Red Butte Cafe and Bakery

Today we had family photos. Having skimped on breakfast, I was thinking about where to eat after the photos. Red Butte Garden came to mind. I didn’t make it there however as it felt too far away for my hunger. Having reviewed it last January, I thought that re-posting we keep me happy in the meantime. This might be making it worse.

Just off Foothill Dr. towards the University of Utah is one of the greatest food experiences in Salt Lake. For many years, Red Butte Cafe and Bakery was in the shadow (literally but not in taste or experience) of TGI Fridays as they shared a building. Fridays was upstairs and Red Butte was downstairs. For anyone passing by on Foothill Dr., you would never see it unless you were looking for it. Fridays had all the frontage and exposure. The processed, microwavable food served upstairs could never compete with the fresh, delicious food downstairs; So much so that Fridays is now closed. 

 Why does this make me happy? It wasn’t likely that I would go to Fridays anyway so why should I be concerned? Because it’s now easier to get a parking space for Red Butte Cafe in an already crowded Foothill Village Shopping Center. 

Rachel had the great idea last Friday of dropping Ruby off at her Sister’s house so we could go out to eat. We did ask her Sister’s permission beforehand. It had been a long time since we had been to Red Butte and it sounded delicious. Rachel was already giddy about the steak sandwich. 

The restaurant was crowded but with a party of 2, we were seated in 15 minutes. Reviewing the menu only took about 2 minutes. Rachel was definitely going with the Herb Marinated Top Sirloin Sandwich. It’s served open faced on Fococcia Bread with Crimini Mushrooms, Caramelized Mushrooms, Gorgonzola, and Basil Aioli. I will have to take Rachel’s word that it was delicious. She put a piece of sandwich for me to taste on my salad plate. When I was finished with my dish, I looked down and it was gone. I took too long! 

 I can tell you for certain however, that the Beer Battered Fish Tacos were wonderful. They are served with Jalapeno Remoulade, Roasted Salsa, Cabbage, Black Beans and Spanish Rice. A Remoulade is a mayonnaise based sauce. The Chefs here don’t hold back when the add the Jalapeno. You had better have a large glass of water nearby. Each bite of taco requires at least 2 swigs of water. 

Each taco is served with a hearty amount of fish wrapped in 2 corn tortillas. The Salsa has a sweet, addictive bite to it. I was becoming obsessed with figuring out what ingredient was in that “bite.” No luck but no problem; this is a great reason to return. Only way to make it better: crispier tortillas. They fall apart very quickly. 

 Another reason to return is to try every item on the dessert menu. The Bakery has definitely become a larger part of their business. How do any of the following sound: Three Layer Chocolate Cake, Bourbon Pecan Pie, European Cheesecake, Fresh Fruit Tart, Turtle Cheesecake, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Decadence, Chocolate Aztec Tart, Seasonal Fruit Poppy Seed Cake, Orange Chocolate Mousse Cake? I can hear myself gaining weight but also gaining happiness. 

We were going to get some dessert but the waiter never returned. We already had the check so we paid up front and picked up Ruby. As Rachel was describing the goodness of the individual ingredients in her sandwich she asked: “What more could you ask for, chocolate?” After eating at Red Butte Cafe and Bakery, there isn’t much more you could ask for. 

Happy Eating. 

Red Butte Cafe on Urbanspoon

Taqueria 27, or T27 if you are in the know, of which I am not.

Taqueria 27 Sign

It was my Sister-in-Law Mich’s birthday and Rachel recommended that we take her out to dinner. She asked for my suggestions and was obviously digusted at my first choice. Either she has been there and didn’t like the food, or after 10 years of marriage, you just tune out the first thing your spouse says regardless of the value.

I picked my bruised ego up off the floor and mentally dug for some other ideas. Taqueria 27 was on my list of places to try (what isn’t) and is also close to our house. Both Rachel and Mich thought that this sounded good; marriage saved.

Taqueria 27 Guacamole

Tomatillo Gucamole

Taqueria 27 is tucked into a quiet strip mall off Foothill Dr. in Salt Lake City. The place is pretty cozy and has the feel of a fancy hotel lounge. It was also Saturday night and it was very busy. While waiting for a table, I strategically placed myself where I could watch both the diners and the cooks; everything looked delicious and I especially loved watching the cooks load those tacos up with fresh ingredients.

