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Aug 13, 2008 02:59 PM

Salt Lake City for 4 nights in September

I'll be in Salt Lake City for a business meeting Saturday, September 20th - Tuesday the 23rd, staying at the Grand America downtown. I'm mainly looking for dinner recs, but breakfast would be great too. I wasn't planning to rent a car, but easily could be swayed if it would make chowing better/easier. I do love to walk, and places in proximity are certainly welcome. I've searched the boards and found these to be intriguing possibilities:

Acme Burger Company - that Breath Enhancer looks Gooooood! Plus, it's open on Sunday.

Takashi - I love sushi and am from Iowa ... whenever I can find the good stuff, I'm there!

Settebello - love Neopolitan style pizza

Finally, I've looked at Red Rock Brewing Co;, Faustina; and Red Iguana. I know they are apples to oranges, but that may give you some idea of my tastes - I'm up for anything as long as it's tasty! I like casual bar type dining, as well as dining at the bar in nicer places (I always feel a little weird getting a table for one - the bar always feels more comfortable).

Also - back to the car/cab issue - are Mazza and Red Iquana worth it?

Thanks SO much - I promise to report back.


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  1. Your picks all seem great to me, looks like you have been doing some investigation already :) I can give the thumbs up to Faustina also, had dinner there last Saturday and it was very enjoyable.

    As for Mazza, I really like the place, heck I was there last week myself. I don't think I would rent a car just to try the place tho. As your downtown, there's plenty of great food to eat around you.


    1. From the Grand you are only a couple of miles from both Mazza (9 and 9 location) and Red Iguana. They are two of the finest foodie hangs in the state, and both would be worth the cab fare. Red Rock gets thumbs up for food and cream soda, their beer is so-so.

      Another spot even closer worth a visit is Tin Angel. Tasty New American with an emphasis on local/sustainable ingredients. I'm preparing a wrap-up of recent meals, so keep an eye out for details. But I will give up 5 words now to whet your appetite:

      Sweet Potato Black Truffle Flan

      9 Replies
      1. re: ThaGroovinGourmet

        Ooohhh that sweet potato black truffle flan totally has my name written all over it. Tin Angel sounds awesome - I love the local/sustainable movement (we even have a few spots here in Iowa City with that focus!). I think that will replace Red Rock for me ...

        If I could only do Mazza OR Red Iguana (understanding they are two different animals) which should it be?

        Thanks Stu and TGG!


        1. re: iowagirl

          I've never been to Red Iguana, the infamous queues scare me off whenever I think about going. The question is do you want Mexican or Middle Eastern. They are both generally considered great around here, and are both a cab ride from your location.

          Someone might correct me but based on the queues I don't think Red Iguana take reservations. My pick would be Mazza.


          1. re: gringo_stu

            Yeah, I love both Middle Eastern and Mexican and while we have a couple of decent renditions here, I'm always looking for the good stuff when I leave Iowa. Maybe I'll just decide what sounds best when the time comes ...

            Thanks again for the input!


            1. re: iowagirl

              As your staying there, I will also add in my favourite fancy place down town. Bambara in the hotel monaco always makes me smile. Food, service, atmosphere, it has the lot.

              Not a cheap place, but worth the money in my book.


            2. re: gringo_stu

              Dude! Given your website that is totally lame! Sorry, but foodies cannot be line wusses! lol

              Seriously... you need to get to RI as soon as humanly possible. Lines are bad only at peak times and weekends. That leaves plenty of open hours to enjoy what is some of the finest regional Mex to be had in the western US.

              1. re: ThaGroovinGourmet

                Hehe, yeah I know. It's been on my list to try for as long as I can remember.

                TBH, a while ago I also kinda got a little disillusioned by the Mexican restaurants I was eating at. Always with the same side of beans, mushy rice and the like. Everything was just so...for want of a better word, samey.

                Maybe Red Iguana is the place to light my fire back up so to speak?! Do they have anything beyond the normal enchilada, burrito, chimichanga options? And also, what is the best evening and time to go? I rarely eat out for lunch.

                As an aside, I was in Chicago recently and almost stopped by Rick Bayless's famed Topolobampo, but didn't make it in the end. Wish I had.


                1. re: gringo_stu

                  Red Iguana is regional Mex. TONS of dishes that are well removed from the standard AmeriMex fare, and their enchiladas and burritos rule too. A couple of my faves are papadzules and entomatadas. Like you've ever seen those in any Mex place anywhere before? BTW... papadzules are masa triangles stuffed with cheese, served with a mildly spicy green pumpkinseed mole with chopped hardboiled egg and pickled onions (extra for me!). Unique and KICKBUTT.

                  For something a little more familiar go with the Snapper Veracruzana. Their rendition is fabulous. And then there's the Puntas De Filete, beef tips in a spicy almond mole with bacon and serranos. The ex would rarely order anything else.

                  Go mid-week for dinner. Or mid-afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday followed by a siesta. When in Rome...

                  Come to think of it, it would be a pleasure to hook up with you and share 'hound tales while attacking the RI menu. At least 1 more dish for you to sample with a dining companion. <wink>

                  Too bad you did not get to Topolobampo. One of the overall best dining experiences ever (food, room, service and companions).

                  I used to go to Frontera years ago with a buddy who was A-list there. The looks on people's faces as we were whisked past them upon entry was priceless...

                  And little did I know that Rick Bayless is the brother of Skip Bayless, the former sportswriter of my hometown newspaper.
                  Rumor has it their demeanors are rather dissimilar.

                  And a second-that-emotion for Bambara. Just posted about my bday dinner in my Scattershooting post. That place has it goin' on.

                  1. re: ThaGroovinGourmet

                    Your offer to share a meal at Red Iguana sounds great :) I'm out of town for some time on business soon. As soon as I am back though I will be dropping you a message to be sure. I managed to find a RI menu online and it seems like it might just be what I was looking for :)

                    As for Topolobampo, we ended up at Everest this time. The Chicago 'hounds board seemed to recommend it pretty heavily. Next time I am in Chicago I will definitely have to hit Topolobampo.


          2. re: ThaGroovinGourmet

            ThaGroovinGourmet-- Thanks for the Tin Angel Cafe recommendation! I stopped there yesterday for lunch on my way to the airport (returning home to Los Angeles). I had a delicious sandwich and salad out on the patio. A nice light meal. Great, friendly service. Easily accessible from the highway and I liked the artistic decorations.

            I had the chicken-cambazola (?) sandwich. Would have liked to try the turkey-brie panini but they told me it was very popular and they were "out" of it. To be fair, I _was_ there late in the lunch hour. I wish I had had more time to try a dessert.

          3. I totally recommend the Tin Angel, make a reservation though, but good at lunch or dinner! (365 W 400 S)
            Em's is good food too. (271 Ctr St)
            Red Rock has some great food and cream soda. One of my favorite places! (254 South 200 West)
            Cafe Trio (680 South 900 East)