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Home / Articles / Best Of / Best of Utah /  Best of Utah 2006 | Eat: Food & Drink
Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2006 | Eat: Food & Drink

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // April 6,2006 - BEST CEVICHE COCKTAIL
Takashi

Need a pick-me-up? Try Takashi’s ceviche cocktail. Served in a martini glass, the imaginative dish packs bits of fresh salmon, flounder, octopus, tai, avocado and cilantro topped with a mixture of Thai chiles, lemon juice and garlic. While you’re at it, order a round of ridiculously fresh sushi including the Alta roll filled with real crab! For the brave of heart, head chef/owner Takashi Gibo will slice up a live scallop and deliver immediate gratification to your palate.
18 W. Market St., 519-9595

BEST CHINESE ON THE HUMBLE
Little World Chinese Restaurant

Once upon a time, until the 1950s, Salt Lake City had a Chinatown in Plumb Alley, located near 200 South and Regent Street. Around 1,800 Chinese lived there, operating laundries, restaurants and specialty shops. The alley was torn down to make way for … a parking garage, naturally. Nowadays, it is still possible to find tiny snippets of authentic Chinatown cuisine. Little World on State Street is a place like that. This funky, no-thrills diner features both familiar dishes and more daring chef specialties with “strange” and “unfamiliar” ingredients. The outstanding cuisine is fresh, flavorful and served at prices the truly humble can afford.
1356 S. State, 467-5213

BEST APPETIZERS
The Bayou   

While nachos and onion rings pair well with a bottle of Bud, they’re dull complements to a nice pint of oatmeal stout or golden ale. Which is why The Bayou offers a selection of appetizers as varied as its expansive beer selection. Favorite meal starters include the multicolored sweet potato fries, Southwest artichoke cheese dip, chipotle hummus, crispy ravioli and alligator cheesecake—sausage baked in a cracker, pecan crust served with roasted red pepper coulis. With food like this, who needs party mix?
645 S. State, 961-8400
2. Martine
3. Porcupine Pub & Grille

BEST ECLECTIC DINER SIGHTINGS
Em’s

Frumpiness is not encouraged at this little Capitol Hill bistro. Take a stroll by the big picture windows of the renovated brick storefront and glance inside. The hair, the attire, the eyeglasses, the shoes all scream “We’re in Salt Lake, but we’re not of it!” Diners linger and let food come when it will. Wooden floors and modern art on the walls radiate an eclectic, urban feel. Go ahead, order some tasty chops or crepes, sit here, converse and make the scene. But leave those mullets, sweatpants and Polo shirts at home.
271 N. Center, 596-0566

BEST DINING TRADITION
Kyoto Japanese Restaurant

Osamu “Tadasan” and Yoshiko Tada’s Kyoto is an institution in Salt Lake City. Tadasan began cooking at Mikado, working there 18 years. He and his wife moved to California to run their own restaurant, but Tadasan found he missed the snow of Utah. The couple returned to open Kyoto in 1984. Husband and wife continue to direct the show, with Tadasan in the kitchen preparing heaping plates of tempura and teriyaki while Yoshiko Tado ensures everyone is delighted with their meals. Special touches abound: Traditional flower arrangements greet diners at the entrance and servers wear kimonos. The Tadas bring in sushi chefs from Japan, assisting with their visas and living arrangements. And Tadason does the landscaping around the restaurant, intricately shaping every plant and bush.
1080 E. 1300 South, 487-3525

BEST MEXICAN
Red Iguana  

The Cardenas dynasty lives on. With the passing of her mother and brother, Lucy Cardenas came to Utah two years ago to carry on a four-decade run of second-to-none Mexican food. Trading on the family’s stockpile of distinctive mole recipes, Red Iguana would have to start serving Chalupas to fall from its lofty perch. And if you ever wondered why God found swine fit for this earth, just try the carnitas.
736 W. North Temple, 322-1489
2. Cafe Rio
3. La Frontera

BEST BREW PUB
Squatters Pub Brewery   

There are lots of places you could take a group of friends, a business lunch or a first date. Then there’s Squatters, a food and drink establishment so trusted and amiable, it renders most arguments obsolete. A Salt Lake City institution from the year it opened its doors in 1989, few places slake your thirst and satisfy your appetite with such consummate flair. Put a glass of Squatters’ Full Suspension Pale Ale in your hand, matched with a tasty brewpub entrée from chef Eric Bell’s healthful menu selection, and you’d be a glutton to ask for more.
147 W. 300 South, 363-2739
2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
3. Desert Edge Brewery

BEST RESTAURANT KARMA
One World Cafe

One World Cafe is priceless. Literally. There are no prices on the menu. For that matter, there’s no menu, either. Patrons of Denise Cerreta’s One World Cafe dine on the honor system. Customers choose from a buffet assortment of freshly made breads, salads, soups, main dishes and desserts—as little or as much as they please—and then pay what they think the meal was worth, or however much they can afford. This social experiment in trust and doing business outside the box has been a startling success, and not in small part because the food served at One World Cafe is so tasty and wholesome. Plus, the place just oozes good karma. One World, one love.
41 S. 300 East, 519-2002

BEST ENGLISH CHIPS
Virg’s Fish & Chips

Originally set up 39 years ago by an English couple Forrest and Virginia, Virg’s offers what is undoubtedly the authentic English fish and chips experience in Salt Lake City. Much of the credit goes to them importing their own Icelandic cod. It’s a much meatier fish than the mushier western version favored by the competition. When they started, the batter was made with German beer, but locals were skittish so they changed to milk. Regulars say Virg’s, along with Grove Market with its enormous sandwiches, are the only two places downtown they’d drive for an hour to have lunch.
3150 S. State, 485-5981

BEST FOREIGN BBQ
Argentine Corner

 It’s a little on the small side and not easy to find, but this restaurant in Clearfield offers on Fridays and Saturdays classic Argentine parrilla (barbecue), with sausages and several mouthwatering cuts of meat along with salad or potatoes. There’s also empanadas (savory pies with wonderfully crumbly pastry), 10 for $10, and a wide-ranging variety of bakery delicacies, including Argentine croissants and biscuits. Breaded veal and noquis—pasta balls made from potato or flour—round off the pitch-perfect menu for the Mormon pining for his missionary days in Argentina, an Argentine ex-pat or a tango afficionado who wants to try out Buenos Aires-style cuisine.
442 N. Main, Clearfield, 801-773-9909

BEST INDIAN
Bombay House  

Mega-chain restaurants exempted, one of the best ways to gauge the quality of an eating establishment is waiting time required before you secure a table. Bombay House is just such an in-demand restaurant, and City Weekly readers agree that the average 20- to 30-minute wait time is a mere pittance in exchange for a piping-hot vindaloo, yummy pashwari naan and a frosty Indian beer to wash it all down. Bombay House may have changed addresses from its old dining room on Foothill Drive, but they took every last legendary menu item with them just a little further up the road at …
2731 Parleys Way, 581-0222
2. Himalayan Kitchen
3. Royal India

