Main Courses 

Traveling the globe via a delicious stretch of Salt Lake City’s Main Street.

Pin It
Favorite

I’m fairly certain I’ve sussed out the reason that City Weekly moved its offices a few years back to the block of South Main Street between 200 and 300 South: Food. This chunk of Main Street downtown real estate might just be the best single block of dining in all of Salt Lake City. The gustatory options are plentiful, and you can tour the world’s cuisine one course at a time in eateries like the Chilean Deli, Big City Soup, House of Kabobs & Pita, Curry in a Hurry and others.

nn

Soup or salad? Well, why not have both? My grand meal on Main would begin with a simple spinach salad. Wait, did I say “simple”? The spinach salad at Bambara restaurant in the Hotel Monaco is anything but. Chef Robert Barker’s salad combines spinach greens with roasted golden beets and chunks of Cambozola cheese, all lightly kissed with a lovely pomegranate-honey vinaigrette ($7.50). Simply put, it’s a splendid spinach salad.

nn

There’s no debate about where to go next for the soup course. Sure, Bambara has great soup, and so do some of the other spots on the block. But Big City Soup is all about soup. Actually, that’s not quite true, either. You can get terrific salads and sandwiches (the hummus vegetable wrap is especially good) at Big City Soup as well, but soup is their raison d’être. You’ll understand why when you dip into Big City’s chipotle black bean soup; the thick and creamy, fragrant-with-thyme clam chowder; or my favorite, the fresh tomato-basil soup. Each soup order comes with a small slab of Tillamook cheddar cheese and a large hunk of fresh bread'sourdough, wheat or white'plus a mint ($5.58 for 12 ounces/$6.51 for 16 ounces).

nn

Now here’s where it begins to get tricky. The crab-stuffed piquillo peppers starter ($13.50) at Bambara is a hands-down winner of an appetizer. However, I don’t want to retrace my steps. So I would opt next for an empanada at the Chilean Deli just down the street. I’m tempted, of course, to dig into Chilean Deli’s bistek a lo pobre'juicy steak topped with fried eggs ($9.50). But I must pace myself and stick to the appetizers. So I’ll select a large appetizer. There are various choices of empanada fillings: cheese, chicken, ham, etc. But my favorite is the lean ground beef, seasoned with sweet onions and raisins and stuffed into a baked pastry shell. The empanada shell is crisp, the stuffing warm and delicious.

nn

At this point, I’d normally head next door to Junior’s Tacos, but I was bummed out last week to discover that Junior’s has closed. No worries. Off we go to the House of Kabobs & Pita for a course of Middle Eastern cuisine. Again, I remind myself to go easy, even though what I really want is the big New Zealand lamb shank ($13.19) and fesenjon: a savory mix of chicken, roasted walnuts, pomegranate sauce and basmati rice ($12.09). Instead, I’ll be satisfied with House of Kabobs & Pita’s chicken koobideh ($8.79). That’s two skewers (so share) of lightly spiced ground chicken, charbroiled and served with roasted tomatoes and onions. And while we’re at it, let’s have an order of dolmeh: grape leaves stuffed with herbed rice ($5.49).

nn

There’s time for a quick pasta course before our entrée and for that, we head down the block to Cindy Lee Café. After all, Cindy Lee’s Vietnamese noodle salad won City Weekly’s “Best of Utah” award in 2006 for the Best Vietnamese Noodle Salad. Good enough for me! Given the choice of having my vermicelli noodles topped with chicken, beef, shrimp, pork or a handful of other enticing toppings, I’ll go with the tofu, trying to eat sensibly.

nn

Next stop: San Francisco Pier 49 Sourdough Pizza! Now I know what you’re thinking: Pizza for an entrée? Heavens no! The pizza is to take home to eat cold for tomorrow’s breakfast. And for that, I’ll choose a small Sausalito pizza ($6.49). It’s Pier 49 Pizza’s famous sourdough crust topped with chile-spiked grilled chicken, green chiles, onions, fresh tomatoes, green bell peppers and crispy tortilla strips. Although if it were up to me, I’d have probably named that pie the Santa Fe.

nn

For the main Main course, I’d dart down to Curry in a Hurry, where the choice becomes a bit difficult. You see, the chicken curry at Curry in a Hurry is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve written before about the luscious korma-style chicken curry. But I adore the tender chunks of lamb curry as well. So what’s a curry lover to do? Curry in a Hurry to the rescue! They offer a “half & half” plate with a choice of any two curries served over basmati rice, and a side of warm naan alongside ($6.50). So I’ll have the chicken and the lamb curry, thank you very much.

nn

Not being much of a dessert eater, I’ll finish off the evening with a liquid dessert: The “Monaco” martini at Club Bambara, the private club in the Hotel Monaco. The Monaco martini is a brilliant mix of boozy cocktail and after-dinner caffeine, all in one glass: Starbucks Coffee Liqueur mixed with Absolut Vanilla vodka and a shot of espresso, shaken on ice and served chilled ($7.50). Now that’s what I call a Main event!

nn

BAMBARA
n202 S. Main
n363-5454

nn

BIG CITY SOUP
n234 S. Main
n532-SOUP

nn

CHILEAN DELI
n222 S. Main
n521-2311

nn

CINDY LEE CAFÉ
n264 S. Main
n359-4544

nn

CURRY IN A HURRY
n210 S. Main
n323-7030

nn

HOUSE OF KABOBS & PITA
n268 S. Main
n521-4442

nn

SAN FRANCISCO PIER 49 PIZZA
n238 S. Main
n364-2974

Pin It
Favorite

More by Ted Scheffler

  • Hop to It

    The remarkable rise of IPAs.
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • Rated X

    Millcreek's new Table X is making a statement.
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • Empanada How-To, Copper Cane at Silver Fork, B-I-N-G-O!

    Participants can learn the basics of filling and folding empanadas, and take a dozen home to bake. "I'm so excited to teach this workshop and share my most favorite thing in the world,"
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Wine

  • Sipping Fuissé

    Getting to know Pouilly-Fuissé, France's other white Burgundy
    • Nov 4, 2015
  • Zincredible

    Exploring Zinfandel, a uniquely American wine
    • Oct 14, 2015
  • Alsatian Sensations

    Getting to know the other white wines of France
    • Sep 23, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • PC Wine Classic Preview

    The 11th annual Food & Wine Classic returns to Park City
    • May 6, 2015
  • Sipping Fuissé

    Getting to know Pouilly-Fuissé, France's other white Burgundy
    • Nov 4, 2015

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation