Best of Utah 2007 | Food & Drink 

Page 4 of 10

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, spencersforsteaksandchops.com/saltlake

BEST INEXPENSIVE Readers’ Choice
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, CaputosDeli.com
2. Gandolfo’s
3. Granato’s

BEST “GREEN” THUMB
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, VerticalDiner.com

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; BombayHouse.com
2. Himalayan Kitchen
3. Taste of Punjab

BEST ANTI-SUPERSIZE ME
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, OneWorldEverybodyEats.com

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, ThaiSiam.net
2. Sawadee
3. Bangkok Thai

BEST BREAKFAST FOR NEWCOMERS
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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