Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Beckees Deal with Utah Food Cravings!!

One of my favorite things about going back home to visit Utah is the food options! 

Seriously, there are restaurants in Utah I dream about. In fact, just about everywhere I have lived or frequently visited has foods I crave. When I visit certain places, I literally have a mental food check list for the visit. I thought I might share my favorites here.
 (I tried to make this a Top five list, but couldn't narrow it down to that...)

Places that make it on my mental food craving list when I visit home:
  • Cafe Zupas: Multiple Locations. I cannot go to Utah without eating here. usually multiple times until the rest of the family is sick to death of it. I LOVE it. There are multiple locations as it is a chain, and it's not just in Utah. Try it if you get the chance. You won't regret it. I pretty much dream about the Lobster Bisque soup and the Nuts About Berries Salad! I'm drooling just thinking about it! YUM!  
  • Cafe Rio: Multiple locations. Oh.My.Goodness! Cafe Rio's Sweet Pork Barbacoa burrito served enchillada style-pretty much a perfect food! Made to order as you walk through the (likely to be long, but fairly fast moving) line. Do you prefer Salad? That's ok too because they have awesome Salads
  • CK Cummings: When I think of high quality chocolates and major treats, this is what I am thinking about! NOTHING compares to their Chocolate Covered (Fresh) Raspberries and Cherries. Oh.My.Gosh. HEAVEN! Their truffles are also amazing and their seafoam is one of my all time favorite treats in the world. Yummy. 
  • Yanni's Greek Express: 2761 S Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106. This is a close to home favorite. My family is Greek and Yanni's is close to where I grew up. I LOVE the Yanni's special. It is huge! We order 2 of them and it is enough food for my family to share. Seriously! But, SO.GOOD! I haven't been there in a few years but it remains a top fave! (Yanni's does not have a website, but this site has a scanned in, but old-prices are higher now I think-menu.)
  • Crown Burger: Multiple Locations. I haven't eaten anything here I didn't like. If you want a greasy piece of high calorie heaven, make sure to try The Crown Burger! It is amazing. Their Greek food is awesome as well! My daughter orders their Greek Salad every time.
  • Granatos: Two Locations. This is actually an Italian store and deli. My Greek family buys ingredients here for our Greek foods, but we also love the Deli. It is like the best deli food ever. EVER. I always order a hard roll Feta and Tomato sandwich or Meatball sandwich. They have lots more than sandwiches though. Check out the menu here.
  • Smiths and/or Harmons: Weird, why does Beckee insist on visiting 2 grocery stores while at home in Utah? Doubly Weird, why are neither of them her favorite grocery store, the one where she worked in high school and college (Dan's)? Well, I will tell you why.  I have a very favorite, very specific soda, that I can only find sold in Utah at Smith's and Harmon's. Diet Code Red Mountain Dew. Yeah, I can get the full sugar version all over, but I don't drink sugary drinks and I LOVE Diet Code Red Mountain Dew. I literally buy all I can and load up the back of my Suburban with it when I visit. I am sure there is a surge in sales when I am in town. YUM...please tell me how I can get a local store to carry and sell this?!
  • The Happy Sumo: This is my families favorite Sushi place. We go to the one at the bottom of Cottonwood canyon. It is good, and has one unique roll that I love and I dream about, (Mango Mamma Roll, you can see it and their whole selection on their menu here). But honestly, as of my last Utah trip, it is on it's way to being replaced by my next pick... 
  • Ichiban Sushi: Last time we went to Utah, this gem was around the corner from our hotel, so we gave it a try. I will go back for the Lion roll alone, but there were SO.MANY. amazing things on this menu. I did not get to try near enough of them. And the fact I can order take out here...Golden! I cannot wait to visit again this summer! 
Other amazing Places you should not miss in Utah:
  • Nielsens frozen custard: Only missed my list because I am not a huge fan of ice cream or frozen yogurt. But I will tell you that if the craving does come, there is no other place I would want to go. This was also a date night staple for my neighborhood during high school. It is just that impressive. You will want to take a date here (if he or she likes frozen Custard). (Apparently there is a location in Layton as well, in case you are there...)
  • The Pie Pizzaria: Ask any student at the University of Utah (or any alumni) for the best pizza joint. They will likely send you to The Pie. And apparently since I moved they have opened lots of new locations (you used to have to go to the original by the U). HUGE pizzas, really good. Do not miss! (Only reason it's not on my personal must eat list is because I sadly cannot eat pizza these days.)
  • Old Spaghetti Factory: I know this is not exclusive to SLC, but it is SOOO good, and so worth the stop. It was another popular place for date nights as a high school and college student. Great food at a fun location in Trolley Square. Their fresh warm bread is amazing and I cannot resist their Garlic Mizithra pasta. Also, make sure you splurge on their Italian Cream Soda to drink. The drink is awesome as is the souvenir cup you get to take home! 
  • Arctic Circle: Only not on my must visit list because (Praise the Lord) there is one in Yakima!!!! YEAH! So, here's the deal on this fast food gem...FRY SAUCE! The best there is. I often stop there for a Lime Rickey (traditional grape flavored one, not this newfangled cherry version) and fries with fry sauce. On occasion I will get a burger (or a Gyro which they have and are surprisingly pretty good), but for me this place is all about the Lime Rickeys and Fry sauce.
  • Market Street Grill; Oh My Gosh. The first time I realized I might like seafood was when I ate at Market Street Grill as a young girl. It is not super cheap, but it is super good. If you want a nice meal and are willing to spend a little more, eat here. Do it! 
  • Brick Oven Pizza: When I went to BYU (for about a half a year), I ate here a lot. Because it is awesome. But the pizza was not what I went for-eat the Pasta bar buffet. It is SO good! Salad bar + pasta bar = perfection! It is not on my list because I rarely get to Provo, but there is a location in South Jordan now!! Which is where my in laws live, so that's basically awesome!!!
  • Salt Lake Greek Festival: If you happen to be in Salt Lake City near my birthday in September, DO NOT MISS the Salt Lake Greek Festival. You will not find better food (unless you can convince my mom and XiaXia to make you some)! This is the event I miss most every year, and the food I crave the most. It will be crowded, there will be lines, and you may not understand what everyone is saying (unless you speak Greek), but I promise it will be worth it. (Note, this year, 2017, the festival is Sept 9-11).
  • Granite Bakery: Looking for a sweet treat? Want some awesome rolls (that taste home made without making a mess of your kitchen)? Stop by Granite Bakery. (They also do cakes for special occasions, like weddings if you are looking for that sort of a thing)
  • So Cupcake: Do you like cupcakes? You will after you stop here...I am not much of a fan of cake, but I love frosting and occasionally have a craving for cupcakes. So, Cupcake was the first "cupcake bakery" I ever went to and I loved it. I try to stop in for a cupcake or two when I am in town. Try it for an excellent sweet treat!
  • Great Harvest Bread: Bread, lots of different kinds of amazing bread that you will dream about. Really. And that is not all they have-they serve Breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch and tasty desserts as well! Go.Here. (Look at this menu from the Holladay location to see what they have)
I KNOW there are lots of favorite spots I have left off this list...what are your favorites?!