BEST KEEP-IT-ALL-IN-THE-FAMILY FAMILY BUSINESS
Nielsen’s Frozen Custard

Old Man Nielsen started this premium ice-cream business back in 1981, and yet you’d swear from a visit to Highland Drive, it dated back to the ’50s. It seems so innocent and simple, little more than a white-walled shack. All four of his boys and their wives work in the Bountiful-headquartered company. The eldest grandson, at 7, is probably a little young to rope in.
3918 Highland Drive, 277-7479

BEST BARGAIN BRUNCH
The Orbit Cafe

Located near The Gateway, the historic Orbit building originally housed a brothel in 1907. In the ’20s, it became a coffee shop in Salt Lake’s Greek Town. A renovation in 2000 restored many historic features as well as adding quirky features like illuminated marbles in the walls and hip lighting fixtures. The ambiance hints that some serious change might be needed to eat here yet weekend brunch is surprisingly easy on the wallet. From eggs Benedict at $8 to a Spanish omelet at $7 to pancakes or a home-style breakfast at $4, it is possible to eat like a king and have something left for a latte or a specialty drink.
540 W. 200 South, 322-3808

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN
Mazza    

It was the place for good, sit-down Middle Eastern food on paper plates when it first opened at 15th & 15th years ago. Now it’s the place for good, sit-down Middle Eastern food in a more formal setting. With tempting new additions over the years the likes of Maghmoor, Musakhan and chicken and potatoes Mutabbak, perhaps “sit-down” isn’t the right word. Better to ruminate over each of the dishes’ unique blend of spices, savor their hearty textures or sing the praises of how each item is lovingly made to order. And do it all with a glass from Mazza’s recently added list of Middle Eastern wines. Now if they could just make the place larger to cut down on the wait time.
1515 S. 1500 East, 484-9259
2. Café Med
3. Cedars of Lebanon

BEST NON-MEDITERRANEAN USE OF OREGANO
Hapa Grill

If you believe that the Greeks and Italians have a lock on the oregano business, think again. At Hapa Grill Chef Tosh serves up an out-of-this-world fresh Atlantic grilled salmon bathed in a killer oregano-miso sauce. Atlantic salmon never had it so good! Oh, to be a filet perched right next to Tosh’s wonderful wasabi mashed potatoes.
1571 W. Redstone Center Drive, Park City, 435-575-HAPA

Best Paisano of Broadway
John “Mr. Z” Zaccheo

Most art-house film lovers know the cozy Italian bistro next door to the Broadway Centre. In warm weather, the patio at Mr. Z’s Cucina Italiana’s brims with loquacious diners savoring platters of pasta and clinking glasses of wine. In winter, couples, friends and families congregate at intimate candlelit tables behind plate glass windows. While the home-style Italian specialties merit praise, it is the owner John Zaccheo this award recognizes. A second-generation Italian-American in his late 70s, Mr. Z, by all rights, should be retired and playing golf. Yet he remains an active presence at the restaurant, ensuring the dining experience remains true to his vision. In a world of Italian food chains and corporate franchises, Mr. Z is a Salt Lake original and old-school restaurateur, making dining out and a stroll down Broadway a special occasion.
111 E. 300 South, 994-2002

BEST SPLURGE
Metropolitan

Forget the price tag for a moment and put it all in perspective. Where else in this city are you going to get Utah elk prepared just the way you like it, with a semi-fredo dessert to follow? Besides, don’t you only live once? Sometimes a fine meal can add years to your life if, that is, the pleasure is as fine as this. From the moment you walk in the door, to the minute your meal arrives, and up until the very last bite or sip of wine, you know you’re in the hands of professionals when you take a seat at the Metropolitan. For those who know food, the menu alone speaks for itself, as does this establishment’s Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Did we already mention that you only live once?
173 W. 300 South, 364-3472
2. The Melting Pot
3. Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops

BEST VEGAS RESTAURANT IN UTAH
Ghidotti’s

At Vegas’ celebrity chef-studded culinary Taj Mahals, we’re used to seeing 20-feet ceilings, marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and infinite attention to food and service detail. Here, not so much. But with its no-holds-barred opulence, Ghidotti’s Italian restaurant in Kimball Junction would be right at home at The Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Wynn’s, Caesar’s or The Venetian. The main difference? Prices. You don’t have to win big at baccarat to eat big at Ghidotti’s.
6030 N. Market St., Redstone Village, Park City, 435-658-0669

BEST FILL-YOU-UP VEGGIE PLATTER
Café Med

On a health kick? On a budget? Need to quash a mighty hunger? Here’s your remedy. Café Med looks like a fast-food restaurant from the outside, but its lack of “curb appeal” may explain why you can afford to eat here and see a movie afterwards. Celebrating the cuisines of Greece, Italy and Turkey, Café Med offers unswervingly tasty Mediterranean food at modest prices. The veggie platter is perhaps the pinnacle of good living featuring baba ghanoush, hummus, falafel, dolmas, basmati rice with sautéed veggies, Greek salad and tabouli for a mere $9.95. Live long and prosper.
420 E. 3300, 493-0100

BEST DELI
Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli  

Putting the “It” in Italian for going on a decade, proprietor Tony Caputo’s copious tastes of the Old Country fill serious Mediterranean chefs’ pantries, and have serious foodies lined up out the doors during lunch most days of the week. More recently, however, Caputo committed to putting the “Gr” back in Greek. Like he’s done with Italian foodstuffs, Caputo wants to be Utah’s premier provider of authentic Greek fare, receiving his first big shipment earlier this year. City Weekly President and reputed Greek John “the Don” Saltas should delight in the haul of Cretan Graviera cheese, Dodoni Feta that makes a mockery of so many imitations, estate-produced olive oil and more than a dozen varieties of brine-cured olives.
314 W. 300 South, 531-TONY
2. Frank Granato Importing Co.
3. Gandolfo’s New York Deli

BEST FINGER FOOD
Earl’s Lounge at Snowbasin

At first, it’s the opulence of Earl’s (as in “Holding”) Lounge that gets you. But once you’ve acclimated to Snowbasin’s posh eatery looking like a four-star restaurant, it’s the menu that’ll suck you in for good. Executive chef Elio Scanu’s Finger Food menu at Earl’s Lounge is a far cry from nachos and chicken wings. Naw, let’s go instead with a brie and emmenthaler fondue served with caramelized onions and rustic artisan bread. The Liquid Mexican Caprese—a whole roasted tomato stuffed with tomato salsa and creamy mozzarella-cheddar cheese isn’t too finger friendly, but that’s all right—you’ll want to stick your whole face into it anyway. And say “hey” to Chef Scanu’s yummy Thai-style chicken sautee. Now that’s finger food.
Snowbasin Resort, 801-620-1000

