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Best Latino Coffee-House Fare
Bakery & Brews
It’s only been open a year or so, but Bakery & Brews has that extra-special flavor from its American-Latina ownership that most cafe-cum-eateries just can’t compete with. Les is helpful and chatty about the locally sourced coffee, while his Uruguayan wife, Jacqueline, is simply a marvel in the kitchen, coming up with the spinach-and-egg-filled tartas pascualinas, empanadas and the dulce de leche biscuits and alfajores that truly speak of South American cuisine at its best.
625 W. 5300 South, 801-290-2958, Murray, BakeryAndBrews.blogspot.com
Best Taste of Mongolia in O-Town
Lee’s Mongolian BBQ
It’s not new, but sometimes you need a refresher to remember that one of the best lunch spots in Utah is this unassuming little joint on The Vard in Ogden (that’s Washington Boulevard, O-Town’s cruising stretch and main drag). Frequented by a wide swath of Ogden locals, from Weber State profs to construction workers, Lee’s Mongolian invites guests to cram as much meat and as many veggies as possible into a bowl; one of the chefs will then whip all that—plus whatever cooking oils and flavorful spices the customer chooses—into a killer treat on the massive stir-fry griddle. This pile of food is sure to satisfy, and on the cheap, too—a lunch trip will run you about $7, and comes with a bowl of soup and rice on the side.
2866 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-9120, LeesMongolianBBQ.com
Best Main Street Makeover
Cindy Lee Cafe
Along with the Coffee Garden on Main, City Weekly feels a special kinship for the Chinese and Vietnamese diner called Cindy Lee, since they are the closest sources to run to for caffeine and pho, respectively. But in 2011, something terrible happened—Cindy Lee closed without notice. Months passed, and as suddenly as it closed, it reopened under new managers, with a remodel and a slightly pricier menu. But as far the pho is concerned, the delicious broth and ingredients haven’t changed. We never knew how much we loved you, Cindy Lee, until you disappeared. Welcome back.
264 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-4544
Best Thanks for the Memories
We have long admired Bella Citta for how it lit up a drab strip mall in Sandy and became one of the few places in the southern end of the valley to regularly visit for gelato, coffee or just a chat with owners Rachel Bartnicki and her husband. But after a flood caused severe damage, Bartnicki found herself plunged into a bureaucratic nightmare with an insurance company, which ultimately saw her close Bella Citta so she could concentrate on getting justice for herself and her family. While we miss the gelato, we admire the spunk.
Best Parking Lot Pizza
The Pizza Cart
Located in the parking lot in front of Ace Hardware Store on Cedar City’s Main Street, this friendly mobile pizza oven offers exceptional taste in an unusual setting. Whether it’s a Margherita pizza you fancy, or a white pie—garlic sauce, bacon, red onion and cracked pepper—the couple who own and operate the Pizza Cart will turn you out a freshly made and delicious pizza from scratch in a few minutes while you watch. Since this is Cedar City, passing traffic is static enough to ensure you’re not choking on fumes while you enjoy a slice or two under the bright southern Utah sky.
165 S. Main, Cedar City
Best Southern Grill
The Prospector’s Cafe
Nestled on the short stretch of Highway 89 that constitutes Marysvale, The Prospector’s charms are squarely focused on its 16-year-old griddle. Ask for nothing more than a bacon cheeseburger, and the succulent patty amid the freshest lettuce and tomato will leave you astounded that a place so small can pack a culinary punch so powerful. As you plan to make your trip down south, don’t miss out on this friendly southern gem.
50 S. Highway 89, Marysvale, 435-326-4281, ProspectorCafe.com