Being a Taqueria, they have a great selection of Tacos and Mole, but they also could be known as “Guacamole 27.” They have Traditional, Mango, Citrus, Tomatillo, Roasted and the Guacamole of the Day. We went with the Tomatillo. It has Cotija (Hispanic style cheese), Pumpkin Seeds, Habanero and Oregano. The texture was incredibly smooth and it is served with crispy housemade tortilla chips. Just as you are relishing in the first bite, the habaneros hit you. They are powerful and add a delicious complexity to the gucamole. I could eat this with a spoon.

Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido

The Guacamole could be considered our appetizer but we still needed a “Starter.” For that we chose the Queso Fundido: Oaxaca and Chihuahua Cheeses melted together with Mole Verde. The description alone sounded delicious, even if I didn’t know what some of those ingredients were. It comes out in a miniature fondue pot with a candle underneath. It has a strong flavor but is creamy and overall delicious.

There are 8 styles of Tacos in addition to the Taco of the Day. You can order 2 or 4 of each. The biggest concern was which tacos and how many? We decided to go with 4 types, 2 of each. 8 should be enough right? We ordered the Achiote, Carnitas, Wild Mushroom and Duck Confit.

Achiote Marinated Chicken Tacos

Achiote Marinated Chicken Tacos

There was not a bad taco in the bunch. The runner up for me was the Achiote. The salsa crudo, chipotle crema, avocado and queso fresco made this a site and taste to behold. The chicken was moist and combined with the other ingredients, was a really culinary delight.

The gold medal winner in the taco category were the Carnitas. They have a citrus marinated slow roasted pork, charred tomatillo salsa, pickled red onions and chicharones (fried pork rinds). You could have served these just with the corn tortilla and the slow-roasted pork and they would have been good. The salsa, picked onions and chicharones were a bonus and added some crunch. Taqueria 27 and Brewvies have some of the best slow-roasted pork around.

Taqueria 27 Wild Mushroom

Wild Mushroom

There was no room for dessert; 3 tacos in the to-go container proved that. Although the T27 Donuts dusted with Mexican Chocolate Sugar sounded like heaven. I will have to return to find the gold medal winner in the other taco categories.

Carnitas

Carnitas

Taqueria 27
1615 South Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108

Happy Eating

 Taqueria 27 on Urbanspoon

 

Heavenly Philly at a Hidden Gem

Joni's Deli Steak Philly 1

Last month at a Conference, I shared that I have a love affair with food. This definitely got everyone’s attention. It’s one of those affairs that you don’t need to keep secret. Often people ask me where they should go to eat and they are a little confused when I don’t immediately have an answer. That is because I like to get the look & feel of the place, a restaurant that really calls you from within. I have described it as looking for “intangibles;” meaning, I don’t know what I am looking for but will know it when I see it.

Lately I have been restaurant hunting. While running errands or on my way to an appointment, I will give myself extra time and take a route not previously driven. I will keep my eyes open with those reticular activators Dan mentions. It may sound childish but I have so much fun doing this. And the biggest benefit: I find some amazing restaurant. They are off-the-beaten-path and are the Chef and Owner are usually the same person. They are often the Server also.

This week I was blessed to have an article published about such a place here in Salt Lake. You would think that it should be a Mechanic’s Shop given the location but it’s one of the best Philly Cheesesteaks in the City. Please enjoy:

Joni’s Deli: Heavenly Philly at a Hidden Gem

 appreciate any feedback and ratings on the article. That keeps me at the top of their list of Contributors.

I am having so much fun with this and the enthusiasm is contagious. One friend is asking every week which place we are eating at next. He has started sending my recommendations. I love it.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Happy Eating

Beyond Glaze: Please take me to Rehab

Beyond Glaze Bacon donut

Bacon Maple Donut

I’ve heard a story of a guy who was 28 years sober but anytime he drove past a liquor store, he would get those jitters and become a dry drunk. “Once is one too many and one more is never enough” as the song goes.

For the past six months I have been working out 3-4 times a week. I feel better overall and have been eating less burgers, fries, candy bars and soda. Tough to believe for some of you right?