BEST ITALIAN
Lug?no  

If your idea of Italian is a heaping red plate of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread eaten by the light of a candle set in a wicker-wrapped Chianti bottle, then you’re in for a treat—somewhere else. Lug?no is a great restaurant first and Italian second. Chef Greg Neville’s unique creations, at once simple and elegant, have given Utah one of its standout restaurants. Instead of spaghetti and meatballs, try spaghetti with cabbage, pancetta and cauliflower. Based on “rustic” Italian cooking, Lug?no is Italian how grandmother really used to make it—if she had large amounts of extra cash to spend on ingredients and Chef Neville in the kitchen.
3364 S. 2300 East, 412-9994
2. Caffé Molise
3. Michelangelo Ristorante

BEST COFFEE HOUSE
The Coffee Garden      

They say you can’t go home again. They also say that home is where the heart is, which renders the first statement null. Especially where the Coffee Garden is concerned. Alan Hebertson’s café, of which there are two locations, maintains a solid base of regulars whose loyalty extends beyond organic coffee, teas, pastries, pastas and quiche. Customers and employees enjoy relationships that are more than routine business transactions. The person behind the counter isn’t just a barista—he or she is a friend. So while the old 9th and 9th corner store is no more, a new one is about to open right across the street in April 2006. In the meantime, the dispossessed  console themselves at the Sam Weller’s Bookstore location.
254 S. Main, 328-2586
2. Salt Lake Roasting Co.
3. Beans & Brews

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH
Market Street Grill  

Nothing says you’re money like forking out $20 for a dozen oysters imported from Canada or Alaska before tucking into some of the freshest seafood in town or a nice juicy steak. Something about Market Street’s atmosphere in a turn-of-the-century building on a narrow downtown street of the same name makes “doing lunch” feel a little more sophisticated. And a great wine list helps get the contract signed as well. At Market Street, you can close your eyes and pretend you’re in New York—but you have to keep your eyes closed.
48 W. Market St., 322-4668
2. The New Yorker
3. Lamb’s Grill Café

BEST GREEN BREAD
Crumb Brothers

As local purveyors and restaurants like Liberty Heights Fresh, Caputo’s, The Store, Siegfried’s, Fresco, Log Haven, Boulevard and Martine already know, Logan’s Crumb Brothers Bakery produces highly sought-after artisan breads. Some folks, such as City Weekly’s distribution manager Larry Carter, live and die by the bakery’s lemon scones. But what Crumb Brothers bread boosters might not know is that the bakery is green. Not literally painted green, but environmentally green. Aside from its water-friendly Xeriscape surrounding the bakery, solar walls and panels reduce the need for electricity and the heating/cooling system is geo exchange-based. It took, er … bread to outfit the Logan bakery but that’s all right—its environment impact is little more than a handful of crumbs.
291 S. 300 West, Logan, 435-792-6063 (available at Liberty Heights Fresh)

BEST ROMANTIC
Log Haven  

On any given night, Log Haven is filled with couples celebrating anniversaries. If it were anywhere else, it would be hard to go and pretend that you’re not trying too hard. But Log Haven’s location four miles up Mill Creek Canyon on the forest’s edge combined  with the cool canyon air, the pines and the 1920s log-mansion-turned-restaurant can’t help but melt the most cynical hearts by the time the valet takes the car. Even when the waiter brings the too-elegant appetizer that you fumble with, it brings you closer as a couple.
6451 E. Mill Creek Canyon Road, 272-8255
2. The Melting Pot
3. Tuscany

BEST STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
Arshels

Nestled in the heart of Beaver, Arshels is a local institution, having been started back in the ’30s by current owner and cook Del Hollingshead’s parents as a little hot-dog stand and gas station. Del laments the passing of a time when you could hire help to make home-cut french fries, but he’s battling away seven days a week to keep the chicken-fried steaks and other classics coming. His desserts, though, are the marvel of this establishment: coconut-cream pie, peanut butter and chocolate cake and, best of all, the syrupy delights of his strawberry and rhubarb pie.
711 N. Main, Beaver, 435-438-2977

BEST SPORTS BAR
Iggy’s Sports Grill  

True, they begin with a slight voter-recognition advantage of having five locations, including the new Union Heights address. But you don’t grow to five locations unless you have something to offer. Iggy’s continues to be a terrific destination for sports fans eager to take in events on big screens or just anyone with an appetite for tasty pub food. While you’re there, check out Iggy’s very own house microbrews, including the Crimson Ale for enthusiasts of that university on the hill.
Multiple locations,    IggysSportsGrill.com
2. Lumpy’s
3. SkyBox Sports Grille

BEST SUPER-SIZE-ME SCONE
Chick’s Cafe

One of the few pride-and-joys of Utah cuisine found in various diners outside Salt Lake City is the less-than-noble scone. Those available at Chick’s Cafe in Heber, though, are in a category all their own. After a chicken-fried steak, an attempt to share a scone with a partner proved impossible. It was so dense with fat, so heavy, the waistband of our jeans quaked just at the sight of it. Ask the waitress the number of calories they have, she defers to the cook, who mumbles, “A lot.”
154 S. Main, Heber, 435-654-1771

BEST SOUTH VALLEY RESTAURANT
Tiburon         

No more “Wow, you can actually find decent food in Sandy” damning with faint praise. The south valley continues to grow, and Tiburon remains a dazzling dining destination. Sophisticated without seeming intimidating, this wonderful little spot offers comfy indoor or seasonal patio seating and live music on selected nights. But it’s co-owner/chef Ken Rose’s food creations that really keep the faithful coming back, whether it’s the delectable elk or a variety of creative salads. Suburbanites, you can do your part to cut down your driving without sacrificing a quality restaurant experience.
8260 S. 700 East, Sandy, 255-1200
2. Bohemian Brewery & Grill
3. Porcupine Pub & Grille

BEST PARK CITY MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD
Reef’s Kitchen

Israel’s loss was Park City’s gain when Tali Yoked and husband Asi Yoked opened up this new restaurant at Kimball Junction. The inside is warm and inviting. The food is even more so, with the Yoked’s unique recipes waiting to tempt. This is Middle Eastern fusion, with influences from all over the region, including Lebanese, Syrian and Moroccan flavors. And because this is Israeli food, you can expect a few European touches as well.
1612 Ute Blvd., Kimball Junction, Park City, 435-658-0323

BEST AGEDASHI TOFU
Ahh Sushi

While sushi, classic and trendy, is the main event at Ahh Sushi, don’t deny yourself a steaming bowl of Agedashi tofu to get you started on your meal. An old and revered dish, Agedashi tofu is made from firm tofu cut into cubes, lightly dusted with cornstarch and then deep-fried until golden brown. It is then served in a hot tempura-style broth and topped with green onions. At $5.95 for a small bowl or $7.95 for a large, Ahh Sushi’s rendition of this dish will put a smile on your face.
22 E. 100 South, 596-8600

BEST VIETNAMESE
Cafe Trang    

The patrons just keep coming—probably because they’re afraid they’ll die before being able to sample every wonderful offering on the massive menu. For cryin’ out loud, they have more different kinds of noodles on the menu than most restaurants have entrees. Cafe Trang offers a little something for everyone—a lot of Vietnamese, a little bit of Chinese, plenty of great vegetarian options and even some fondue. The amazing thing is that, year after year, they manage to do all of it so well.
Multiple locations,     CafeTrangUtah.com
2. La Cai Noodle House
3. East West Connection

