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Salt lake City, Moab and Park City recommendations

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Was in Utah for a week earlier this month with my husband, staying in Salt Lake City, Moab and Park City. I did my research on Chowhound creating a list of must eat and possible eating places. Here is my report!

As for food, the first, PAGO and last ,FORAGE meals we had while in this dramatic, scenic state were the ones to remember and recommend.

SALT LAKE CITY:
Pago - OMG, the best burger I have had in years. I don’t normally eat bacon but after seeing it was house cured I went for it. The burger was rich, drippy and exploding with flavor! The burger was served with a salad which was also excellent. This was their brunch menu. When we left I was regretting not being able to eat dinner here one night as the menu looked so good.

Copper Onion - After walking around SLC and recovering from the burger, we had dinner here. Not impressed, odd space, atmosphere and service. We had the trout with beets and fennel salad, market salad and tagliatelle with garlic and tomatoes. The trout was well cooked and we liked that dish, but the other dishes were like something I make at home and do way better.

PRICE:
Main Street Grille – stopped for lunch on our way to Moab. Both of us got omelets which were fine, the hash browns were better then the home fries.

MOAB:
Moab Brewery – I ordered the fish tacos, possibly one of my worst restaurant meals of the year. Correct me if I’m wrong but everything tasted like SYSCO. I should have known from the prices. If you care about what you eat, do not eat here.

Buck’s Grille House – Had a lovely meal on the back patio with good service. I had the trout salad and lamb shepherds’ pie. I also got to taste the sweet potato lasagna. Food was good but a little retro like Moosewood era food. Would try this place again if in Moab.

Paradox Pizza – Bad crust, sauce and pizza, horrible premade salads at dinner for eat in (what’s up with that?) Make a fresh salad for diners eating in!!!! Another place to avoid.

Eklectic Café – Another place lost in the Moosewood era. Sprouts on the salad???? That was never a good thing IMO. They did make a great mocha coffee.

PARK CITY:
Washo – I loved the private booth we sat in and the service was excellent. The food? The Washo wedge salad was a poor take on this classic. The fresh corn was the best part. Had the lamb vindaloo. The black eyed peas were excellent, the eggplant not as great. The worst part was the grilled lamb was on a bed of cumin infused sauce. I’m not wild about cumin but got no warning from the menu. Also the lamb was very mild in flavor, not earthy like I enjoy. Also tasted the cod in Asian style broth with rice, bok choy and shittaki mushrooms. It was just okay, the sauce tasted too much of sesame oil. For dessert we shared the ginger-date carrot cake, again it as okay, not great.

The Eating Establishment – Another SYSCO client? Nothing was good. AVOID.

Purple Sage – Loved the service and vibe. We had the pear and arugula salad and Purple Sage salad, both good. I had the veal meatloaf which was really good, except the plate had way too much food. Would go back.

Glitretind at the Stein Eriksen Lodge (technically Deer Valley) – What a view eating on the deck! I ordered the asparagus/artichoke hummus sandwich for lunch. I really enjoyed it, including the crisp french fries ( not the soggy ones included in the serving). The halibut lunch entrée was only okay.

SALT LAKE CITY:
Forage – End of the trip and a final meal in Utah. A fixed price, multi course dinner, 9 courses/bites of food based on the chefs. I had called ahead to let them know my husband needed a no meat or shellfish dinner. Staff was very accommodating. First the downside, service a bit too serious, and a meal that lasted too long ( 3 hours) with long gaps between certain courses. On the positive, we ate some amazingly creative food! A bite of roasted tomato that we wanted more of, wonderful scrambled eggs in sherry cream, excellent roasted greens and roots!! My favorite was the smoked mussels and crab dish. The hamachi course would have been better served without the pancetta . Forage is on to something great especially creating meals around vegetables, which is my passion! If you are into interesting, creative food eat here.

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  1. Next time you're in SLC, hit the Red Iguana. Best mole this side of Oaxaca.

    And I'm sad, but not surprised, to hear about your experience in Moab. After several visits, I've given up trying to find great or interesting food there, and am content to have Kokapelli chicken sandwiches at the Moab diner and burgers at Eddie McStiff's. They're tasty enough, and satisfy expectations. After spending all day biking or hiking in the dusty red dirt, that's good enough. But there does seem to be a niche waiting for someone willing to open a really interesting and quality restaurant there.

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    Red Iguana
    736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

    Eddie McStiff's Restaurant
    57 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532

    1. I also want to mention that when I was in SW Utah a couple years ago had an excellent meal at Painted Pony in George. Nice space, excellent service and a killer steak. The best meal of that trip!

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      Painted Pony Restaurant
      2 W Saint George Blvd, Saint George, UT 84770

      1. Thanks for the info. We're heading that direction shortly.

        1. Yeah, The Eating Establishment is no good. Sorry about that.

          I've heard nothing but good things about Glitretind. Maybe I'll try to hit that this fall when the coupons come out! ;-)

          I hope you had a good time in Utah.

          1. Is the Jailhouse Cafe in Moab no longer open? That would break my heart! It is one of my top ten breakfast spots of all time. They only serve breakfast, but they serve it well into lunch time. But oh, oh, oh, what breakfasts! The gingerbread pancakes with apple butter are my favorite with a side of thick cut bacon. Fresh squeezed OJ is a must. It is all, indeed, good enough for a last meal.

            We'd drive in and stay at a motel, grab breakfast at Jailhouse and then head up to the campground in Arches (campsite #47 is my fav, you get your own little canyon) and it was such fun. We did not find any other restaurants we liked, but screw it. With landscape like that, you can make do with peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and hot dogs for dinner.

            There is a place that makes very nice smoothies, but I can't remember the name of it...

            Finding decent food in rural Utah is always challenging. It is not a foodie state. But the landscape is more delicious than just about anywhere else.