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Home / Articles / Best Of / Best of Utah /  Best of Utah 2007 | Food & Drink Page 4
Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2007 | Food & Drink Page 4

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // June 11,2007 - BEST ANTICIPATION
Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops
If you want to give your expense account a good spanking, Spencer’s is the place to go. While it boosts some of the best steaks in town, Spencer’s service is even harder to beat. Take Stephen (the restaurant doesn’t give out waiters’ last names). His bovine knowledge is encyclopedic. He evokes an array of cooked meat with winding sentences that leave the listeners mopping up their drool. But more than just the pitch, it’s anticipation that counts. Order a gin & tonic with Bombay Sapphire, three ice cubes and a slice of lemon and each time you return to eat there, he’ll whisk your particular G&T to the table before you even think to ask. 255 S. West Temple, 238-4748,

Blue Plate Diner
In case the rusted bikes perpetually chained to the outside patio didn’t clue you in, this isn’t a jacket-required kind of establishment. But the diner delicacies—a mix of home-style classics and veggie-friendly additions—are a bargain. The breakfast-anytime omelets won’t set you back more than $8; a full-on meatloaf or chicken-fried steak dinner (including scrumptious garlic mashed potatoes) tops out at just over a 10-spot. It’s not just the vibe that’s retro—so is your bill. 2041 S. 2100 East, 463-1151
2. Café Rio
3. Beto’s

BEST DELI Readers’ Choice
Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli
Anyone wanting to make a go of it as a restaurateur should study all the things done well by Tony Caputo and do his or her damnedest to emulate him. Specializing in regional Italian and southern European cuisine, the deli has anchored the northwest corner of 300 South and 300 West since 1997, its open kitchen serving made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and pasta to teeming lunch crowds seven days a week. Mainly, it’s Tony Caputo’s passion for authenticity, quality and variety that earns him our reader’s love year after year. That, and the banana peppers that come with every order. 314 W. 300 South, 531-TONY,
2. Gandolfo’s
3. Granato’s

Ian Brandt, Vertical Diner
Nearly a decade after he introduced Salt Lake City to the joys of carrot butter, Sage’s Café owner Ian Brandt launched version 2.0 of his popular organic-foods restaurant. Vertical Diner maintains Brandt’s commitment to fresh, organic ingredients while offering not only vegan-friendly but wallet-friendly options. Located on an industrial strip near SLC Bicycle Collective, Vertical’s interior space is warm and inviting (although you might want to skip the leather jacket) with cozy booths and a free jukebox including album selections from James Brown to Guns N’ Roses. Nothing like a little “November Rain” to enhance diverse meat- and dairy-free breakfast and lunch menu items, served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week, including omelets, scrambles, veggie burgers, “chicken” strips, rice bowls with tofu and tempeh, fluffy biscuits—even milkshakes and fry sauce (Vegans have guilty pleasures, too). 2280 S. West Temple, 484-8378,

BEST INDIAN Readers’ Choice
Bombay House
You’d be well advised to phone ahead for reservations. You’d be well advised to skip lunch, too. The wait for starters and entrees may be a little on the long side—this is one of a select few Utah restaurants with an almost perpetual waiting list, so be patient—but the aroma suffusing Bombay House is so enticing, you’re willing to draw out the pleasure of anticipation—until you reach your limit and dive right in. As most diners have realized since its opening in 1993, few others excel in offering north Indian dishes that tantalize to such a maddening degree. So next time you’re here, expand your range by indulging in specials such as chicken tikka or vegetable briyani. Like an old friend you never tire of, every visit to Bombay House is a grand reintroduction. 2731 E. Parley’s Way, 581-0222; 463 North University Ave, Provo, 801-373-6677;
2. Himalayan Kitchen
3. Taste of Punjab

