Black Sheep Cafe – Do you like great local beer? Do you enjoy creative Southwest cuisine? Like Sugar House? You probably don’t need to tick all of those boxes to get excited about this new partnership. Black Sheep Cafe will soon be opening their second restaurant in the former Epic Annex space in Sugar House. Epic however, won’t be moving out.
This means you’ll be able to enjoy a green chile pork Navajo taco and some hog jowl alongside an Epic Spiral Jetty, all under one roof. This is exciting.
1048 E 2100 S #110, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Biscotts Pastry And Chai – I know what you’re thinking, I need some insulin stat just looking through those pictures. Something tells me that tasting them in person will be worth every calorie though. Bicotts is the latest venture of Lavanya Mahate, who you might already know from the Saffron Valley restaurants.
Indeed, Biscotts has opened up in the same Peaks Center shopping center in South Jordan, that is home to the first Saffron Valley restaurant. Unlike Mahate’s previous ventures, Biscotts is markedly different, offering wraps, paninis, soups, chai and oh. so. many. pastries and cakes. Breakfast (starting at 7am), lunch and dinner are offered six days a week (closed Tuesday) but whenever you stop by the centerpiece here are the house brewed chais and freshly baked pastries.
1098 S Jordan Pkwy #110, South Jordan, UT 84095
Buzzed Coffee Truck – This next one, comes from a reader of the site, who wanted to share the news about a great new truck you should be seeing around the West side of town. I’ll leave it best put, in the words of the email I received”
Trina, Buzzed Coffee Truck’s founder and operator, has always had a passion for specialty coffee. She moved to Salt Lake’s west side 4 years ago and fell in love with her neighborhood and community. The only thing not to love was the complete lack of decent coffee within a convenient distance. During this time, she experimented with different brewing methods, ratios, and brew times to create the best cup of coffee rather than settle for gas station coffee. As she became more active in her community and met more of her neighbors, she realized she wasn’t the only one yearning for a good cup of coffee in the neighborhood. The Rose Park community has been crying out for a specialty coffee shop for years. While Trina’s ultimate dream is to open a brick-and- mortar coffee shop in her neighborhood, it was out of reach because of the sheer investment. Thus, the coffee truck concept was kicked around and researched. Nearly a year of research and planning ensued, and she realized the Salt Lake community as a whole was ready for a revolutionary coffee shop on wheels, and Buzzed Coffee Truck was born. Not only is Buzzed one of the first mobile coffee shops in Salt Lake City, it is the first to serve the delicious nitro cold brew out of the revolutionary technology JoeTap. Buzzed marries the ultimate in taste, convenience, ingenuity, and quality.
Trina is trained and educated by The Specialty Coffee Association of America, or SCAA. She is passionate about adhering to SCAA standards, continuing education for herself and employees, and educating her customers on the importance of buying air-trade coffee, resulting in well-informed, responsible consumers. Buzzed was created as a result of lots of love and passion for great coffee.
Chile-Tepin – The constantly bifurcating DNA of family owned and operated Mexican eateries continues with the opening of Chile-Tepin in the Crane building in downtown SLC. Left empty by Cafe Trang most recently, and Xiao Li before that, Chile-Tepin is is owned and operated by folks previously involved with downtown’s La Fountain restaurant.
The Chile-Tepin menu features plenty of popular standbys such as tacos, burritos and combos but also a number of oft overlooked dishes: parrilladas, molcajetes and moles to name just a few.
The vibe, decor and plating is more upscale than most of their direct competitors and on a recent random mid-week evening I stopped by for dinner, the restaurant was already pleasantly busy and buzzing. I could see this place generating a popular following quickly. $8.50 cadillac margaritas don’t hurt either…
307 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Cucina Wine Bar – October sees the reworking of Cucina Deli in the avenues coming to completion. The business was recently revamped with a whole new focus on wine. Indeed, as of a few days ago the wine bar now features fifty wines by the glass; all stored safe, secure and snugly in a temperature controlled climes below the restaurant.
What does remain from the from the previous incarnation of Dean Pierose’s business is chef Joey Ferran’s small plates menu – perfect for pairing with a glass or three.
