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Posts from the ‘Restaurant Review’ Category

eatery 1025 :: You Should Go To There!

Utah… a culinary wonderland! (?)  Yep…I just used Utah and culinary in the same sentence!  I do this not out of foolishness…but because I actually know!  Of course, I could spend at least an hour or two telling you all about the secret spots, my new faves, the good ‘ole standby’s, the uniquely Utah locales, and of course where to find the best beer…nope…I’m just going to tell you about one little place that is well-deserving of your attention!  eatery 1025.  

I am not the first to take notice…and will not be the last.  Due to my lack to photography skills…I have borrowed a photo from the Salt lake Tribune as my attempts hardly did justice to the beauty of the chilled beet and cucumber soup!

(photo courtesy of Francisco Kjolseth/Salt Lake Tribune)

There is just one little quirky thing about eatery 1025…it’s technically in Bountiful.  Don’t let this stop you…it is worth the trip…right off the freeway…no big deal…it’s closer Alta and Snowbird!

The self-describe their menu as clean with seasonal ingredients.  I would agree although I’d throw in a splash of creativity, a slight lean towards gluten-free and vegetarian and a knack for taking dishes found on many menus and making them unique and extraordinary.  Executive Chef, Chelsa Best and Sous Chef, Liam Connelly have put their all into this little place and expanding the gastronomic horizons of Bountiful!  (and they have a tiny kitchen – having worked in kitchens, I know the challenges of tight spaces…you’ve got to have some happiness in the kitchen if you want your food to have love…which it does!)

Blah, blah, blah…get on to the good stuff…

Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Sampling of side dishes:  honey-glazed carrots, rosemary fingerlings and curried cauliflower

Caesar Salad – parmesan frico, hearts of romaine, chopped hard-boiled egg, grilled red onions, crouton fingers, and last…and my favorite…fried capers!

Zucchini ribbons with chicken sausage and ricotta salata – no noodles here, just zucchini.  Fresh and brilliant!

Can you tell that we ordered many things…

Sweet pea spinach salad with caramelized onions, pine nuts and topped with salmon

Grilled ham and cheese with mustard and caramelized onions on sourdough

You can’t go wrong with a traditional and nicely grilled cheese sandwich

Chicken gyro on fresh pita

The space is bright and inviting mimicking the character of the dishes.  Currently they are serving breakfast (go for the oatmeal brûlée!) and lunch and will hopefully be serving dinner this fall.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without a sweet nibble…and truthfully, despite the bursting-at-the-seams feeling in my stomach…I could have squeezed in at least two more of these…they were that good!

Vanilla cupcakes with fresh strawberry mascarpone frosting!

(do you want to know a secret…?  these cupcakes are gluten-free!  I am not usually a fan of gluten-free…and I would not have known…delicious and made fresh daily on site!  Shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone!)

Overall, the menu is filled with options to satisfy both traditional and eccentric tastes while not overreaching.

What they do…they are doing well.

You Should Go To There!

eatery1025 •1025 South 500 West • Bountiful, Utah • 84010

**I may or may not know and or be related to the sous chef.  This in no way affected my overwhelmingly positive and delicious experience!  🙂

Euro Pane…I found my bakery!

Time for another favorite place of mine…

Euro Pane Bakery

This is a true bakery…where they also happen to make amazing sandwiches and salads.  The closest thing I’ve found in Pasadena to croissants and baguettes like they make in France.  Delicious.

Menu is simple and classic.  Breads are amazing, tarts are not overly sweet, and they even have completely authentic macarons!

Of course, you must have an Orangina with your sandwich (french accent).  [Side note:  Dear Orangina, I’m incredibly disappointed that the product sold in the United States includes high fructose corn syrup.  I regret to inform you that I will no longer by enjoying your citrussy bubbly drink unless I find the real thing…similar to only drinking Mexican coke.  Sigh!]

Our table provided a peek behind the counter.  And then…

…sandwiches arrived.  It may not look like anything special…but this is delicious roast chicken salad with some tarragon and yogurt on rosemary currant bread.  So good!  Woody enjoyed a meatloaf sandwich, although he was torn between that and their egg salad sandwich.  For anyone who enjoys a not-quite-hard-boiled-egg…this is the egg salad for you.  I promise…you won’t be disappointed.

