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Aug 30, 2006 08:43 PM

DC hound is Salt Lake City bound - need good eats suggestions

I'll be in Salt Lake City for several days in October and am looking for suggestions of places I should hit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. while out there. I'll be staying at the Grand American and may have a car, but any place I'd have to reach by taxi would be fine. I'm open to any and all suggestions; the more local and Utah-unique, the better.

Many thanks for your thoughts!

Cocinero Cubano

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  1. Les Madeleines Patisserie is just down the street from the hotel (660 S. State Street). YOu can walk it. They're open from 8am (weekdays, closed Mon) and 9am (on saturdays). Awesome pastries—croissants, scones, cookies, cupcakes, charlottes, etc. Try a cup of coffee and the kouing aman (a pastry made from fleur de sel, butter, yeast, sugar, and salt). It's like crack, so addictive. You can go there for lunch, too. Good sandwiches and chilean empanadas. Or just sweet snacks.

    There's good beer at Squatters Pub (between West Temple and 300 West on 300 South). Menu is pretty good, though stay away from the jambalaya. There's a more sophisticated offering upstairs at their new restaurant, Zola. "International small plates" is what they tout. Great cocktail menu. The place is unique in that it's one of the state's oldest microbrews, award winning, and the entire operation is green. You could walk it from the hotel.

    Another place to walk for lunch (weekdays) or dinner (except sundays) is Takashi. Best sushi place in town...perhaps the region. Scorched black cod—do not leave without trying it. Oh and don't bother sitting at hte tables. Just go sit at the bar. Sit in Tommy's or Takashi's section if you can.

    If you have a car or taxi it out to Red Iguana for Mexican food. Seriously, don't bother with pedestrian offerings from the menu because they're exactly that. Pedestrian. Opt for the stuff listed as "Imperial Aztec cuisine." ha. Moles are incredible. Spicy go for amarillo. Negro is a favorite. Cochinitas pibil are excellent, too. Best tres leches cake i've had in a while. the place is a hoot—a dive that everyone knows about. and no one seems to mind.

    Em's (in the capitol hill neighborhood) uses alot of local ingredients on their menu, so if you want a taste of Utah (that's not jello) this is a good bet. Other places like Martine (mediterranean/seasonal) do the same. Metropolitan is sort of the culinary flagship in town, fun bar menu, but if you're there in October, I'd stay away—the chef is leaving at the end of the month and there's no replacement for him yet.

    Mazza (you'll need a car) in the 15th & 15th area has good middle eastern food. Excellent barbecue in West Valley City at a place called Q4U. Will definitely need a car for that. The owners of that place just hosted a National BBQ competition qualifer in town. Serious stuff.

    Hmmm...that's all my brain can churn out. I'll post again if something else i forgot pops up.
    happy eating!

    1. Just got back from grabbing a Kouing Aman at Les Madeleines so that is what is on my mind. I would definitely suggest this bakery for your snacking needs! At 660 South State Street you can walk from the Grand American. So far everything I have tried there has been excellent but, as others will mention, you will be thinking about the Kouing Aman for days afterwards. It is a puffed flaky pastry that hits you with butter, caramelized sugar, and a bit of gooey goodness at the center.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DanielVest

        I have to add another vote for Kouing Aman @ Les Madeleines. I tried it last week while it was in SLC and now I am hankering for it. Almost kept the one I got for my boss for myself.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. As for restaurants I also recommend for pre-Spanish influence Mexican food. If it is a chilly evening try to get a table away from the door...stiff chill on those nights.

          Another quintessential SLC eatery in my books, Crown Burger. It is a local burger chain and has a pastrami burger that is called the Crown Burger. There location that I have been to is downtown and the concierge can direct you. There are several locations through-out the city/valley. The other item that you should ask for is 'fry sauce'...very Utahn. It is basically a sauce made from ketchup and mayo.

          Hmmmmmmm....kouing aman.

          1. Good calls so far. Definitely an MMMMmmmmm for my fellow crack addicts at Les Madeleines. Good thing that place is downtown or I'd weigh 400 lbs.

            If you are a fan of Cajun/Creole and/or beer, you should add The Bayou to your list. It will require a temp membership, but it's worth it. Broadest selection of beer in the city if not the state (though a handful may not be available at any given time) and the N'awlins-inspired cooking is solid if not always outstanding. Their fries (mix of spuds and sweet potato) with chipotle aioli are arguably the best for hundreds of miles and the gumbo (available with mudbugs if you so desire) is outstanding...thick, rich, nutty with an internal heat that catches up with you.

            If you're in the mood for a semi-splurge check out Martine. Solid bistro fare with an excellent prix fixe deal. Another splurge (with wheels) would be the The Paris, another
            excellent bistro, across the street from Mazza. If you head there I strongly recommend signing up at Paris offers a 40% discount Mondays through Thursdays which will just about cover the yearly membership fee at the website.