Known now for its stylish eateries as much as the skiing, Park City boasts restaurants rivaling those in cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and Paris—at least in price. Dining in Old Town Park City is a mostly extravagant proposition these days, especially on Main Street. So if you’re hoping to feed the family for less than the price of a new iPhone, it’s wise to head to locales where real-estate prices and corresponding menu prices aren’t quite as dear—Prospector, NoMa and Kimball Junction, for example.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about a Park City restaurant I’d come to love called Good Karma. It was a small, friendly, laid-back place on Park Avenue across from the Town Lift serving an eclectic mix of Asian and Indian fare. So I was traumatized when Good Karma vanished last year after its lease ran out. But Howard Moffett, the owner/chef at Good Karma, resurfaced in Park City’s Prospector neighborhood in the space that was home for years to the Off Main Café, with an all-new and improved version of Good Karma. You can’t keep a good man down.
Nor can you keep a great chef out of the kitchen. After award-winning chef Houman Gohary left The Canyons last year, it didn’t take long for him to get back behind a stove. Gohary and Moffett have teamed up along with wives and kids—this is truly a family affair—to create the deluxe v2.0 Good Karma, complete with beer, wine, table service and Gohary’s unique contribution to the menu: Persian cuisine. The result of this pairing of partners isn’t just good, it’s great.
Breakfast at Good Karma is mostly an American affair, much like Off Main’s was: buttermilk pancakes, three-egg omelets, challah French toast, home-style granola and such. But by lunchtime, the restaurant morphs into a culinary United Nations, with udon, soba and ramen noodle dishes from Japan and China; Indian and Pakistani curries, keema and korma; and kebabs, fasl and leemoo from Persia. It’s enough to make your head spin, and there’s not a single dish that breaks the $20 barrier. Adding to the international appeal of Good Karma, our server was an immensely likeable and professional young waiter from Indonesia.
Fourteen bucks at Good Karma will get you the large nawabi platter. It’s a combination plate with your choice of three curries (or four for $18), fragrant basmati rice and fresh baked naan. I opted for creamy coconut-infused chicken curry (my longtime Good Karma favorite); tender lamb curry zapped with habanero peppers and a smidgeon of cinnamon; and keema, which is lean ground sirloin steak and green peas in a garlic, ginger and coriander curry. Be sure to get an extra order of jumbo-size naan ($1) for soaking up every last luscious lick of Good Karma’s curries.
On the Persian portion of the menu, a nice start to a meal is the Boston lettuce salad with tomatoes, olives, Feta cheese and radish, blasted with a fire-roasted pepper dressing. It’s called salad e fasl ($5). Then, look no further than the char fasl platter ($18), which is plenty of food for two to share and a good introduction to Good Karma’s good Persian fare. The platter includes grilled veggie kebabs, tender tandoori lamb kebab and jujeh kebab, which is boneless chicken breast marinated in sun-dried lemons, shallots and saffron, then grilled. Plan on taking home some leftovers as the kebabs also come with a choice of basmati rice or Gohary’s mint-spiked almond couscous. I’m not sure where baklava originated (Greece? Persia?), but I’ve never tasted better than Good Karma’s, made with delicate, crispy phyllo dough, walnuts and rose water ($4). It’s a sweet and savory sensation.
And if you’ve got people to meet, places to go and things to do: no worries. Good Karma has a cool little walk-up takeaway window at the front of the restaurant where you can pick up orders to go. But then you’ll miss out on the great vibe and atmosphere of Good Karma, which really can’t be duplicated at home.
Good Karma delivers its goods at a great value; I wish the same were true of Good Thymes Bistro’s enticing, family-friendly menu of burgers, ribs, pot pies, meatloaf, salads, sandwiches and homemade desserts. My shrimp po’ boy with jalapeño tartar sauce was delicious, but it contained only a handful of small, deep-fried shrimp, and set me back $12. The real deal shrimp po’ boy at Liuzza’s By the Track in New Orleans costs $6.50, and it’s the best on the planet. Likewise, the Santa Fe garden burger with red-pepper aioli, pico de gallo and avocado at Good Thymes is terrifically tasty, but hardly a bargain at $10. If you’re looking to get into something more rib-sticking like slow-roasted brisket with mashed spuds and au jus, it’ll cost you $24.
That’s still a cheap entrée compared to most high-end Main Street restaurants, but the prices in Kimball Junction do seem to be creeping upwards. I’d have loved to try the homemade chicken pot pie at Good Thymes but couldn’t quite justify parting with $16 for it. And $7.29 for a slice of banana-cream pie? Ouch! But then, a trip to Good Thymes does give you a good excuse to visit Jessie’s, the fine lingerie shop located next door to Good Thymes, where the karma is always good. GOOD KARMA
1782 Prospector Ave.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
GOOD THYMES BISTRO
6300 N. Sagewood Drive
Lunch & dinner daily