1026 E 2nd Ave, Salt Lake City, Utah
Encore Bistro – Located on the ground floor of the new Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City, is this quick casual eatery operated by local catering whizzes, Cuisine Unlimited. The restaurant is now open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, with some great deals for downtown workers and dwellers.
For breakfast, diners can choose from plenty of wallet friendly options such as the Encore Waffle Sandwich (house-made chicken sausage, scrambled egg and Utah cheddar cheese) at just $6 or the Carnegie Breakfast Wrap for $5.50 (sausage, bacon, ham, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, green chilies, hash browns, egg and cheese in an herb wrap). Breakfast is served from 7 – 11 a.m.
Soups, salads and sandwiches are offered 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. and the Stage Left Sliders with slow-braised beef, spicy BBQ sauce, toasted cumin and apple slaw I tasted at a recent open house event was great. Sandwich prices range from $9 – $10.50 and include a choice of chips or fresh greens.
Dinner won’t be offered every night, but will be served on performance evenings with executive chef Stacey Rosati crafting special menus specially tuned to the theme of each performance. And yes, according to the team, that definitely means funeral potatoes for when the The Book Of Mormon is in town.
131 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, 84101
Garage Grill – Start your engines, grease your sprockets and put the pedal to the spark plug. Or something. Gear-heads, you might want to write your own intro, which you can do while you pass the time taking in the extensive automotive decor at this new Draper restaurant; which bears more than a passing resemblance to Billy Blanco’s in Jeremy Ranch. Hey, imitation and flattery like they say.
Unrelated to The Garage on Beck, Garage Grill is part of the group that also runs Toscano, Cafe 222 and the now departed Bistro 222. The menu is stacked with pub grub: burgers, pizza, various fried things and also – their own micro brew operation, RPM Brewing.
1122 East Draper Parkway, Draper, UT 84020
High West Distillery – Now offering a seasonal Sunday brunch, the High West Distillery at the Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship. Open seasonally (do call ahead to make sure they’re open) brunch is served 10.45 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
A recent brunch I happily sampled* featured smoked brisket, perfectly poached eggs Benedict (courtesy of sous vide magic), bacon, sausage, pastries, charcuterie, smoked salmon, chicken salad, french toast and more. Cost for the all you can eat brunch is $35 which also comes with some stellar views of the surrounding scenery. Those come for free with the price of entry.
While you’re there you’re pretty much honor bound to delve into the hard stuff, so take advantage of specialty cocktails at the bar or a whiskey flight, which is detailed by the well drilled and educated staff; also remember, type five package agencies can sell their wares by the bottle on Sundays 😉
27649 Old Lincoln Hwy, Wanship, UT 84017
Hruska’s Kolaches – The pastries from Hruska’s look as addictive to wrap your lips around as the name is difficult to say. Apparently, a Kolache (pronounced co-la-chee) is a Czech-Texan pastry that comes topped or stuffed with sweet or savory food items.
Priced at three bucks or less each they come in a a mesmerizing variety: sausage, egg, and cheese, sausage and gravy, carnitas, buffalo chicken, maple pecan cinnamon , fruit and cream cheese and endless more options; they all run a measly $1.25-$3.00 each. If you see me struggling with the pronunciation its cos my mouth is stuffed with a BBQ Brisket kolache. Honest.
Hruska’s recently opened their second location in the Sugar House neighborhood, adding to their existing outlet in Provo.
2030 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
J Dawgs – Keep it simple stupid, so goes the maxim. And so goes the menu at J Dawgs which couldn’t be simpler. Diners get to make one simple choice: Polish or beef? O.k. you can add chips for a buck, a drink for two or make it a combo for seven bucks – but that’s pretty much the long and short of it.
The business has come a long way since its first hotdog stand a decade ago, a 12 by 12 red shack. The operation now has five locations including their latest, eye popping downtown SLC space. The new outlet keeps to the simple format that’s driven the local chain’s sucess to date: 100% beef dogs, fresh locally baked buns, and a Special Sauce.
341 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
JINYA Ramen Bar – Opening their first Utah branch comes this mini national chain. Popping up next to Braza Grill on State Street, the focus is ramen bowls and a range of Japanese dishes. Normally, I’d skip chain openings but in this case I’ll make an exception for what seems to be a high quality brand. After all, who am I to argue with famed food critic Jonathan Gold who is a fan – heck, he lists JINYA in the top 10 ramen joints in Los Angeles.