I bring up both of these stories because last week, Rachel brought me home 2 doughnuts from Beyond Glaze. Not having heard of the place, I was excited and curious. Just looking at the masterpieces you knew that this wasn’t a treat you ate in passing. These would command your full attention and appetite.

Beyond Glaze 3 donuts

The minute I bit into the first one I fully understood the line from song above (once is one too many). There was no stopping now. I ate it all and this was around 4:00pm. Dinner is usually around 6:00pm and I was barely ready for that.

Not comprehending my own emotions I was grateful to find out that the location was in Draper. The pain of driving there would outweigh the craving. That was until anxiety struck and I saw that they will be opening a location in Sugarhouse.

Donuts soon anyone?

Happy Eating

PAT’S BBQ: Smokin’ on the Commonwealth

This is a re-post from last September. I ate at Pat’s BBQ this week and it always exceeds our expectations. Pat’s long career in competition BBQ proves itself everyday in the quality of his food.

Pat's BBQ Exterior

The first impression of Pat’s is definitely wondering why it’s in that particular location. It’s an industrial part of town with a few shabby homes. This building likely use to be a warehouse. However, it’s proximity to I-15 and many surface thoroughfares, 2100 S., 300 W., and State St. make this a perfect location to draw a huge number of followers. If you arrive around noon, you will find that indeed, there are many followers and few places to park. Dinner has less of a following and is a more relaxed setting. Lunch or dinner, the food is fabulous.

Another impression is the atmosphere: picnic tables and rolls of paper towels on the tables. There are also three types of BBQ sauce on each table: Sweet, Spicy, and Savory. I liked the Savory sauce as it’s mustard and vinegar based; just like in South Carolina.

Smoked Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Corn Bread
Rachel ordered the smoked meatloaf and she fell in love fast. I tasted but a small portion-not wanting to risk getting stabbed. Indeed, it was wonderful. I ordered the three meat combo: Ribs, Beef Brisket, and Pulled Pork with Creole Black Beans and Rice for my side. The 2 pork spare ribs have ample meat and are smoked to perfect tenderness. The deep smoke ring shows that these were loved for 5-6 hours in the smoker; likely with hickory or mesquite wood chips. The Beef Brisket was amazingly tender and nearly addictive. Another attractive smoke ring showed that this had been equally loved. The Pulled Pork was good. It didn’t have a lot of flavor in & of itself but it was perfectly tender and lots of savory BBQ sauce made it all the more enjoyable.
Pork Ribs, Brisket and Pulled Pork
Creole Black Beans and Rice

I have to also give a shout out to the Creole Black Beans and Rice. The name alone is the reason I ordered it. Thinking that it would be great for my daughter, I quickly learned after one bite that this would not be the case. It is very spicy with some strong Cajun seasoning. It’s a very filling dish loaded with beans, sausage and rice. You can’t help but to take a big swig of water after each spoonful.

All of this made me feel like I was back at the Blues City Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee. Back in Heaven is another way to describe it. This is the BEST BBQ in Utah. Sugarhouse BBQ is great but Pat’s takes it to the next level. Only question for me: how much of our income should we allocate to this food?

Pat’s BBQ
155 West Commonwealth Ave.
South Salt Lake, Utah, 84115

Happy Eating

Pat's Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Brewvies “Teasers” Menu

Slow Roasted Pork Nachos

Slow Roasted Pork Nachos

A while back I had gone to Brewvies to catch a movie with my brother. The movie was good but the food was even better. It is not re-heated or pre-packaged food. They are serious about their cooking. The slow roasted pork is cooked overnight and it moist, tender and borderline addictive.

Being given an opportunity to write an article about the food at Brewvies, I found that you can make a meal out of the Teasers (appetizer) menu. Please check it out:

Brewvies Appetizer: Making a Meal of of the Teasers

Happy Eating

Surprise Announcement #2

Since it’s April 15th, I hope that you got a nice big tax return. Anyway, that’s not the surprise. 

Last month I wrote about “Suprise Announcement #1” but wasn’t quite ready to announce the next suprise. Just to tease you all further, I had another post, “Announcement #1, Addendum 2.” 

Now it’s time to fess up and get the cat out of the bag.