BEST DOWNTOWN/CENTRAL RESTAURANT
Caff? Molise  

“If you want home cookin’, stay home.” But when you’re craving fresh, homemade Italian salads, entrees, pastas and desserts—cuisine typical of Molise, Italy, how do you stay home for it? Short of traveling to old Italia, you must at least venture downtown to Caff? Molise for dishes like chicken roulades, beef or pork tenderloin, or gnocchi with tomato cream sauce. When it’s warm outside, the restaurant expands to a patio that’s actually a tiny city park, complete with a fountain. Inside, interior walls feature local artists while live jazz is a Friday-night tradition. Still want to stay home?
55 W. 100 South, 364-8833
2. Market Street Broiler
3. Mikado

BEST BACON PUN
Hog Wilde

For the obsessive, getting good quality bacon requires a degree of patient searching through delis. But Hog Wilde, a 10-year-old company, has the answer with its precooked smoked and pepper-seasoned bacon slices. They come in batches of eight slices separated with paper, and they last for months in the fridge. Toss them in the microwave, zap them for a minute, slap a kitchen towel on top to soak up the grease, and you’ve got highly serviceable bacon to serve with your scrambled eggs on a Sunday morning. While not a retail establishment, they accept phone orders.
916-4645

BEST BRIT FIX
The British Pantry

Want to hear plum Brit accents rhapsodizing over memories of home? Wander bemused through this little shop while the English wax-lyrical about such things from their childhood as sherbet-filled lemon candies, pickled onions, butt-kicking mustards, bitter-orange marmalades, sickly sweet treacle, and that most bizarre fundamental of the English palate, Marmite, a toxic-seeming, yeast-based black sludge you spread on toast. Go sparingly on the Marmite though. It’s liable to repeat on you for hours.
652 S. West Temple, 532-6802

BEST WEST VALLEY RESTAURANT
Q4U            

Go West, young man (and woman) … for the best place to eat ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and catfish. Sides like coleslaw, yams and beans taste homemade. Opened in 1997 by “T” Brown and his wife Becci, this unpretentious West Valley joint can be tricky to find at first, but when your lips meet up with pit master T’s saucy and hickory-smoked BBQ, you will feel you’ve found your new home. Seeing the charismatic Mr. T in action is worth the trip in itself.
4655 S. 4800 West, West Valley City,%u202F955-8858
2. Coppercreek Pub & Grub
3. El Habanero

BEST WINE & WOMEN
Panache Wine Bar

Finally, a wine bar with the wisdom to pair its wine with … women, going so far as to host a Ladies Group on Tuesday nights from 5-7 p.m. It takes a woman, Panache owner Shauna Engen, to dream up the idea and another woman, wine and beverage director Vicki Martinez, to select the flight of wines. But it also takes a man, international wine judge Jon Engen, to teach women about wines, and another man, master butler Boris Roberts, to present international etiquette. By class end, the sisters are well versed in wine and manners, and are doin’ it for themselves.
Wells Fargo Building, 299 S. Main, 535-4310

BEST SANDWICHES MOM WOULD MAKE
Cher’s Deli

Remember when Mom packed your lunch? Or maybe it was Grandma? You know: white bread, iceberg lettuce, pickles, a thick swipe of mayo, American cheese and liverwurst. Ick, you say? OK, how about egg salad, tuna salad, turkey, ham, salami? That’s what you get at Cher’s Deli: A freshly assembled sandwich for around $2! No pretensions of grilled panini or rosemary focaccia. Just simple fare including salads, soup and a variety of rices (curry, teriyaki or ham-fried). There’s even some sushi—you know, the kind Mom used to make, or maybe your grandma.
219 E. 300 South, 531-8121

BEST CHINESE
Mandarin

A Chinese restaurant owned by Greeks and located in Bountiful, the best in Utah? Seems incongruous, but there’s hardly a night when a crowd isn’t waiting at the Mandarin for its classic Chinese dishes prepared by nationally known chefs. Since 1978, the restaurant’s Mandarin and Szechuan dishes have consistently hit the mark. Prompt service and the striking Asian decor get high marks, too. If night after night of packed houses is any indication of the best, then Mandarin earns the nod, hands down.
348 E. 900 North, Bountiful, 298-2406
2. Sampan
3. Little World

BEST BRAN MUFFIN
The Art of Baking

Many bran muffins taste almost too healthy, laden with coarsely ground bran and brown molasses. The combo of bran and molasses can be hard to digest. But Art of Baking owners Jason and Tawnia Lindsay have taken the humble bran muffin and made it a work of art: it both looks and tastes good. It’s moist and has a smooth texture. They won’t divulge the ingredients, which are from an old family recipe, but suffice to say, here’s the bran muffin that beats the stuffin’ out of the rest.
147 S. Main, 746-2488

BEST TO TAKE THE KIDS
The Old Spaghetti  Factory         

By now, it’s a tradition: You’ll take your kids there because you remember how much fun it was when your parents took you there. We’re not sure whether it’s more accurate to describe the décor as “neo-Victorian” or “your crazy aunt’s attic,” but it predates TGI Friday’s by at least a decade and is easier on the eyes—while still providing the requisite sensory overload for the kids. While you’re waiting for a table, your kids can plonk your spare change into the weird Rube Goldberg device out front—then you can sit in a train car or under a funky fringe lamp for your reasonably priced carb load.
189%u202FTrolley%u202FSquare, 521-0424
2. The Mayan
3. Blue Plate Diner

BEST WAY TO BRIDGE THE RELIGIOUS DIVIDE
Spotted Dog Creamery

Salt Lakers may have trouble dealing with alcohol and tobacco, but ice cream consumption is still legal at any age and unregulated as of press time. Spotted Dog made the scene in the past few years with its all-natural gourmet ice creams made in small batches with 15 percent butterfat. No artificial coloring, the ice cream is made fresh with seasonal fruits using exotic and original flavors such as Almond Joy, Banana Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Marshmallow, Cookies & Cream, Dulce De Leche, Espresso, Green Tea, Maple Walnut, Tequila Raisin.
2980 S. State, 485-7768

BEST NEW RESTAURANT
The Painted Table

Most new restaurants require a burn-in period before they’re worth going to. But this one hit the ground running. With excellent food and attentive yet unobtrusive service, it’s hard to believe the Painted Table has been around less than a year. Using fresh, local ingredients, chef Nelson Swett creates the kind of fare you don’t usually expect to find in a bucolic college town. Sure, Logan’s a couple hours away from Salt Lake City, but once you make the journey, you’ll want to make it again and again.
132 N. Main, Logan, 435-755-6811
2. Hapa Grill
3. The Butterfly

