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Home / Articles / Food / Food & Drink /  Black Widow Cafe
Food & Drink

Black Widow Cafe

Misses at new Sugar House eatery

By Lexie Levitt
Posted // January 24,2012 -

From the beginning of my visit to Black Widow Cafe, I sensed a disconnect between what the establishment imagines itself to be and what it actually is. Everything about the interior says casual corner deli. The building is quaint and sunny, with several small tables lined up in rows, cafeteria style. I’m vegan, so when I heard that they had a crunchy vegan tofu dish, I was pleased and thought I would try it. I was dismayed, however, to find that the dish cost a whopping $14. Maybe I’m cheap, but I don’t like to pay that much for lunch. And when I do, I expect the cost to include exceptional ambiance and service—which was not the case at Black Widow.

So I instead decided to opt for the John’s Veg Head sandwich ($8). My dining companion ordered the stuffed peppers ($12), which came with her choice of meat. She ordered the ground beef, so she was surprised when she found out that the meat in her peppers was not ground beef, but steak, which made them difficult to eat. When we asked the server about this, he replied that they “sometimes use the steak tips instead of ground beef on Mondays.”

My dish was somewhat disappointing, as well, as about 60 percent of my plate was taken up with a huge mound of french fries, which dwarfed my sandwich. The roasted-tomato compote gave my sandwich a delicious flavor, and I would have preferred a larger sandwich and far fewer fries.

To be fair, they didn’t charge us for the stuffed peppers, which made our combined meals very inexpensive—about as inexpensive as I would expect to pay at a place like the Black Widow Cafe.

837 E. 2100 South

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Post a comment
Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:25

Dallas, your criticism of the very idea of a vegan food critic in a publication that is not strictly vegan oriented, to me, is specious. With an increasing number of vegetarians and vegans--especially here in SLC--alternative news sources naturally, but also mainstream news sources, will occasionally throw them a bone but I do think the food media world will begin shifting in that direction. The vegans I know are huge foodies and restaurant regulars. For me, I like to know about restaurants that don't market themselves as vegan friendly that nevertheless are accomodating.  In my experience non-vegan food writers and critics pay almost no attention to vegan options, so I'm really glad to hear food reviews from a vegan critic.  Your thesis just seems, well, totalitarian. 

If a food review by a vegan doesn't interest you, then skip it--the same way i do most reviews written by non-vegans.  But you I don't take to the comment board and complain simply because a particular food review may not contain the information I'm looking for.


Posted // February 2,2012 at 09:31 - Jesse - they have TWO options for Vegans - obviously vegans are not high on their priorities. Have you ever heard of supply and demand? Of course their vegan dishes are more expensive, it doesn't look like they are bowing down and making you their focus as you think they should. Every time a vegan talks about food, they get on this self-righteous ego-stroking high-horse which is repulsive to people who aren't vegan. For this reason alone, City Weekly should get someone with more credibility to write their reviews, or categorize them. I, for one, now put nearly no credibility in any of City Weekly's reviews, when this is what we get. If City Weekly only wants to have a vegan audience, I guess they are achieving this.


Posted // February 2,2012 at 09:19 - Then this review belongs in the "Vegan reviews of regular restaurants for fellow vegans" section of City Weekly. If I ate nothing but meat and McDonalds and reviewed a vegan-centric restaurant, how much weight would you put into my opinion? Exactly. It does a huge disservice to our local community small businesses to have amateur and unqualified reviewers writing the reviews on them.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:49 - A- Why am I taking the opinion of their friend? Are they a food critic? My neighbor's neice might recommend something but that doesn't mean I'm going to take her opinion. I read reviews because I want an educated critique. B- I wouldn't trust any critic that only tried 2 items on the menu. The majority of restaurant reviews cover a majority of what's on their menu. C- I'm mad because I trust City Weekly and feel let down. There aren't too many publications around here that I like. If they seem like they're losing their integrity, I'm going to say something.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:42 - Dallas, you're not addressing my point. This restaurant does have TWO vegan items on the menu, one costing $14 the other $8. That's no side salad. Plus, another menu item was reviewed by a friendly meat eater. I don't understand your anger at all.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:37 - Ya know, you could go to a steak house and write up a review about their side salads and get it published, but that wouldn't be fair. And neither is this review.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:35 - Dallas, by the sounds of it, this restaurant DOES cater to vegans--they seem to have at least two natively vegan options on their menu, infinitely more options than the average restaurant (since the average restaurant doesn't even have one item that is vegan without alterations). I just don't think your argument holds water; you're like a kid who's pissed that it's some other kid's birthday and not his own.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:33 - I'll add that I, too, would have wanted the $14 tofu, but would have balked at the price, and probably gone with the $8 veg sandwich--so that part of the review is perfect for me.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 14:33 - Jesse: I'm mad because it's unfair to the restaurant. Putting a review (and a bad one at that) in a respected publication that doesn't cater to the clientel the critic is aiming for is unfair. It's as simple as that. I read all the reviews that are published in city weekly, if i didn't want to read all their reviews I'd go to another publication for suggestions. And I was really excited to see what they'd say about black widow, I just hope they give them another shot with a different critic.


Posted // February 1,2012 at 13:01

I appreciate this article, as a vegan with many vegan and vegetarian friends, I now know not to visit this restaurant. I appreciate the heads up from the writer/reviewer. Thanks, I will spend my money at restaurants that do a better job of offering delicious and affordable dishes to everyone!


Posted // January 29,2012 at 10:54

Not to beat a dead horse, but was the paper's editorial staff on vacation this week? Did anyone read this before it was published? It's not just the content, but the writing here is atrocious. Are you guys hiring junior high school interns to handle restaurant reviews now? 


Posted // January 28,2012 at 22:40

This review is beyond ridiculous! Are you kidding me? I absolutely love this restaurant. Staff is great food is phenomenal...  Reviewer is misinformed and while everyone is entitled to an opinion... When it's this off, you should just keep your mouth shut.   Empty wagons rattle the loudest


Posted // January 27,2012 at 10:59

I feel sorry for the animals who lived lives of misery just to soothe your appetite.  



Posted // January 27,2012 at 11:49 - HAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Goddamn but I do loves me a vegan! That reminds me that I have some tofu in the fridge I need to use before it goes.