Announcement #2: We are moving to a WordPress site. What does this mean? Well for a technology novice like myself, not much initially. But I have come to learn that there is a huge benefit to switching. 

The new site will be www.hometownslop.com. This will allow for greater access and a whole lot of other cool things. 

Now if that is a letdown to you, let me include a great recipe, especially since BBQ Season is upon us. 

Smoked Pork Shoulder with a Honey Mustard Glaze 

Please join me on the new site and thank you for all your support.

Taqueria El Paisa: The Goat Stew Please!

 

 Last Thursday we drove to IFA to get chickens. I was very hungry after not having lunch. This is an industrial part of town but there was a restaurant that caught my eye. It was an old Wendy’s and had the look & feel that I love: authentic & inviting. 

There was a sign in the window for Pork Tacos. I asked about them and was told me that they are spicy pork tacos. That sounded pretty good at the moment. Anything served on a plate wrapped in foil must be good. I peeked under the foil while driving and anticipated the moment when I could bite into it. 

Chile Verde Super Burrito

 The pork itself was actually not very spicy. It was served on corn tortillas with chopped pineapple, sliced onions, scallions, cilantro and lime. They provide you with some hot sauces in little containers and thankfully not already on the tacos. Those are incredibly spicy and I didn’t dare pour them on the taco. One little taste of the hot sauce was enough to sear your tongue. 

A few hours later I was hungry and couldn’t get that food out of my mind. It was time to return. I brought Sous Chef Jesse with me. We had instructions to pick up food that was “not too weird” for our group. There isn’t much that is weird to me. We went inside this time and the menu was beautiful. I stood in silence just to take in the moment. 

On the quest to find great Mexican Food, I was very hopeful that that this place would have great food. I have found both disappointment and elation. Here at Taqeria El Paisa, I saw some items that I didn’t recognize. Who knows what Birria is? I didn’t but the picture looked great. We also ordered a Chile Verde Super Burrito, and both Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas. We had a lot of food. 

Cheese Enchilada

 The Chile Verde Super Burrito fit it’s name; it was of incredible size. The pork was seasoned with some heat and definitely had you reaching for water after each bite. It was smothered in cheese and served with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. All delicious and extremely filling. 

Both the chicken and cheese enchiladas were fabulous. Yes they were spicy as were the re fried beans served on the side. 

Birria

 Birria is a spicy Mexican goat stew made with a base of dried, roasted peppers. The meat was tender and at first odd. Maybe that is just because I don’t recall eating goat before but that went away quickly and I enjoyed it. The broth was powerful-spicy and a little gritty; not much sweetness here. It was a delicious dish and I am glad that I tried it to experience an authentic dish. 

Will I be back, definitely! Next time I will try the Camarones a la Diabla, Ceviche Patron and Molcajete Supreme.

 

919 West 2100 South

Salt Lake City, Utah, 84119

 

Happy Eating

Siam Orchid: Your Own Thai Noodle Menu

Siam Orchid Noodle Lunch Menu

Flat Rice Noodles with Pork in a Tom Yum Broth

It’s the unique creations and options that stand out at a restaurant. Sometimes we want the comfort of the familiar and other times, okay often, we want something unique; in other words, the WOW factor. 

One of the “Wows” that I have found is Siam Orchid’s “Build Your Own Noodle Menu” at lunch. Most Thai restaurants have noodle options and being a lover of Thai food, I have a hard time not trying them all. If you are a person who has difficulty making decisions, this will cause you some anxiety. 

Please check out the full article that I wrote about Siam Orchid’s Noodle Menu:

Create Your Own Thai Noodle Bowl

I look forward to seeing you there very soon.

Happy Eating

Siam Orchid on Urbanspoon

Sammy’s Pieshakes: The Power of Ice Cream and Pie Combined!

 

 

A few weeks ago I went into Sammy’s Pie Shakes to review for an upcoming City Weekly article. What struck out most to me was their “famous pie shakes.” 

My friend asked the worker what was so “famous” about their shakes. He replied, “Well, we blend an entire piece of pie into every shake.” That was enough to throw my diet away for the day. My exercise for that afternoon also suffered but it was well worth it. 

City Weekly: Sammy’s Famous Pieshakes

 Please tell me what you think right on the CW site. 

Happy Eating

 

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