BEST JAPANESE     
Mikado   

Despite recent trends favoring sushi, Japanese restaurants still serve more than raw fish. In fact, some of their best dishes are actually cooked to temperatures that are sure to please customers who still think California rolls are a bit dicey. Hot plate favorites include miso and sake marinated sea bass, vegetable tempura udon, gyoza, Hiroshima wings and Asian Fries—mashed ginger potatoes wrapped in flour skins and served with mango sauce.
67 W. 100 South, 328-0929
2. Kyoto
3. Takashi

BEST ALLA NASTARI
Buona Vita on Park

Anyone can make pasta. Not everyone can make the sauce. These folks have the “gravy” down: Garlic in a light cream and tomato sauce, thick with chicken and wild mushrooms, poured over penne pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese. This pi?ce de résistance can be ordered at the inviting Italian eatery across the street from the Kimball Art Gallery at surprisingly reasonable prices. And the focaccia served with oil and vinegar is scrumptious.
628 Park Ave., Park City, 435-658-0999

BEST PINEAPPLE-FILLED-CHOCOLATE-RUM BIRTHDAY CAKE
Glaus French Pastry Shoppe

For more than half a century, the Beau Brummel Bakery took the cake when it came to making diabolically unique birthday cakes. Glaus French Pastry Shoppe continues where Beau Brummel left off, operating in the same location, under the fashionable top hat and cane of the Beau Brummel marquee, serving a wide array of bakery treats, including fruit tarts and éclairs. Few cakes rank as high on the delicious-meter as the pineapple-filled-chocolate-rum birthday cake. Consider ordering this spirited concoction for all birthdays that end in zeros, and maybe the odd numbers in between.
3100 Highland Drive, 486-5908

BEST EAST VALLEY RESTAURANT
Citris Grill

When Citris Grill opened a couple of years ago, City Weekly foodie Ted Scheffler was happy to report that it “appeals to me in a way that very few restaurants do … My favorite eating establishments aren’t based on smoke and mirrors. I prefer the simplicity of good food prepared in a straightforward manner, sold at fair prices. It’s the opposite of food and ambiance that hides behind multiple layers of illusion. Perhaps that’s one reason that I find Citris Grill so thrilling. It’s my kind of restaurant: simple, transparent, honest and economical.” Excuse the rerun, but we’ve yet to find a better summation of the Citris Grill.
2991 E. 3300 South, 466-1202; 219 E. 12300 South, Draper, 572-0012
2. Lugano
3. Go Sushi

BEST THAI
Thai Siam  

It’s undoubtedly the best Thai food in town but, more impressively, Thai Siam’s exotic menu is priced for paupers. Take the $6.95 lunch special, for instance. You can select two well-portioned entrées, served with rice and a spring roll. Pair the staff-recommended Moo Yang—marinated pork, grilled and served with Thai sweet sauce, green onions and cilantro—with the Tom Kha Gai, a creamy coconut soup with chicken, and an aromatic mix of kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce, lemon grass, galangal, mushrooms, green onions and cilantro. To boot, Thai Siam offers a full vegetarian menu.
1435 S. State, 474-3322
2. Bangkok Thai
3. Thaifoon

BEST SPEEDY LUNCH
The Original: A Sandwich Joint

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to engorge 30 rowdy Highland High School students in time for the final lunch bell. And so it is that The Original accepts this challenge each weekday—and succeeds. That despite also feeding a platoon of Westminster College students, and scores of professionals looking to beat the boss back to the office. For $6 and some change, try a Ski Bum Club, The Original’s famous 16-ounce sub—that’s a pound for you, math whizzes.
1751 S. 1100 East, 483-2971
2. Big City Soup
3. Curry in a Hurry

BEST COCKTAILS
The Red Door

Sweet or salty, shaken or stirred, Red Door martinis pack a potent punch. Generous portions create the sense, accurate or not, that you’ve vacated the land of 3.2. Once sufficiently sauced, it’s easy to forget that the room is two sizes too small, or that your outfit might not qualify as “dress code” appropriate. Which is fine, because while Red Door might be fancy, its employees are anything but snobbish. As the giant, looming portrait of Che Guevara suggests, we’re all equal while drinking expensive vodka.
57 W 200 South, 363-6030
2. Kristauf’s
3. The Oyster Bar (Cottonwood)

BEST VIETNAMESE NOODLE SALAD
Cindy Lee Cafe

Located across from the Gallivan Center TRAX station, this Chinese-Vietnamese cafe has undergone a remarkable transformation: new owners, a new menu and a new name in 2005. Featuring an assortment of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes at reasonable prices, it’s hard to walk away unsatisfied. Cindy Lee’s noodle salads, in particular, offer a healthy lunch or dinner choice and exude the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Served with vermicelli noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, carrots and cucumbers, the salad can be topped with broiled pork, fried spring rolls, or lemongrass with either shrimp, chicken, beef or bean curd. Good … and good for ya.
264 S. Main, 359-4544

BEST SECRET ENGLISH TOFFEE
Garden Gate Chocolates

Few newcomers know about this little candy shop that’s been around since the ’40s in the 9th & 9th shopping area (next door to Mutual Beauty Supply). In its heyday, it sold ice cream, nuts and candies. Time has passed, and the owners decided to slow down and smell the roses and, in effect, closed up shop. But their loyal customers inspired them to come back during the holidays from November through Christmas to offer the best English toffee in the city. Don’t miss out this Christmas: Look for the “open” sign come November and get some toffee with your coffee.
938 E. 900 South

BEST NAAN
Himalayan Kitchen

Naan is a tear-drop shaped bread, baked in a clay oven. The Himalyan Kitchen’s naan is the perfect complement to its Tandoori specialties as well as the delectable curries, kurmas, saags and masalas on its menu. There’s a Himalyan special naan which is stuffed with minced chicken tikka and homemade cheese. There’s onion-stuffed naan. There’s sweet naan stuffed with raisins and nuts. There’s garlic and cheese naan and there’s a cheese-filled naan. There’s a keema naan stuffed with minced lamb. While man does not live by bread alone, it may be possible to get by on naan.
73 E. 400 South, 328-2077

BEST GYROS
Greek Souvlaki  

With restaurants located downtown, in Murray and in West Valley, Greek Souvlaki’s gyros remain our readers’ favorite. And while we appreciate the stylish remodel at the downtown location, most of us know that with gyros, it’s the meat that really matters. What’s a tablecloth got to do with spiced slices of rotisserie lamb and beef, wrapped in pita with red onions and tomatoes, topped with your choice of tomato-based red sauce or yogurt-based cucumber sauce?
Multiple locations
2. Yanni’s Greek Express
3. Mad Greek

BEST INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY
Java Jo’s

How do they do it at this drive-thru coffee shop? Some patrons confess to having been away for three months, yet when they pull up to the window, the baristas still remember their drinks. The staff at Java Jo’s is always chipper and cute, even when it’s cold and dark outside. Plus, they offer seasonal beverages like gingerbread lattes. During summer months, motorists enjoy the view of a beautiful flower garden while waiting for their orders.
401 First Ave., 532-2899; 900 E. 4670 South, Murray, 759-9308

