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Best New Restaurant
With the well-deserved success of his Pago restaurant in hand, owner Scott Evans decided to test the odds in 2012 by opening a second eatery, the Spanish-themed Finca. Well, in less time than it takes to say Olé!, Finca has become one of the east side’s most beloved dining spots. Credit Evans for doing his homework. Numerous trips to Spain have afforded him a deep knowledge of Spanish wines and cuisine, and much of the Finca fare is a contemporary spin on Spanish classics. Inquiring minds want to know: Will Evans try for a third?
1291 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-487-0699, FincaSLC.com
Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
First things first: Tony Caputo’s deli sandwiches are generously portioned, so thank goodness they come in both whole and half sizes. Most popular is, of course, the Caputo, “a taste of Cosenza, Italy,” with prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But there’s more to the delicious deli sammiches at Caputo’s than just Italian-style hoagies. For example, don’t overlook the outstanding muffuletta, which even the most discerning New Orleans native would approve of. And, when the eggplant Parmesan is available, it’s the best in town.
314 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-531-8669; 1516 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-6615, CaputosDeli.com
2. Moochie’s Meatballs & More
3. Robin’s Nest
Best Park City Budget Meal
Escala Provisions Company
Park City is synonymous with high-end, budget-busting eateries. Escala Provisions Company, located at Canyons Resort’s Hyatt Escala Lodge, is out to change that stereotype. Granted, we’re not talking fast-food prices here, but at Escala, the entire family can enjoy dishes like a ginormous Willis Ranch lamb shank, pan-seared day-boat scallops, roasted-chicken & pancetta macaroni & cheese and Provo River trout at prices more judicious than most on Park City’s Main Street.
3551 N. Escala Court, Park City, 435-940-1234, EscalaLodge.Hyatt.com
Got goat? In Mexico, birria is usually a spicy stew made with goat, mutton or lamb. North of the border, birria is synonymous with just about any goat preparation. At El Mana Mexican restaurant, birria is a house specialty. Be sure to try the Jalisco-style roasted and shredded goat in housemade broth called birria en caldo, and the birria de res: shredded goat meat in a rich red-chile sauce.
7962 S. State, Midvale, 801-563-5196
For years, Pat’s has been the go-to joint for authentic, low & slow barbecue, where award-winning pitmaster Pat Barber combines excellent Texas-style barbecue with the soulful sounds of live music. There are the standard options like pulled pork, ribs, barbecued chicken, tender brisket and such, but you really want to visit Pat’s on a Friday, when Barber serves up his bodacious burnt ends.
155 W. Commonwealth Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-484-5963, PatsBBQ.com
2. The SugarHouse Barbeque Co.
3. Bubba’s Firehouse BBQ
Best British-Style Pub Fare
If you’re looking for a British-inspired pub serving up authentic Old World pub grub along with a wide selection of imported and microbrew beers and wine, look no further than Tavern, in Park City’s Sky Lodge Hotel. Roasted bone marrow, ham-hock terrine, bison cottage pie and butter-poached lobster rolls are just a handful of the tantalizing Tavern treats offered.
201 Heber Ave., Park City, 435-658-2500, TheSkyLodge.com
Most of what passes for bagels here in Utah would offend the true bagel aficionado. That doesn’t apply, however, to the bagels at Feldman’s Deli, which pass the muster of even the most jaded New Yorker. These bagels are the real deal: boiled first, then baked to give them a soft interior and crunchy, crisp exterior. The only way to improve on these bodacious bagels is to smear them with Janet Feldman’s housemade chopped liver.
2005 E. 2700 South, Salt Lake City, 801-906-0369, FeldmansDeli.com
Best Tableside Manner
Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria
At Ogden’s Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria, you’ll discover a dizzying array of brews available, along with terrific pub fare and pizzas. But what really separates Slackwater from a lot of places is the friendly vibe and terrific service. From owners Justin Gumm and Krissann Smith, to every server and kitchen staff member, the neighborly smiles and genuinely nice treatment of customers is a much-appreciated Slackwater trademark.
1895 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-399-0637, SlackwaterPizzeria.com
Best Ogden Restaurant
Roosters Brewing Co.
This 25th Street staple is undefeated in this category, thanks to the brewpub’s ingenious combination of a classy, yet laid-back, eating experience combined with a powerhouse menu of salads, pizzas, pastas and tasty entrees—and beer, of course. Enjoy lunch or dinner in the bustling second story of the restaurant, or out on the gated patio for a leisurely outdoor meal, paired with one of Rooster’s can’t-miss brews—Polygamy Pale Ale and the Two-Bit Amber are ideal summertime companions. Even if you don’t drink, you can savor Rooster’s award-winning beer batter with an order of “naughty” fries, crispy onion loops or fish & chips.
253 25th St., Ogden, 801-627-6171, RoostersBrewingCo.com
2. Rickenbacker’s Steak House
3. Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria