Summer Guide 2017 | Cover Story | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

May 24, 2017 News » Cover Story

Summer Guide 2017 

Here comes the sun, baby!

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SUMMER FOODIE STAYCATION
Take a trip around the world with these 8 plates.
By Alex Springer

Visitors often come to the state with negative stereotypes about our culinary scene—an unintended byproduct of our archaic liquor laws, no doubt. What many people don't get about Utah is that we have a vibrant, multicultural refugee and immigrant community that fuels a lively and varied food scene. Here are a few choice places to start your world tour.

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

The Empanada Meal at Empanada Express
A couple of years into its run, Midvale's Empanada Express is helping this underrated food make a name for itself. The humble empanada is celebrated here, with a menu that features recipes from all over Central and South America. Place your bets on the empanada meal, which lets you pick two—the Argentine Beef and the Venezuelan are my favorites—served alongside some traditional Latin American sides like plantains and cucumber-tomato salad. 7178 Union Park Ave., Midvale, 801-569-2331, empanadaexpress.com

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Yedoro Tibs at Blue Nile
One of the most fun things about Blue Nile is that you're encouraged to eat with your fingers. Given it's an authentic Ethiopian eatery, entrées here come in an envelope of injera, a slightly spongy sourdough bread that serves as a food-delivery system. Yedoro tibs is a great dish to start with—it's a savory mixture of chicken, peppers and cabbage that melds well with the injera's slightly sour flavor. 755 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4042, bluenileslc.com

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Navajo Tacos at Black Sheep Café
While Navajo tacos have been inextricably linked to the deep-fried debauchery that you might find at the state fair, Black Sheep Café has elevated the simple dish to its rightful place in the culinary kingdom. It all starts with Black Sheep's housemade fry bread—a recipe that has been in the owner's family for generations. The tacos come in two variations—green chile pork and red chile beef—both of which are packed with smoky, spicy Southwestern flavor. Multiple locations, blacksheepcafe.com

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Ceviche Fusión at Del Mar al Lago
Good ceviche depends on how long ago its contents were still swimming, so I was a bit skeptical that a Peruvian cebichería could make it work in a landlocked state like Utah. After diving into the refreshingly flavorful ceviche fusión at Del Mar al Lago, I soon realized that I was experiencing something special. All of the seafood on the menu is top-notch fresh, and the fusión brings three different cultural perspectives—Latin American, Indian and Chinese—to their briskly prepared ceviche. It's a world tour within a world tour. 310 Bugatti Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-467-2890, facebook.com/delmar.al.lago

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Borscht and Vareniki at The Galley Grill
It takes a special kind of food to sustain a population that experiences some of the most unforgiving winters in the world. Eastern European food might not be the most glamorous cuisine, but it has the uncommon ability to help you weather all storms—be they literal or figurative. While the reasons behind The Galley Grill's nautical theme remain elusive, it's whipping up some of the most authentic vareniki—small, potato-filled dumplings—and borscht this side of St. Petersburg. 1295 E. Miller Ave., Holladay, 801-466-9224, facebook.com/russiangalleyslc

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Mole at Red Iguana
Choosing a favorite mole at Red Iguana is an exercise in futility. Each one is a master class in traditional Mexican cooking, and picking among them is the kind of thing that can cause friendships to fracture and marriages to dissolve. My suggestion is to avoid the risk of finding the mole that defines you as a person—just point at the menu and order. No matter what you get (negro, amarillo, poblano, coloradito), your life will be better for it. Multiple locations, rediguana.com

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

The namesake at Bucket O' Crawfish
If getting messy during dinner isn't your thing, you'll want to avoid West Valley City's famous Bucket O' Crawfish. At some point in our lives, we all need to stare dumbfounded as a literal bucket of crawfish, shrimp and crab legs makes its way to our table. Bucket O' Crawfish doesn't skimp on the flavor, either. They've perfected several spice blends that land somewhere between the Deep South and the Far East. Room for dessert? We suggest you strongly consider the Happy Ending (the house chocolate and white chocolate cake, $4.50). 1980 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, bucketocrawfish.com

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Liège Waffles at Bruges Waffles and Frites
When you try the golden brown slabs of pure joy at Bruges Waffles and Frites, you'll be quick to scoff whenever you see the words "Belgian waffle" on a menu anywhere else—outside of Belgium, that is. Bruges specializes in Liège waffles, in which the dough is prepared with pearl sugar and vanilla before being pressed in a waffle iron. The smell of this cooking process alone is worth the price of one of these sweet, buttery gems. Want to go out? The Pig on a Cloud—replete with bacon, crème fraîche and a caramel drizzle—is sure to do the trick. Multiple locations, brugeswaffles.com

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About The Authors

Enrique Limón

Enrique Limón

Bio:
Editor at Salt Lake City Weekly. Lover of sour candies.

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