One World Café
People are still incredulous when they hear about One World Café, a local, nonprofit organic foods restaurant that operates on a pay-as-you-go policy, no menu and a living wage for workers who can also punch the clock in exchange for healthy meals. Owner/head chef Denise Cerreta founded the tiny café in 2003 to help people fill up without filling out—or turning the earth into one giant landfill. Cerreta recently took her concept nationwide with One World Everybody Eats, a program that teaches trailblazers in other cities how to establish their own community kitchens, reduce waste and encourage conscious consumption. Cerreta is currently working on a book to spread her message, but you can do your part by telling a friend. Who tells another. And so on. 41 S. 300 East, 519-2002,

BEST THAI Readers’ Choice
Thai Siam
In its quiet, understated manner, Thai Siam never seeks to impose or demand but rather gently guide you through a surprisingly lengthy 50-item menu. The service is at times almost self-effacing, but when it comes to the food, the confidence with which the spices are used seems like an orchestra erupting around you. Particular stand-outs are the curries, notably the gang panang and the pineapple curry, and the salads, including a beef salad with mint, Thai chili and lime juice that just keeps the music coming.1435 S. State, 474-3322,
2. Sawadee
3. Bangkok Thai

Avenues Bakery
New to town and want to learn your way around? Start eating at the Avenues Bakery and learn to associate breakfast food with neighborhoods. There’s the “Avenues” French toast, “Lindsay Gardens” eggs and avocado on rosemary bread, “Liberty Park” bacon and eggs, “Rose Park” huevos rancheros with black beans and “Sugarhouse” oatmeal. The weekend brunch menu also includes “Federal Heights” eggs Benedict and the “Marmalade Hill” wild salmon hash. There’s also a nod to Paris (a demi baguette and jam) and Portland (demi baguette, jam, granola and yogurt), but mainly it’s about our fair metropolis. Might we also suggest to the chef a future dish called the “Sandy” (crustless white bread rolled up into little soccer balls)? 481 E. South Temple, 746-5626

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Posted // March 13,2008 at 05:38 WOW, this is true! I really agree with CHris, on the comment above. I myself have been to both places more then a few times. I now only go to one, that being the Cedars Of Lebanon Restaurant. It is much much more traditional and its the real thing. Mazza sometimes has a line of people but, for what?? dry falafel that crumbles when you try and eat it???? Now im no cook but i believe that food contents are supposed to break down in your mouth. Not in your spoon or pita. Also i have noticed a lack in taste at mazza with a majority of their meals. I dont know how some of these critics wrote good things about the food from Mazza (I think they were tipped off, thats my personal belief) because its not at all close to what its supposed to be.


Posted // March 12,2008 at 21:15 Wow I REALYY CANT believe MAZZA Won!!! THis is just a place to go and get americanized food for a high cost!!! I strongly believe that THE CEDARS OF LEbanon is much better and the Realy FOOD!! Unlike Mazza Which serves their TRADITINAL FRECH FRIES!! YA WOW REAL Middle Eastern!! I believe that Mazza only took this award soley based on location and the fact that if you dont know middle eastern food, then how will you know if what your eating is traditional or just something served on a plate??? I guess i cant blame the READERS, because if they have never tried real Middle EATERN Cuisine!! But, if you really would liek a taste of the middle east i Strongl recommend THe Cedars Of Lebanon reastaurant!! 30 years of business seems like it would mean something huh? As opposed to a comment left about MAzza calling a it a FADE that has seen its days and is slowly fading in the distance! Sry readers but as you can tell i am really opposed to the Mazza being called middle eastern when Im from their!! i take offence to the food they offer, i dont want to be associated with it!


Posted // March 12,2008 at 21:09 Cedars of Lebonan is more traditonal! they should have won... Mazza’s is too americanized... blech.....


Posted // February 25,2008 at 18:07 We went there about a month ago, a group of buddies that is, and it was such an awesome experience. Soon as you walk in you see the epic gear on the walls. Then it was time to order food.. turned out to be the best wings any of us had ever had. Our advice, given through me, is to GO TO THE WING COOP! It’s a great bang for your buck and the service is great. nnGo check it out,nAddicted Wing Coop-ian


Posted // February 13,2008 at 14:23 I second the motion. Make it searchable. That would be great.