Red Maple & Oasis Cafe 

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City Weekly freelance writer Austen Diamond is a fortunate cookie. He says, “A trip to the Red Maple (3361 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-747-2888) mixed strange yet funny customer service and a semantically coded fortune. After being asked by three different servers (Groundhog Day-ish) what we’d like to eat and drink, two of the three proceeded to talk us out of our orders for something, shall we say, more traditional. I don’t often salute General Tso, so we stuck with the Thousand Year Egg Soup. It tasted like it sounds. The highlight of the odd evening was the wisdom the fortune cookie extolled: ‘Ok, here we go! Whole wheat green tea. Yum!’ What the hell does that mean? Either way, it’s worth a trip back to Red Maple, if for nothing but the unique, hilarious experience.”

City Weekly reporter Jesse Fruhwirth has a suggestion for a great vegan dish. He writes: “Though it is not new to the menu, I have a new favorite vegan dish served locally. It’s the scrumptious, full-flavored tempeh gyro at Oasis Café (151 S. 500 East, 801-322-0404). Their menu description makes it sound so basic: ‘tempeh, sautéed with onions and tomato wrapped in a grilled pita bread.’ So basic, in fact, people might buy into the false stereotype of vegan food as bland. But the flavor is loud, delicious, and in the same way that people say ‘it doesn’t taste fishy,’ this gyro doesn’t taste vegan-y. I ate recently at Oasis with an associate who, without much thought, told the waiter, ‘I’ll have what he’s having.’ It wasn’t until after the meal that the associate—an avid meat-eater—learned that tempeh is soy, not chicken. The meat fiend mocked revulsion upon learning the news. The gyro is normally accompanied by vegetarian tzatziki sauce, but upon request for vegans, Oasis will substitute that yogurt-based yumminess with hummus. I’ve ordered it twice now, and each time the pita was impressively fluffy, warm and satisfying. It’s $8.95 and well worth the price.”

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