BEST SCONES
Sill’s Cafe

Just off Interstate 15 in Layton lies a busy little breakfast diner whose seats are in hot demand by hungry patrons, their mouths watering for the restaurant’s famous plate-size golden scones, dripping with butter and honey. This is also the place to engage some old-timers sitting at the counter about the price of hay and the livestock business. But you’ll notice the old-timers are eating oatmeal and you’re eating a big greasy scone. Hint: If you want to grow old and yak about livestock, careful with those deep-fried scones.
281 S. Main, Layton, 544-7438

BEST LOCAL BEER
Squatters Pub Brewery

They’ve gone and done it again. This makes Squatters’s fourth year in a row as Utah’s King of Beers. As if the gift of gullet-tickling suds wasn’t enough, Squatters is also a do-good corporate citizen, donating 5 cents to No More Homeless Pets for every returned bottle cap, buying renewable energy and post-consumer recycled products, and supporting bio-diesel fuel initiatives. So, be a conscientious drinker.
147 W. Broadway, 363-2739
2. Wasatch
3. Red Rock Brewing Co.

BEST CHEESECAKE ON A STICK
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Among the many decadent delights found on Park City’s Main Street, surely none matches buying a slice of stick-mounted, chocolate-coated cheesecake and munching your way through it while wandering through Dolly’s Book Store (the two are connected by a door) and perusing books. Amid all the sweet-tooth tempting goodies at the factory, the cheesecake-on-a-stick adds the right touch of self-indulgence to the quest for that perfect paperback to cuddle up with.
510 Main, Park City, 435-649-0997

BEST TAMALES
Rico Mexican Market       

For a few months after one denizen moved into a new neighborhood, every week or so, an elderly Hispanic woman would make her rounds, selling steaming-hot tamales door-to-door. At a buck apiece, they were a bargain, and he stocked up. It took a couple of weeks to notice when the old saleswoman stopped coming around. But curiosity about what happened to her was replaced by a fierce hankering for those homemade tamales. On a whim, he picked up a five-pack of Rico tamales in the frozen section at the local grocer. Two minutes in the microwave, and they were nearly as good as the traveling tamale lady’s. So he decided to drop by Rico headquarters to sample a fresh batch, and perfecto.
779 S. 500 East, 533-9923
2. Red Iguana
3. Lone Star Taqueria

BEST LIVERWURST SANDWICH
Siegfried’s Delicatessen

It’s the creaminess that separates the men from the boys as far as liverwurst goes. Despite the at times marble-crunching Germanic delivery of some food servers at Siegfried’s, once you’ve negotiated your way past the till and sat down at a table, you bite into your sandwich, and it’s tongue-melting ecstasy. For dessert, there’s an array of dark chocolates. Not for the calorie-challenged.
20 W. 200 South, 355-3891

BEST VEGETARIAN
Sage’s Café  

What’s not to love about a restaurant named after the chef’s little boy? What’s not to love about Sage’s especially if, or even if you are not, a vegetarian? Regardless of what you’ve heard about vegetarian food in the past, with dishes like this, being green is easy. After more than five years of serving some of the best vegetarian meals found under any roof, even vegetarians across state lines are starting to take notice. All the while, Salt Lake’s vego-contingent celebrated Sage’s legendary Sunday brunches, reveled in the restaurant’s newly resurrected Pizza Night, and waited in anticipation for Sage’s Gourmet Raw Cuisine specials every last Friday of the month. Now open Mondays and Tuesdays, too. Go ahead. Eat some greens!
473 E. 300 South, 322-3790
2. Evergreen House
3. Long Life Veggie House

BEST MEALS FOR CHEAPSKATES
Downtown Dine O’Round

Are you a frustrated foodie? Well, hang on til September when for two weeks, 40 downtown Salt Lake City restaurants will offer three-course meals for either $15 or $25 per person (beverage, tax and tip are additional). Last year’s participants included Avenues Bakery & Bistro, Baci Trattoria, Bambara, Benihana, Biaggi’s, Buca di Beppo, Cafe Pierpont, Caffe Molise, Cannella’s, Cedars of Lebanon, The Dodo, Faustina, Garden Cafe, The Garden Restaurant, High Rock Steakhouse, Ichiban, Lamb’s Grill Cafe, LemonGrass, Martine, McGrath’s Fish House, Melting Pot, Metropolitan, Mikado Downtown, Market Street Grill, Market Street Oyster Bar, New Yorker, Oasis Cafe, Orbit Cafe, Panache Wine Bar, Piastra, Red Rock Brewing Co., Sage’s Cafe, Samba Grill, Sky Box Sports Grill, Squatters Pub Brewery, Takashi, Thaifoon, Vienna Bistro, Xiao Li and Z’Tejas. So many restaurants, so little time.
Sept. 14-30, 2006; 333-1102

BEST PARK CITY LUNCH
Windy Ridge

Soups, gourmet salads, wraps and sandwiches: humble, simple fare that fills you up. In Park City, we call it “trendy comfort food.” And that’s what you’ll get here. But first you have to find the joint as it’s not on Main Street. But we like that because the food comes at “off-Main” prices and there’s lots of convenient parking. Choose from a dozen sandwiches, including a flame-grilled hamburger on focaccia or meatballs and cheese on a hoagie bun. There’s also mac and cheese, fried chicken and quiches. Or order to go and choose items from the deli case including an array of mouth-watering desserts.
1250 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, 435-647-2906

BEST BREAKFAST
Blue Plate Diner

Breakfast demands respect. The Blue Plate Diner is happy to regard this most regal of meals in just such a fashion. Along with all the usual suspects—omelets, pancakes, gourmet coffee drinks, french toast, etc.—the diner throws in genuinely special specials that few other restaurants can match. We’d tell you what they are (again), but would rather the uninitiated finally check it out for themselves.
2041 S. 2100 East, 463-1151
2. Ruth’s Diner
3. Over the Counter Cafe

BEST ON THE CHEAP
Blue Plate Diner

Sure, the grub is good—but why do you really think it’s usually so crowded? It’s the economy, stupid.
2041 S. 2100 East, 463-1151
2. Beto’s
3. Cafe Rio

BEST CALZONES
The Pie Pizzeria

Or should we say … Best Zappi, The Pie’s version of a calzone, which tends to be the neat-freaks’ pizza of choice. With a Zappi, you get all the basic ingredients of a pizza, but bundled into a no-mess mass of pizza dough. At The Pie, you get a choice of three standard versions, all hearty and heat-seekingly savory: cheese, vegetarian or meat. The meat version features the likes of Genoa salami and Canadian bacon. Toss in half a buck for ricotta cheese, and you’ve got a meal fit for anyone tired of the same old phone-in pizza order. Habit is such a killjoy, you might as well break it with The Pie’s Zappi.
Multiple locations, ThePie.com
2. Big Apple Pizzeria
3. Rusted Sun Pizzeria

BEST KNIVES AT YOUR BACK
Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops

If you’re a regular at this private club, whaddya get for your trouble? A knife at your back with your name on it. That’s right, the bar staff votes for deserving patrons, and winners get their names etched on a big steak knife cemented to a plaque and hung on the wall where patrons like to sit. With all these blades on display, you’d think a knife fight would break out now and then. Luckily, the love of drink and cigars supercedes all else at this swanky steakhouse, and the knives hold fast to the wall.
255 S. West Temple, 238-4748

BEST BBQ
SugarHouse Barbeque Co.  

