Cheap Shot | In Search of Cuteness: Cruising the Tin Angel and Frosty Darling with Grandma 

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"I want pink hair,” my grandma Munner said as we sat down for lunch at the Tin Angel. She said this like pink hair was one of the menu options, and this is what she wanted for an appetizer.

It seemed like she was ordering, because this was the first thing she said to our pink-haired server, Robin, when she came to our table to take our order. Honestly, I didn’t know if Munner was going to order a sandwich next or tell Robin that I was single. I held my breath. There gets to be a point—in Munner’s case, that point is 87 years old—when you get to say what you want, when you want, and you get away with it.

Munner didn’t tell Robin about my marital status, but the only thing Munner was ready to order was Robin’s outfit.

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“How cute,” she said. “I want your shoes; they match your socks and your socks match your hair. That means your shoes match your hair, too.” I felt like I was listening to Pythagoras prove a new theorem.

After telling Munner that Robin wasn’t on the menu, we asked for a few more minutes to look at our lunch options.

“Well, she should be on the menu,” Munner said. “She’s adorable.”

This is when I realized that the Tin Angel, before we even took a bite of food, put Munner into restaurant heaven. I’ve taken my grandma to some places around town and she has called them all “cute.” Munner has met some of my friends and she thought they were “adorable.” But this was the first time that a place or a person had been described by her as both “cute” and “adorable.” And it was just the beginning.

From the cute chairs with ladder-backs to the adorable and delicious ways our water glasses looked on the table, the Tin Angel (365 W. 400 South) had Munner at “Hello. Open for lunch.”

We each ordered the breasola on focaccia. This $9 lunch came with a cute salad, and the sandwich was adorable. I don’t know if it was the shaved Parmesan, roasted tomato tapenade or the paper-thin-cured cute beef tenderloin, but Munner said eating her sandwich was like reading a good book.

I didn’t get the connection. The sandwich tasted like beef on focaccia to me. It didn’t taste like Bill Bryson or Kurt Vonnegut.

“When you read a good book,” Munner said, “the characters become a part of your life, and you don’t want the story to end. That’s how I feel about my sandwich.” So, like savoring each word of her Tin Angel lunch, Munner took half of her sandwich home so she could read the final chapter of her breasola for dinner.

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After lunch, I was ready for a nap, but Munner wondered where else we could go that was adorable. I knew just the place. On a scale of 1 to Cute, Frosty Darling (177 E. Broadway) is Adorable. Frosty Darling is an eclectic gift boutique that local artist Gentry Blackburn has designed to look like a ’50s sweet shop/Munner’s dream home.

From wax lips and licorice pipettes to felt finger puppets and Jesus Sparkle Cream, Frosty Darling has everything cute you ever thought you might never need but can’t live without.

As soon as we walked through the doors of this colorful boutique and saw the giant multi-tiered birthday-cake display rack, Munner gave me the ultimate reprimand, “Why haven’t you taken me here before? It’s adorable.”

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I stuttered. I stammered. I wondered if I should take Munner to the animal shelter to look at cute kittens. It didn’t matter. For the first time in my life, the sparkle in my grandmother’s eyes was frosty, darling.

Luckily, Gentry saved my grandson bacon. She handed Munner an invitation and said, “We’ve only been open a year. Our birthday party is March 7 from 6-10 p.m., and you’re invited.”

Even though everyone is invited to Frosty Darling’s one-year birthday party, this made Munner feel special. And, in Utah, the only thing better than being “cute” or “adorable” is feeling special.

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Phil Jacobsen

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