Recs needed for Provo, Utah
The Provo/Orem area is actually making some headway on the culinary scene, after years of being a chain wasteland. Spark, Rooster Dumpling and Noodle Bar, and the sublime Pizzeria 712 have all entered the scene, supplying fresh, innovative fare. In particular, Pizzeria 712, which specialized in thin crust, wood-fired pizzas, might be a good family-friendly destination, although I can't imagine any place in Provo not providing a relatively kid-friendly atmosphere.
I'm gonna second this.
Now, I lurve Chinese dumplings and have eaten thousands of 'em from NYC to LA, SF, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan and beyond. I was a leeeetle skeptical that a dumpling shop in Provo would:
c) be any good
Four Seasons does a pretty darn decent dumpling. They do Northern Chinese dumplings. These aren't like the thin, translucent Cantonese shrimp dumplings you get at dim sum, but are more rustic and hefty and hearty and porky; thick skins with solid pig flavor.
They have three dumpling options: boiled (shuijiao), steamed, and xiaolongbao. You choose your meat and fillings, then they make them to order.
The pork and chive and pork and cabbage were quite good. The cabbage was shredded and cooked prior to stuffing the dumplings, which gave it a nice flavor boost. I also liked the pork and chilepepper, but didn't care for the bland chicken or seafood. I liked both the boiled and steamed dumplings. However, after a few visits I've found that they can be somewhat inconsistent.
The xiaolongbao (I got the pure pork XLB) admittedly weren't as good as the best places in LA (much less Shanghai), but they're 90% there, which for an Asian restaurant in Utah is nothing to sniff at.
They also have baozi with various fillings (e.g., pork and cabbage, pork and chive and egg-and-chive bao. I tried the latter two, which were surprisingly good.
The Four Seasons shredded veggie and bean-thread noodle salad was excellent as well (and may be my favorite dish here). Refreshing, light, and crisp with a bit of a kick.
If you're stuck in Provo, this place will scratch your Asian itch for a while. And, FWIW, I've taken my small children here several times (they also love dumplings and baozi) and the owners have bent over backward to accomodate them.
For Mexican food my favorite is Diego's (just west of University Ave. on 300 North). My favorite is their beef chimichanga. Cafe Rio is pretty good. I would avoid Los Hermanos unless you like super-boiled chewy meat. The best restaurant by far is Bombay House (Indian). The lamb boti kebab masala... it's making my mouth water just writing this. I've never found better even in New York and London. Thai Ruby just south of BYU campus (www.thairubyfood.com) is excellent. I love their Pad Tai and House Special Curry. Sam Hawk (in the strip mall 200 W. 700 N.) is the place for Korean. Try the pork bulgogi and Fusion chicken. It can get spicy, so if that's a concern ask your waiter. The Smokehouse has great BBQ and pizza (University Ave just north of Center St.). The Happy Sumo is the only good sushi in Provo (located in the Riverwoods). Tucanos (also in the Riverwoods) is kind of pricey, but it's good all-you-can-eat Brazilian churrasco. For more American fare I'd try the Trolley or Brand X Burger (both in Springville). In Provo, there's the Rocky Mountain Drive-In (43 S 500 W) or The Malt Shoppe (1290 N University Ave).
Provo is mostly chains and not so good places in my opinion. I used to live near there. Place I dearly loved was Cafe Rio. The tacos there are amazing. There's also a pretty good Mexican restaurant on Main St called Los Hermanos.
220 N University Pkwy # 816
Provo, UT 84604