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May 8, 2008 05:30 PM

Salt Lake City restaurants, especially ones to try Utah unusuals

Have done a little research, and was wondering especially if anyone can suggest Salt Lake City restaurants that are good places to try unusual Utah foods. We're talking things like fry sauce, funeral potatoes, red hot cake, company cake, Utah crayfish (Crawdaddy Zuke), and such (have had lime jello in the past). Or are many of these even things you'd find in a restaurant?

Crown Burger may be a good spot for fry sauce, if the research I've done is accurate. Can any of the rest be gotten at Chuck-a-Rama, and if so, is it any good?

I'm also seeing praise for Red Iguana, Takashi, Q-4-U, Dodo, and Market Street Grill on this board. Good bets?

I've seen SLC guidebook listings other spots like Cafe Trang, Lamb's, Market Street Broiler, Red Rock, Tony Caputo's, Cafe Shambala, and The New Yorker. Any good?

Is Rib Alley closed?

Anything else worthy adding here that I've missed? Mainly looking for things in Downtown, Temple Square, Capitol Hill areas.

Many thanks!

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  1. Not aware of anything on your list in restaurants except for fry sauce.

    Crown Burger is the best of the Greek-owned burger joints.

    Chuck-A-Rama is worthwhile for better-than-average boofay fare.

    Red Iguana and Takashi are do not miss, with Red Iguana firmly at the top of the list.

    Q-4-U is only so-so... not worth the drive from town. Pat's BBQ is closer (around 21 south) and better, but that is not saying much for this Texas boy.

    Market Street (and the rest of the Gastronomy lineup, Oyster Bar and New Yorker) are resting on their laurels. Portions are down, prices are up, service is iffy and they made a bunch of stupid changes to the menus.

    Trang is excellent, and Lamb's if fine for a touch of nostalgia.

    Other top spots downtown are Settebello for true Neapolitan-style pizza, and Acme Burger Company for upscale burgers complimented with some unusual dishes (the bruleed elk tartare was astounding).

    1 Reply
    1. re: GroovinGourmet

      Can't think of any place that serves any of the local cultural food stylings. Suggest you hit up the area church house or stake center where the ward meets. Might find a pot luck going on and can crash it and partake.

      To add to what has already been mentioned, the Tin Angel is great!!

      And for veggie fare that will satisfy even a carnivore try Sages Cafe. Always satisfied there.

      If in town during the week for breakfast or lunch, I suggest The Judge, a place where you might mingle with the movers and shakers in town. Been around for years! Great food, too!
      Judge Cafe - 8 E Broadway Salt Lake City, Utah

    2. I personally think that Chuck-a-rama is gross but if you are looking for those particular foods its probably your best bet. There is also Golden Corral which is the same concept as Chuck-a-rama but some people like that one better. I like to eat at Cafe Rio. Its one of my Utah favorites. The sweet pork is out of this world. But I lived in Provo not Salt Lake. Its about 45 minutes away. But if you are up for the drive I would HIGHLY suggest Pizzeria Seven Twelve. It is a tiny upscale pizza joint that is fun and delicious!

      Good luck with the hunt!

      1. For some 'Utah type' cooking, and some local flavor, you may want to try the Pantry at the Lion House. The rolls and pies are great, and though the food is served caf style its decent. It's Brigham Young's home, and kinda fun to try. Its right downtown, on the SIDE of the Lion House. Look for a hanging sign.

        For the other Utah-y foods you mentioned, cook them all yourself. Its classic potluck church or party stuff. If you can't find the recipes online, let me know and I'll find them for you. Oh... except, the BEST 'funeral' type potatoes I've ever had are to be found at Spicy Lady in Heber. Honestly, To.Die.For. Must admit, I've never heard of Utah Crayfish. There's one for me to look up.

        Red Ig, YES - and may I say MOLE is the word.. Go for lunch and avoid the lines. If you have room, walk across the street for an ice cream treat at Leatherby's but be sure to share, they're enormous. The atmosphere is all fluorescent lights, linoleum and uncomfortable chairs, but the ice cream is yummy. I also once had a burger there, and they are surprisingly good. I enjoy Mkt St Grill's chowder (you can get the recipe if you like it, I did and it turned out great) and their Sunday brunch is great (with yummy complimentary orange rolls). Cafe Trang downtown, came well recommended, but was a terrible experience for me, burned food and bad grease smell in the restaurant. Other places you mentioned are fine. Good burgers at Brewvies (6th south nr. Red Lion Hotel). Em's up near the Capitol is good. Have fun and let us know what you found.

        1 Reply
        1. re: triss

          There are many good restaurants in and around Salt Lake City. If you want an update, this is a great site for Northern Utah Restaurants.