Oh my, how the summer flies…

So we’ve been traveling a bit this summer.  Not a lot, but enough to throw off the routine…enough to make us forget which day of week it is…and just enough to provide more photos and projects than I have had time to post.  (read: explanation for my lack of regular posts from this summer)  One of the things I love about traveling, and returning for visits to locations that are familiar is returning to some favorite spots, digging into a favorite dish that you just can’t find anywhere else.

We found ourselves in Minnesota for a few days, and I had to make sure we squeezed in a meal at Punch Pizza.  I am well aware that this is a chain…but it is local to Minnesota…and I think they have a great business model and an impressive product.

Their whole gig is Neopolitan Pizza…made like you are in Italy.  And in fact, it is the closest thing I’ve tasted to the pizzas I enjoyed in Rome when I traveled there in 8th grade.  Crust, San Marzano tomatoes, a few toppings and fresh cheese…that’s it.

It is amazingly fast, since the wood-fired oven remains at a toasty 800º Fahrenheit…and if you left a pizza in for more than 90 seconds…you’re pizza would be unrecognizable as food…and certainly inedible.

My favorite topping of all time is olives…and more recently…green olives.  I can’t get enough of them.  I ordered the Napoli and added green olives.

Woody ordered a Toscano – roasted red peppers, sausage, basil and cracked red pepper.

My only complaint with this place is that the experience is over so quickly…there’s hardly any time to really drool and anticipate your pizza being brought to the table…they’re just so damn fast.  And I wish they could open a location in Pasadena…is that really asking too much?

Lowcountry Fare & an Alligator

I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina at the beginning of the month…and after all the hoopla of getting tickets and registered for a training and all the planning that goes into a last-minute business trip…I took a breath and realized something.  This trip would be my first south of the Mason Dixon line and actually south of the DC.

Now, software training is not the most invigorating reason for travel…but what I did not realize was the multitude of joints, cafe’s, restaurants, crab shacks, bars, and dining venues that would be available to me in the city of Charleston.  We were bound by a shuttle to downtown from our hotel on Daniel Island and i should admit that two nights (forgive me)…we gave in to eating at the locale 50 steps away.  It’s not that this place in particular was bad, more that it is used to having a captive audience, has a strong pirate theme…like it feels like you’re on an old wooden boat and mostly, it is just nothing incredibly special.

So we went out.  We ventured and explored and took indecisiveness to a new level.

We wanted to eat here.

This place looked amazing.

We explored this store…I love kitchen supply shops!

We almost ate here…but the wait was 30 minutes for the patio.

Our first evening, we (finally) settled on this place.

Our indecision resulted in a time crunch and desperate hunger.  However, the requirements were seafood and sitting outside…as even at 7:45 pm, it was still 85° and muggy. We shared everything – calamari, steamed mussels and the local favorite – she crab soup.

The soup is similar to a bisque made with lady crab parts and roe, lots of heavy cream and finished with some dry sherry.  We found it on almost every menu we perused.


A few nights later we ventured into Charleston once again. Wandering the streets, we marveled at how all the shops closed by 5 pm sharp and how wonderful the night air smelled…with a hint of the ocean.

This place caught our eye – or Sangria caught our eye…one or the other.

I could have ordered at least 7 different things on the menu…we went with two.

Tomato Bread with Melted Fontina Cheese.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp served playfully in a takeout box with pickled carrots and a lightly sweet dipping sauce.

We wandered again, not completely full, but hoping for a pleasant walk and perhaps another interesting find.

Amen Street

I do love me a good gin and tonic!

That’s right…you’re looking at fried green tomatoes with a shrimp salad with a side of hot and sour okra and on the far right plate…shrimp ‘corndogs’ served with Carolina mustard and gherkins!

All of it was amazing.  I would travel back to Charleston…just for the chance to sample a few more of the restaurants and explore more deeply.  I was quite charmed.

