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May 9, 2010 07:46 PM

Trip Report: Utah---excellent meal at the Forage

Quick 4 day trip to Moab. Flew in and out of SLC

Random Doughnuts in a Gas Station in Spanish Fork- We had these when we stopped for car munchies before going up into the Wasatch. These were obviously brought in from a local bakery, were in a brown cardboard doughnut box and by the register. They were delicious and quite unlike New England doughnuts: chocolate cake donuts with a thick cocoa glaze. Vaguely similar to Krispy Kreme chocolate devils food doughnuts, but much better.

The Forage: Awesome, awesome meal. The style of cooking is extremely close to that of Paul Liebrandt at Corton, in NYC, but these food was tastier and frankly more refined. A ton of food, even with the 3 course option; yes, it's 3 courses with smallish portions, but you also get 3 amuse bouches and a palate cleanser. Memorable dishes included the best soft-boiled egg dish that I've ever had and a absolutely jaw dropping cous-cous with chorizo and szechuan pepper. Desserts were absolutely AMAZING, literally, the best I've had in a restaurant in a few years. Mint frozen yogurt was so intensely mint flavored that I nearly fell off my chair.
Service was beyond impeccable. Wine list was excellent by NY standards; great BTG options (2 burgundies, both under $12!) and well chosen and exceptionally well priced bottles.
I eat out a lot in NYC- in the past six months, I've been to Bouley, J-G, Annisa, SHO Shaun Hergatt, Aldea, among others. My mom, who I was eating with, recently came back from a trip to Paris where she ate at a couple of multi-starred restaurants. We both agreed it was the best meal we'd had all year.
And the 3 course prix fixe is $45! For a 2 hour experience? I cannot recommend The Forage more highly.

In Moab:
Moab Brewery- Fine, functional, brewpub cuisine, actually better than I expected. Had a decent smoked half chicken ($13). Beer was mediocre.

Center Cafe- CLOSED (disappointingly!)

Desert Bistro- We planned to eat here, but we went in and the menu was so bad, and the food so nasty looking, that we left. Higher than Manhattan prices(I'm from NYC); $26 for the chicken.

River Grill (at Sorrel River Ranch Resort)- Good. Expensive, but a smidge less than Desert Bistro, and we enjoyed our meal. Pork chop was thick, cooked as ordered, and tasty. Appetizer (steak with maytag blue on toast) was overpriced and only OK. Wine list mediocre, but better than Desert Bistro. View was tremendous.

Restaurant at Red Cliffs Lodge- OK. High priced for what it was. Prime rib was rare and juicy, but bland. Crockpot Barbecue ribs were fall-off-the-bone, but BBQ sauce wasn't house made. $18 for the rib and $22ish for the prime rib. Also with tremendous view.

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  1. The doughnuts that you had at the gas station were most likely Dunford Doughnuts. Several years ago Dunford Bakery (a local bakery) bought iconic Salt Lake Doughnut and incorporated it into their line of baked goods. Salt Lake Doughnut was a staple for my father and his brothers growing up. Each week my grandfather would buy two boxes of "cripples" (broken and mangled doughnuts) and they would eat these throughout the week. For obvious reasons they no longer sell "cripples" but you can get boxes of "seconds".

    The Chocolate Iced Chocolate Cake Donut is simply the best chocolate cake doughnuts I have ever tasted and should not be missed while in Utah. You lucked out on stumbling on them in the gas station!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: mrm48

      I looked at the link, and you're right- that's what they were.
      They also had the Chocolate Twists in another box, which were just slightly smaller than an NFL football but didn't look as tasty and unusual as the chocolate cake donuts.
      My family was out eating dessert tonight and those donuts came up in conversation...they were a darned good sweet!

      1. re: mrm48

        the Dunford owner passed on a family favorite dessert idea to me: freeze one of those chocolate iced/chocolate donuts, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with hot fudge.

        1. re: ddtye

          i was thinking the same thing except not freezing the would be like a brownie sundae but so much better!