This from his review of JINYA ramen in LA: “Best of all was an odd, strong-smelling tonkotsu ramen, whose pork broth had been pumped up with industrial quantities of dashi and dried fish, a broth on steroids, a broth that seemed to be trying to establish the record for the most umami per milligram. Can tongues pant? After a few bites, you may feel as if yours had just run a half-marathon without bothering to notify the rest of your head. ”
5905 State St, Murray, UT 84107
Meditrina – While not a new restaurant, you’ll want to pay attention to the new location and updated menu of Jen Gilroy’s popular small plates restaurant. Upping sticks from the previous home near the Bee’s stadium, Meditrina is now open and cooking in its new digs in the up and coming Central 9th area.
The menu keeps much of what made Meditrina a favorite, for example three select small plates are just $10, 3-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; and there’s plenty of locally sourced items too such as Utah trout, peaches, Creminelli salumi, local cheese and veg etc. Pictured above, one of the recent specials: seared diver scallop, with Crenshaw melon broth, heirloom tomato, cucumber, Hungarian black pepper and crispy speck.
Also set to open alongside Gilroy’s restaurant soon; Laziz Kitchen, a sit down cafe/deli featuring Lebanese cuisine, and a cool looking bar concept from local bar tenders Scott Gardner, Matt Pfhol and Sean Neves – Water Witch.
165 West Harvey Milk Boulevard, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Mid City Pub & Grill – Sports, booze, food, what more do you want. Just rinse and repeat, liberally as required. This new sports bar in Midvale packs a menu that hits up all your pub favorites: burgers, wings, nachos, tacos etc. Word to the wise, brunch promises three dollar mimosas.
7101 S Bingham Junction Blvd Midvale, Utah
Pretty Bird – Not quite ready yet, but one to keep tabs on for sure. Mentioned on Twitter by local celeb chef Viet Pham, this Nashville fried chicken concept should hit SLC in early 2017. While there’s part of me that winces at the trendy and faddy there’s a stronger part of me that uncontrollably salivates, pavlovian style at the very mention of fried chicken.
Another tweet seems to suggest the restaurant will open up on the recently rejuvenated Regent Street, as part of the Eccles Theater development.
SoCo – Speaking of, or drooling of should I say, fried chicken – if you can’t wait till 2017 check out this other new downtown SLC restaurant. Promising “Southern vittles that you’re going to love“, SoCo offers up home made fried chicken, shrimp and grits, collard greens braised in cola, fresh and tangy cole slaw, buttery corn bread, berry and lots more.
319 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Sabaidee Thai Cuisine – Meanwhile, over in Lehi, a (relatively) new Thai restaurant. While the menu reads fairly routine, the reviews are consistently strong. Worth checking out by locals and passers by.
250 W State St, Lehi, UT 84043
Saigon Sandwich – I feel like I trot out the same old adage about banh mi sandwiches every time we do a roundup. So here we go again. One upon a time, this sandwich was almost mythical in SLC. Quests were forged on brave Internet forums; the banh mi was hunted down, captured and feasted on in hidden, hard to find hole in the walls. Arguably propelled in some part by Oh Mai’s successes, and the fact these Vietnamese meets French influenced sandwiches are just awesome – these days its all change; you can find a banh mi on every corner. Kind of.
This latest option for banh mi, brings the umami delight of the banh mi to Sandy residents. As well as the headline item you will also find plenty of other staple Vietnamese dishes such as noodles, pho and rice dishes.
8528 South 1300 East, Sandy, UT 84094
Spitz Cottonwood – The world domination of Spitz continues unchecked; well, ok, the Salt Lake valley at least, with the opening of a new Cottonwood Heights outlet. At any rate, I for one welcome our new doner masters and their insanely tasty concoctions. Seriously the mix of flavor, price, fun and free flowing local beers and cocktails – the recipe Spitz has mastered is killer.
3158 E 6200 S Holladay, UT 84121
Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade – Biscuits and gravy guys, do you really need any more information? This brick and mortar offshoot from their popular farmer’s market stand now offers breakfast and lunch six days a week. The aforementioned breakfast classic is just three bucks, but if you want to get some serious arterial hardening going, check out the $10 “hoss” with fried chicken breast, egg, bacon, cheddar, sausage gravy and green onions.