It would not have been a complete trip without seeing one of these either…

The Slaw Dogs

I thought long and hard whether to include reviews of restaurants, joints, cafes, lunch spots, and places I visit – and then I thought…these places are a significant part of my culinary experience.  I cook at home, I pick up take out, I grab lunch, I grocery shop.  If you are what you eat, then I should share some of my thoughts on my adventures in ordering in addition to my adventures in cooking.

My co-worker and I had once again forgotten our lunches the other day…and we’re faced with the always tough decision of where we should go to satisfy our empty stomachs.  I remembered W emailing me the link to this new Pasadena establishment…and Jennie loves a good hot dog…so we were out of the office and headed to The Slaw Dogs.

(disclosure – cell phone pics – not great photography – but the whole point of restaurant reviews is for someone to read or see enough to be intrigued and try it out…then judge)

There were many options for building your own dog…I like options but I also get a little distracted and confused by all of them.  I don’t know if you know this…but I can be a little indecisive.  However, I perused their website and menu prior to arrival and already had an inkling that I would be ordering the Caesar Dog.  And I did…I’ll get to that in a minute.

We drove up and I realized that it had taken over a space that had previously housed a cheese steak joint…that boasted world’s best Philly cheese steak.  A) We’re not in Philly; and B) “world’s best” and “recently shut down” don’t go together.  The interior has been redone, it felt fresh, clean and comfortable – kind of blackboard meets wood plank barn.  There were only 2 people in front of us, but it still took more than 5 minutes of waiting before we ordered.  The servers are still learning the menu and seemed to have a little trouble tallying up the check…to then use a little hand held calculator to add in the tax and then run my card through the CC machine.  They did have a combo meal – which included a side and a drink.  After all that, I was still a bit shocked by the $11.06 total for 1 Caesar dog combo meal (fries and and iced tea) – but I had hopes that when my Vienna all beef dog arrived piled high with the makings of a Caesar salad that it would all be worth it.  They also have a strange ticket system for keeping track of order numbers – they are in desperate of something like these.  They gave us a yellow ticket; like you might get at Trader Joe’s to enter your name in the raffle since you brought your own bag; or like you might get at a carnival or fair or at a coat-check.  Small yellow ticket = not efficient, easy to lose, hard to see for servers.  I didn’t like it.  Then the food arrived.  Looks delicious.

First though…what is the best method of attack?  Pick it up, cut into pieces, eat all croutons first…?  So I dug into the fries.  Good flavor, most of them were crispy, some a little soft, right amount of salt – they would be better cut a little smaller.  First bite of the Caesar dog was good.  The bun seemed a little small and may have made a more positive impression had it been lightly toasted, the actual dog was very good, and all of the topping was prone to falling right off, especially the croutons.  I appreciate the inclusion of the banana peppers, but would have preferred a dill pickle spear – who doesn’t like a good dill pickle?  Halfway through the dog…the bun was splitting and soggy on the bottom from the Caesar dressing, and while the bun is not the star of the show…it should be a decent supporting actor.  Overall, the taste was good, I would consider experimenting with this combination at home and I enjoyed my lunch – so who can complain, really?

Jennie got the ABLT dog with a chicken apple sausage and no bacon.  She mentioned an issue with the slaw tasting like pumpkin.  I’m new on the “I enjoy cole slaw” train and therefore had no idea what she was talking about…until I tried a piece and, yep…it tasted and smelled just like pumpkin carving.  Weird.  Maybe some sort of cabbage off-gassing…I don’t know…any thoughts…?  With the combo meal, you are also given a small little container with a piece of fudge.  A little surprise is never a bad thing.

Squint…you can catch a little glimpse of the dog hiding under a mess of romaine, Parmesan, croutons, and dressing.   The menu and options are worth exploring; truffle oil, kimchi, curry ketchup, roasted pasilla peppers,  the combinations are endless but I think I might go back to basics on the next visit – Vienna all beef dog and a toasted bun.  Earlier I mentioned the cost seemed high for what we got – really I think they need to re-do their pricing structure.  My Caesar dog was more expensive than the ABLT which included bacon and avocado and tomatoes…all of which are pricier raw ingredients than romaine, packaged croutons, Caesar dressing and a sprinkle of cheese.

Overall…I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 forks.

+ 0.5

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