Eating Well | Cover Story | Salt Lake City Weekly

March 30, 2016 News » Cover Story

Eating Well 

Dining Guide 2016

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Life In the Fast Lane
Five Healthy-ish choices for those on the move
By Enrique Limón, Jerre Wroble & Gavin Sheehan

In an ideal world, we'd all have the time to prepare a mindful feast and sit down to enjoy every meal of the day. That's not the case, however, as the vast majority of us are eating on the go at fast-food joints and, oftentimes, don't have the option to think twice about what we're putting in our mouths. According to a popular article on, Utah is among the top 10 states most obsessed with fast food (we'll drink our fry-sauce to that). Still, if you're looking to mix up your happy meal and eat something "good-ish," here are five selections that are far healthier than just asking for a super-sized No. 1.

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Chicken Club Sandwich @The Sconecutter
(2040 S. State, Salt Lake City,
Adhering to the motto "When in doubt, scone it out," Sconecutter has been serving up the goods in Utah since 1977 when its first shop opened in 1977. Since then, the homegrown chain has spawned 11 locations. While the menu isn't shy on indulgent delights (maple "sconuts," for example), there's a more mindful side to Sconecutter thanks to signature sandwiches like the chicken and bacon club ($8.18). This particular location thrives sandwiched between a Burger King and a Subway, and it isn't hard to taste why—chunks of turkey meshed with bacon due to a sprinkling of cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions and sprouts, all snuggled in a housemade wheat roll. Leave your crumbly scone expectations at the door. Here they are light, fresh outta the oven and ever so fluffy. (EL)

Glazed Chicken Chipotle Salad @Café Zupas
(Multiple locations,
Super-fast, delicious and good for you? Can a patron expect all three from the same restaurant? If it's Café Zupas, the answer is yes, which may be why the franchise—which started in Provo in 2004—now has 19 locations in Utah and more elsewhere: It's catching on! Café Zupas makes its soups, salad dressings, sandwich spreads and salads from scratch daily and has them ready to assemble the moment you walk in the door. Right before your eyes, the friendly staff will prepare the Glazed Chicken Chipotle Salad, loading it up with all-natural grilled chicken, house-chopped mixed greens, red onions, grape tomatoes, corn, black beans, peppers, cheddar cheese, Hass avocado and tortilla strips. Your salad will then be nicely dressed with a lip-smacking chipotle ranch dressing and a honey-cilantro glaze. Your first crunchy bite is an OMG moment followed by the conviction that Café Zupas is your new go-to for fast food—never mind that it's utterly good for you. (JW)

"Build Your Own" Gyro @Padeli's Street Greek,
30 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-322-1111,
For years, Salt Lakers have flocked to the Greek Souvlaki to scarf up delectable Greek offerings ranging from souvlaki plates (grilled meat, rice and salad that's hits the spot every time) to spanakopita (spinach-cheese pie) to avgolemono (chicken-lemon soup). For more than 40 years, the family-run chain has continued its proud tradition, cranking out souvlaki and gyros. But now, they've launched the "street Greek" concept and have opened a restaurant named after the patriarch of the family: Padeli's. Here, you create your own gyro, bowl or wrap from scratch while you decide what goes it in. Choose from lamb, beef, chicken, pork and falafel and then add sauce and toppings to it. Based on the lunch-hour crowds alone (don't worry, the line moves fast), Padeli's is a winner. (JW)

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Garden Burger @Crown Burger
(Multiple locations,
A staple of Salt Lake City fast food, Crown Burger is known for its gut-busting pastrami-topped burgers and bodacious fries. But the chain also features a number of healthy offerings including the Garden Burger. It is a veggie patty (primarily tofu, mushrooms, nuts, grains and corn) served with tomato slices and lettuce. There is also a veggie burrito, which includes an extra helping of veggies. Some locations put on more beans and rice while others go heavy on the veggies, so you might end up having to play Goldilocks until you find the burrito you like the most. Completing the trifecta is the broiled chicken—a great substitute for the beef patties in any of the house-offered burgers. Crown Burger also offers a choice of six fantastic salads, including a Greek salad. I see you eyeing that Oreo sundae ($2.95 for a small). Go for it, you've earned it. (GS)

Carne Asada Fries @Mezquite Mexican Grill
(Multiple locations)
OK, so we've given you a few healthy options, so why not live a little? Mezquite Mexican Grill locations are popping up like mushrooms lately, giving the Taco Bells and Del Tacos of the world a run for their money. The local Mexi-empire keeps things simple, and even then, offers a chockful menu. For a speedy breakfast, the bacon-and-egg burrito ($3.70) is a solid go-to. It's bigger than a child's arm, and takes care of both the most important meal of the day and partial lunch in one fell swoop. For something even heartier, head to the open-24-hours State Street location and order the carne asada fries ($8.21)—a heaping order of french fries, topped with carne asada, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and guac that's guaranteed to make your tastebuds yelp ¡ajúa! (EL)

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