54 W 1700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Table X – Table X is the work of a trio of chef-owners and set to open in November. Mike Blocher, Nick Fahs and David Barboza are the team in question and the press release assures that they are, “dedicated to creating a top tier culinary experience without a pretentious atmosphere. The Table X menu will be driven by the seasons and thus, change often. Diners can rest assured they will get to interact with the owners and chefs on a regular basis – something that is a main priority for this culinary team.”
Coy website aside, the info so far points to a seasonal driven menu, and one that will source from their own on site garden. “The garden is a key part of what we are doing here,” says Fahs. “It reminds us of the seasons, and what can be produced and preserved for other times during the year.” The garden is also the focal point of a private dining area with floor to ceiling windows that look over the spacious garden. This private seating area accommodates up to 14 guests and is named, rather on point, the Garden Dining Room. Stay tuned for more info.
1457 East 3350 South, Salt Lake City, 84106
Terra Mia – Building on the success of their initial restaurant in Orem, comes this sophomore effort in Draper. Their mission, in their own words, “We want to make people happy through our food. As Italians, we know our flavors are not for everyone. However, we are also confident that we will have a dish you love. That’s why Terra Mia offers a 100% guarantee – if you try something new and aren’t enjoying it, you can exchange it for another dish, no questions asked. So be adventurous. Go beyond the typical Chicken Alfredo. We want you to try something different, with no risk to you.” Amen to that, you have no excuse Utah, please stop with the Alfredo obsession now Utah.
Also, more than 30 gelato flavors are available. Whut. The restaurant is slated to open next month.
12361 S. Minuteman Dr. Draper, UT 84020
Trestle Tavern – Bohemian-inspired cuisine is the muse for Scott Evans’ latest foray into the SLC restaurant scene. The popular restaurateurs projects such as Pago, Finca and more recently Hub & Spoke and East Liberty Tap House have a nous for following national trends, and Trestle Tavern is no different.
Eastern European cuisine is increasingly in vogue across the country, plus, SLC has very little options if your hankering for a taste of the of old world. That means the restaurant, open in the petite space left empty by the now departed Fresco might be your goto place for goulash, spaetzle, pierogies, borscht, paprikash and more. As with Evans’ other restaurants there’s a thoughtful selection of craft beers, ciders, cocktails and spirits.
1513 1500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Veneto – With Forage now long gone, the owners of the space (foodies themselves) have launched their own restaurant, a classic take on the cuisine of the Veneto region in Northern Italy; Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona, and Vicenza therein. Owners Marco and Amy Stevanoni have serious chops too, Marco himself a local wine broker of some renown. The menu takes no prisoners and forces diners to embrace tradition, some examples from the current menu:
* bigoli pasta with duck ragú
* salted cod style in milk, spinach, grana padano sauce and polenta
* veal sweet bread, veal liver and polenta
This is no bad thing in my book frankly, and I’ve long been cheer leading for more restaurants to take a ballsier approach to their menus. I think SLC palates are more than read to support more authentic dining experiences. If the Copper Onion can routinely sell out of bone marrow apps, I think we’re good to go right.
Another talking points around Veneto, is that tipping is not allowed. In equal nods to trends across the states and Italian tradition itself, a small “coperto” (“covered” in Italian) of $3 per guest is added to each check. And that’s it. No complex math equation to end your meal, just hand over your hard earned.
For newcomers, check out their Facciamo Noi Monday promo that takes the challenge out of ordering from a potentially challenging menu for some; the kitchen chooses your dishes, 2 courses are $35, 4 courses are $60.
Zillas – I kinda wish there was an apostrophe before the Z, that way I could imagine this is the place Godzilla kicks back with a beer and burger. He yet might, that is still unconfirmed. What I do know for certain is that Zillas in North Salt Lake offers a menu of classic American cuisine. That means pulled pork, club and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and hearty fare like pizza, pasta, meatloaf and country fried steak for dinner. Someone give me a heads up if they try that chicken fried steak, I’m still on the hunt for a really great executed example here in SLC. Oh, let me know if you spot the green guy too.
2080 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
* – my brunch at High West Distillery was comped as a media invite.
Founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review. Former restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn’t understand. Ate all the pies.