Dry-rubbed. Slow-smoked. Savannah smoked. Caribbean jerked. Fruitwood smoked. Tennessee Tangos. Carolina pulled. So many active verbs in one menu sure do work up an appetite, and for years running, the SugarHouse Barbeque Co. has the loyal clientele to prove that few other establishments mix a sauce and slab it on ribs, pork, chicken or turkey quite the same way. Be sure to locate the toothpicks before starting or bring your own dental floss.
2207 S. 700 East, 463-4800
2. Q4U
3. Pat’s BBQ

BEST CHEESY BAGELS
Rich’s Bagels

Rich’s Bagels created their signature “asiago cheese” bagel, which has a light and airy texture and is so popular it’s shipped worldwide: One customer reportedly spent $100 to have a dozen shipped overseas. Rich’s asiago bagel is so cheesily flavorful, it’s tasty even without adding cream cheese. There’s nary a freezer on the premises—Rich’s dough is prepared fresh on premises one day and baked the next.
6191 Highland Drive, 277-7137; 8691 Highland Drive, 947-0890

BEST BEER-SOAKED WEENIES
Try-Angles

Take a crock-pot, fill it with draft beer and add hot dogs. It’s unclear whether or not the beer actually adds anything to the standard flavor of ordinary frankfurters, but it’s still fun to say “beer-soaked weenies.” Try-Angles owner Gene Gieber offers this nitrate-rich treat Saturday-Monday as a boon for his customers—and, with a little mustard, they make a surprisingly good hangover treatment. A local gay-club tradition since the days of the Deer Hunter!
251 W. 900 South, 364-3203

BEST RIBS
SugarHouse Barbeque Co.

Just think. If everyone put their teeth to the bone more often we might have a little more peace and quiet in the world. That’s because, if you haven’t noticed before, restaurants serving ribs are second only to public libraries when it comes to quiet in a public place; the slow savory chewing demands it. And The SugarHouse Barbeque Co.’s signature Memphis-style ribs are a great way to silence any argument you’ve got with a friend, spouse or relative. Or opt for a slab of dry-rubbed baby back ribs instead. Don’t like bones to pick? Their boneless spare rib or Tennessee Tangos—rib ends rubbed smoked and cut into bite-size pieces—will do nicely.
2207 S. 700 East, 463-4800
2. Q4U
3. Pat’s BBQ

BEST BLOODY MARY
Market Street Grill

For those hair-of-the-dog days, the bartenders at Market Street Grill gotcha covered with the Grill’s signature drink: canned tomato juice and vodka over ice with hints of Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, peppers and garlic. Perched on the rim of your glass is a pink plump prawn dusted in a secret Cajun seasoning. Whether you are hungover or sober as a judge, the sight of prawns ready to dive into your drink is startling. Sip and chew on one while waiting for Sunday brunch to be served.
48 W. Market St., 322-4668

BEST STEAKS
Spencer’s For Steaks & Chops   

Long before cholesterol counts and foods ranked by antioxidant qualities there was, believe it or not, a time when the steakhouse reigned supreme. Debonair diners thought nothing about tucking into a tender, USDA prime filet mignon with Burgundy mushrooms, washed down with a single-malt Scotch, and followed by puffs from an upscale cigar. For those who revel in this kind of atmosphere, there’s Spencer’s, as plush a steakhouse as any carnivore-minded consumer could possibly wish for with its dark-wood, aristocratic atmosphere. Let the rest of the world eat their sorry little radish, or tofu, as it were.
255 S. West Temple, 328-2000
2. The Steak Pit
3. The New Yorker

BEST NEW JOE TO GO
Raw Bean Coffee House & Drive Thru

Rush-hour commuters everywhere have one more reason to rejoice. Now open for business is a new drive-thru and coffee house in a sublime location (600 South and West Temple) providing both a killer cup on the fly and a fine relaxing atmosphere to chill. So, slow down and kick up your feet for a few cups post 9-to-5. Or on the other hand, simply take the pleasure of pushing snooze just one more time knowing that Raw Bean’s ?ber-convenient location can shave a couple of minutes from your drive.
611 S. West Temple

BEST SUSHI
The Happy Sumo

Given the fact that, these days, fine sushi restaurants are as numerous as oil change drive-thrus, reaching the top of this category is no small achievement. In most cases, and as long as you’ve got high quality cuts of raw fish, sushi is sushi. Much depends, then, on what you do with it, how you do it, and where it’s done. In this case, we’re talking about The Happy Sumo’s mind-boggling array of delicious rolls, and delectable extras you’ll find nowhere else in the valley. Maybe it’s the “sumo sauce,” or the chefs’ artful use of cucumbers, lime, chicken breast or half a dozen other ingredients most establishments never bother with. Even if raw fish isn’t your thing—in which case you can order from an array of cooked entrees—the stylish atmosphere makes you feel you’re deep in the heart of Tokyo on a rainy evening.
153 S. Rio Grande St., The Gateway, 456-7866
2. Takashi
3. Ichiban

BEST BURGERS
Crown Burger

Everyone knows about the importance to Utah culture of the Crown Burger’s signature pastrami-topped burger as well as the important, if unproven, health effects of ingesting at least one on a semi-annual basis. What is easy to overlook is that at Crown Burger, the pastrami isn’t the only thing going. There is a burger for every day of the week for those on the all-burger diet, each charbroiled to perfection on Crown’s open flames. The bacon cheeseburger is particularly good. You say you don’t think you can do a whole Crown Burger two days in a row? Well, how about fitting in the Junior Crown, the same pastrami burger at half the size. Come on, there’s always room for meat.
Multiple locations and owners
2. The Cotton Bottom
3. The Training Table

BEST FRENCH FRIES
Crown Burger

A good french fry shouldn’t have to explain itself. Crown Burger’s are just plain good. Not greasy. Not limp. Not fancy, theme fries. Just fries that go with a burger and are a perfect medium for soaking up Crown Burger’s fry sauce. Like everything else at Crown Burger, it’s the attention to quality that makes the fries winners in this category for the umpteenth year. Crown Burger’s owners won’t serve you a fry they wouldn’t eat themselves.
Multiple locations and owners
2. The Bayou
3. The Training Table

BEST SANDWICHES
Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli  

Let your mouth water at the counters of Caputo’s market where imported salami, cured hams and cheeses invite. Then go next door and have them put all that goodness in a sandwich. You haven’t tasted an Italian sub until you’ve had one made by Italians with imported Italian ingredients. You haven’t had a bologna sandwich until you’ve tried mortadella. Sandwiches range from the basic mozzarella and tomato or meatball to The Caputo—a sandwich with layers of prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provolone—and The Soprano made from imported southern Italian cheese and roasted pepper spread.
308 W. 300 South, 531-TONY
2. Gandalfo’s New York Deli
3. Moochie’s Meatballs & More

