually goes toward lodging, leaving me with enough dough for maybe one dinner out. But if money, stomach size and hilly Main Street weren’t factors, I’d load a plate with Park City’s finest cuisine—and have it airlifted back to the lodge to enjoy as I sit near the fire, wearing a knitted sweater and watching the snow fall outside.
I’d prime for my meal with a tasting flight of High West Distillery (703 Park Ave., 435-649-8300, HighWest.com) whiskeys. In my dream scenario, liquor laws don’t apply since I’m having them back at the lodge, so I’d have four of their .5-ounce samplers, neat, in front of me. (Dining alone in real life, I’d be allowed only two at a time.)
After I’m glowing and warm inside, I’ll dive into a plate of shrimp ceviche from El Chubasco (1890 Bonanza Drive, 435-645-9114, ElChubascoMexicanGrill.com)—a relatively light and healthy start to a meal, with lots of chunks of shrimp, plus onions, peppers, mango and onions. It’s perfectly sweet and spicy for piling onto El Chubasco’s warm, crispy tortilla chips.
One can never have too many snacky appetizers in front of the fire, so I’d follow that up with the mujadarah from Reef’s Restaurant (710 Main, 435-658-0323, ReefsRestaurant.com)—a warm, comforting melange of rice, lentils, caramelized onions, cumin and Saigon cinnamon.
Now that my stomach has fully expanded, I’ll take on the 12-ounce Prime rib from Grub Steak Restaurant (2093 Sidewinder Drive, 435-649-8060, GrubSteakRestaurant.com). There’s no meal more befitting of an Old West town than a juicy cut of beef, especially when it’s been slow-roasted for 18 hours.
And to keep my heart happy, I’d have some asparagus from Talisker on Main (515 Main, 435-658-5479, TaliskerOnMain.com) on the side—simple yet exquisite, served with lemon juice and olive oil. And though I’m not sure how well it pairs with steak, the jalapeño cream ale from Wasatch Brewpub (250 Main, 435-649-0900, WasatchBeers.com) is one of my favorites—crisp and spicy, but with a smooth finish.
Dessert is really what I’ve been looking forward to. Since choosing the entire dessert bar at Deer Valley’s Seafood Buffet is probably cheating, I’ll focus on Chimayo’s (368 Main, 435-649-6222, ChimayoRestaurant.com) chocolate tres leches cake—a moist, spongy cake with a mocha kick.
And since I always crave a little something extra a few hours after a meal, and I plan to be up reading by the fire for a while, I’ll tuck away the gourmet s’mores from the Escala Provisions Company (3551 N. Escala Court, 435-940-1234, EscalaLodge.Hyatt.com), in the Park City Hyatt—graham crackers, marshmallow and top-quality chocolate, blowtorched till toasty in a mess-free Mason jar.
Creamy Goodness in Every Course
By Eric S. Peterson
This culinary jaunt begins at the amazing Black Sheep Cafe (19 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-607-2485, Facebook.com/BlackSheepCafe), home to authentic Navajo/fusion cuisine. The ideal appetizer here—and perhaps in all Utah County—is the exquisite green-chile stew, made from fire-roasted peppers, braised veggies, slow-cooked pork and roasted sweet-corn pico de gallo. It even comes with a tasty slice of frybread for sopping up the chile goodness.
For another fancy starter, head on over to Communal (102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000), where long tables make for a unique shared dining experience. Of course, just because you may meet strangers at your table doesn’t mean you have to share anything with them, especially not Communal’s fancy take on mac & cheese. This sumptuous side features English peas and Tasso ham.
For the main course, trek north up the road a bit to Orem and to the miraculous Mexican menu at Milagros (970 W. 800 North, Orem, 801-655-1555, MilagrosUtah.com). True, this is a very Americanized menu, but it does not disappoint, especially Barry’s pollo fundido, which is a well-seasoned chicken breast wrapped in a tortilla, baked and then doused in creamy fundido sauce: a mix of cream cheese, Monterey Jack, sour cream, cheddar, peppers and spices. It’s chicken gift-wrapped in awesome and smothered in yes!
For dessert, ramble back down to Provo and make your way to the BYU Creamery (Multiple locations, BYU.edu/Creamery), the paragon of ice cream excellence in a county that prides itself on having more ice cream parlors than bars by a hefty margin. The creameries use local ingredients in their numerous flavors, which range from the traditional—mint brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough—to more unique combos, like banana fudge, strawberry sundae crunch or the popular German chocolate crunch, which comes with delicious nuggets of chocolate brownie swirled inside. Ice cream serving sizes range from 8-ounce cups—perfect for sharing on a date night—to 3-gallon buckets, perfect for taking home for a sweatpants & self-loathing night.
Logan: Familiar Flavors & New Sensations
By Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
When putting together a perfect meal in Logan, one of the surprises is that brands that are popular along the Wasatch Front, like Caffe Ibis coffee and Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread, actually have their home bases in the Cache Valley.
For an appetizer, stop by Crumb Brothers Café (291 S. 300 West, 435-792-6063, CrumbBrothers.com) and grab a slice of one of the 15 different breads baked there—soon to be more, as Crumb Brothers is ceasing its distribution to the Salt Lake Valley to concentrate on creating more kinds of bread. Unique options include Polenta Jack, featuring Monterey Jack cheese rolled in polenta dough, and Decker five-seed, with the quintet in the name being sunflower, flax, poppy, sesame and pumpkin. The cafe offers plenty of options for what to put on the bread or dip it in, including the interesting local flavor of sweet Slide Ridge (475 E. 250 South, Mendon, 435-752-4956, SlideRidge.com) honey-wine vinegar. By the way, if you want to separate those two tastes, Slide Ridge also sells raw honey, and the Slide Ridge Winery released its first vintage in 2012.
For the soup/salad course, swing by Cafe Sabor (600 W. Center St., 435-752-8088, CafeSabor.com) in the historic train depot for a Mexican take on a traditional combination as roasted-tomato soup meets up with a grilled-cheese quesadilla.