BEST MAKE-YOUR-OWN BURGERS
Wild Oats’ bison meat

There’s little fat in bison meat so they don’t leave the greasy aftertaste that most burgers coat your throat with. With the right recipe—mix the bison mince with a little cream, finely chopped onion, and seasoning—the end result, whether on the griddle or on the grill, soars. Top it with a little shredded cabbage mixed with mayonnaise, mustard and finely chopped dill pickles and you’ve got a dinner for kings.
Multiple locations, WildOats.com

BEST SALADS
CaffÉ MolisE  

If your idea of a good salad involves iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing, it might be time to expand your horizons. Caffé Molise is a great place to start. The downtown Italian restaurant offers a wide range of healthy greens with tantalizing ingredients including grilled gulf shrimp, imported feta, fresh spinach, pine nuts, mixed-olives, artichoke hearts, fruit salsa and more. Enjoy one as a meal or pair it with one of many sinful pasta dishes.
55 W. 200 South, 364-8833
2. Desert Edge Brewery
3. Porcupine Pub & Grill

BEST INDIE BUTCHER
Snider’S Bros. Meats

One of the few remaining butchers in town, owner Will Wilson named the 13-year-old business after his grandfather, who taught him the trade and handed down the superb marinade recipes they use on some beef, chicken and pork cuts. The place has a family feel to it. Sales assistants and customers swap recipes over the counter. Roll out your grill, pick up some bacon-wrapped turkey kabobs and Santa Maria tri-tip and let the perfume of cooking beef salt the air.
6245 Highland Drive, 272-6469

BEST SOUPS
Soup Kitchen

Take a trip down memory lane at the Soup Kitchen. The quaint Sugar House location has the feel of an elementary school cafeteria, right down to the plastic trays on which customers heap piles of breadsticks to slurp up chili, cream of tomato, clam chowder, cheese broccoli, chicken noodle, split pea and vegetable beef soups. They also serve simple sandwiches like the ones your parents used to seal in little Ziplock baggies. If you’re looking for comfort, this is the place.
Multiple locations
2. Big City Soup
3. The Painted Table

BEST LOOSE LEAVES
The Tea Grotto

Coffee is so last decade; all the hip kids are steeping. The Tea Grotto is a great spot for aromatherapy, relaxation sessions and other alternative goodies, but where it’s really at is with the leaves—more than 100 different loose-leaf teas available for purchase. Buy to go, or sit down for a hot pot in the tearoom. No tea-sing—it’s the place to put together your tea party, mad or mellow.
2030 S. 900 East, 466-8255

BEST SEAFOOD
Market Street  Broiler   

Want to know what it’s like to live on the East Coast? Hit up Market Street Broiler, Salt Lake City’s tried and true purveyor of fresh seafood. While many local sushi restaurants offer grade-A sashimi, Market Street is a favorite among Utahns for quality clam chowder, Alaskan halibut, gulf prawns and lobster good enough for New England guests who want a taste of back home.
260 S. 1300 East, 583-8808
2. Market Street Oyster Bar
3. Mikado

BEST GRILLED CHEESE VARIETY SHOW
Citris Grill

Now with two locations, Citris Grill is hell-bent on taking its innovative grilled cheese combinations to the masses. Each and every day of the week boasts a new variation on this much-beloved sandwich. If you think you’ve tried them all, think again. Citris serves unexpectedly tasty concoctions such as brie and pear; goat cheese with honey and apple; camembert with pineapple-jalapeño jelly; fresh mozzarella with sun dried tomato vinaigrette, fresh tomatoes, basil and spring mix; and a deadly Irish porter cheddar paired with priceless heirloom tomatoes.
2991 E. 3300 South, 466-1202; 219 E. 123000 South, Draper, 572-0012

BEST MORMON MULTICULTURAL CUISINE GUIDE
Essential Mormon Celebrations by Julie Badger Jensen

We all know the stereotypes of “Mormon cuisine”—green Jell-O and funeral potatoes, ha ha. Julie Badger Jensen addressed those recipes in her first book Essential Mormon Cookbook, but this publication supplements her American staples with international flavor. Appropriately enough for a religion that travels throughout the world, there are Tex-Mex recipes, a little Asian flair, even an Irish dinner for St. Paddy’s day. Welcome to the world of global (home) economics.

BEST PLACE TO DO A BOWL
Great Grains Cereal Bar

Cereal—it’s not just for breakfast anymore. And it’s not just for eating in your home anymore, thanks to this Sugar House spot. Dispensers of cold cereal options line one wall; hot cereals simmer in the back. Pick a bowl and throw in a scoop of your favorite, or try one of the suggested combo “recipes” like the Fruit Fanatic. Top with your favorite fruits, nuts or flavored milk, grab a coffee or juice drink, and dig in just like you did back in the day in front of Saturday morning cartoons.
2148 S. Highland Drive, 485-6300

BEST EPILEPTIC POOCH REMEDY
Arctic Circle Doggie Cones

Peep this. Me and mine are driving thru for brown toppers at the Arctic Circle when a tattooed lady asks if our kids want cones, too. “Kids?” we ask, darting blank stares. There in the back seat are the girls, Zoe and Maggie, but they’re dogs, not kids. “What the hell, give ’em some.” They lapped it up like nobody’s business. So later we Google the health implications of dogs and ice cream, and it turns out the stuff does wonders for epileptic dogs. We check back with Arctic Circle and, to our surpise, learn that free doggie cones come standard issue at Arctic Circle.
Multiple locations    ArcticCircleRest.com

BEST FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Community Food Co-op

Think about it—everybody eats. So why not join forces with a few hundred fellow omnivores and help take the pang out of grocery bills and empty bellies alike? Advocates for the poor, disabled and minorities at Crossroads Urban Center organized the Community Food Co-op in January. All are welcome to sign up, but the buying power achieved benefits the poor most. Once a month, 600 members and counting place orders for retail-quality food essentials, which are then bought wholesale for up to a 50 percent discount. Members must also volunteer two hours per month, at the co-op or elsewhere, which is small potatoes for this bunch.
347 S. 400 East, 364-7765

BEST TACOS
Lone Star Taqueria    

We all know that the best tacos come from places with character. Like, say, a battered station wagon out front that looks like it’s smashing through the fence. That fin sticking out of the top of the aforementioned station wagon at Lone Star Taqueria might just be a reminder as you’re heading to the drive-thru that you should try the legendary fish tacos. But their soft corn tortillas wrap just as delectably around marinated pork, steak, shredded beef and chicken, and there’s even a vegetarian option. It’s local flavor both for the eye and for the tongue.
2265 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale,     944-2300
2. State Street vendors
3. Red Iguana

BEST DAILY SPECIALS
Lam
 
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