Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Where: Buffalo Wilds Wings, 92 N 1200 E, American Fork

Who Went: Owen and Chelsey

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Huckleberry Lemonade, Triple Threat Nachos, 15-piece wings with Hot Sauce and Honey BBQ

What It Cost: $38.32 (including tip)

What We Thought: 

Okay, a bit of a disclaimer: I went into Buffalo Wild Wings having the lowest of low expectations for the food and service and everything.

Another disclaimer: I love March Madness. A lot. #favoritetimeoftheyear


So, like crazy people, we decided to go to this restaurant on a Saturday night around 7:30 during March Madness season. Obviously, I was expecting like a 2 hour wait or something, so when the hostess told me it would be 30 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised. We took our little pager with us to Walgreens across the street, bought some nail polish, sat in our car for a bit, and then were buzzed in. 30 minutes on a Saturday night during one of the most popular sports seasons? Not too bad in my opinion.

We started out with nachos that were actually supposed to be a meal I am pretty sure -- don't judge. These were called the triple threat nachos -- on one side, it was regular taco nachos, in the middle, there was buffalo chicken and blue cheese nachos, and the opposite side was nachos with pulled pork. Woof. These were seriously intense! The flavors probably went from our least favorite to most -- the pulled pork was actually pretty good, and the regular tacos were only meh. But altogether, and pretty great thing to snack on while watching the game! The cheese was definitely your typical nacho cheese (as opposed to like, you know, real cheese), but it was a pretty fun, and definitely a good value. We put a regular sized ketchup bottle in the background as a size comparison for you!!


Okay, okay, now onto the real business -- da WINGZ. When we started the meal, we told them that we had never been there before, and they offered to bring out a little sampler of the different wing sauces, that we could sample with french fries. Fun! And a great way to try out some of their more unique flavor choices :) We are boring, so we went with regular hot wings and honey BBQ. And um yeah, they were pretty dang good. Not Nicolitalia's good, but definitely at least Winger's good, and good enough that I would go there again! The 15 piece wings was PLENTY and I felt like it was a pretty decent value for the price - we definitely took some home (dinner tonight?) A lot of people have complained about the service at this location, but we must have had really great luck - we were checked on plenty of times, our food came out quickly, and our server even asked if we wanted another refill of the lemonade to go on our way out!

What You Should Do: Since I love March Madness, and they had all three games going at the same time (plus a Nadal tennis match -- bonus!!), I had a great time at Buffalo Wild Wings. It is a lot of fun to go for a big game, since people realllly get into the game, and they have more screens than I've ever seen, so you definitely won't miss a thing haha. The food is not amazing, but it is pretty good, decently priced, and wings are just delicious, okay? If you don't have somewhere to watch the games this week, you should definitely give BWW a try!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ASAHI

Where: Asahi Japanese Restaurant, 1470 N State Street, Orem (don't blink, or else you'll miss it!)

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen, Lyvia, Charles

Number of Visits: 2

What We Ordered: Honeymoon Roll, Vegas Roll, Calamari, Scallop Nigiri, Spicy Tuna Roll, other various rolls

What It Cost: $45.30 for four people

What We Thought:

Sushi. On a budget. In Utah County.

Normally, these words would make me go running in the opposite direction...

But last year on Valentines Day night, somehow the stars magically aligned, and even though we didn't have a reservation anywhere (on Valentines Day! In Utah!) we miraculously stumbled on what surely is one of Utah County's hidden restaurant gems.



You'll have to forgive me again for the lackluster photos -- they really do not do this food justice, but the unlucky combination of dim lighting + dead battery on my good camera resulted in these subpar camera phone photos. But I can't hold off any longer on Asahi!

First off, this place is very reasonably priced. They have a cool, relaxed atmosphere, and a terrible location (very hard to see from busy State Street in Orem), which makes it so you don't really need a reservation, even on one of the busiest nights to eat out in the year. Their staff is incredibly friendly and fast, and its just a very inviting place to relax and enjoy some high quality sushi.

Now, I grew up hating fish during my entire childhood, so the world of seafood is still in its fledgling stages for me -- meaning I hate it when any type of fish tastes fishy or in any way not fresh. I'm very sensitive to it and am totally picky. I don't know how they do it or where they get their fish from, but Asahi's sushi and nigiri are incredible! I even liked the raw scallops (not pictured). This is pretty amazing. Their sushi chefs are fun to watch, and prepare beautiful dishes that are also fun to eat! The calamari above was good -- I've had better before, but if you're with someone who is new to calamari, it might be a good first taste, since they tasted basically like really good onion rings with a super tasty sauce. The calamari was sliced a little thin for me, but like I said, maybe good for someone who's hesitant to try it.


I'm not going to go into each roll, except to say they were all incredible delicious, and I wasn't disappointed with any of them! I know it is kind of lame of me, but I love a good Vegas roll (hardly sushi, I know, but its fried and delicious, so whatever), and they definitely make a scrumptious one. My favorite roll is kind of unique -- the Honeymoon roll. It has smoked salmon and jalapeƱo and a little sliver of mango in there. It is SO good! I've never had fruit in sushi before, and it is awesome!


My cruddy phone camera cannot capture the awesomeness of the little roe on top of this roll -- if you don't think too much about what it is, they are super fun to eat :) Like little popping surprises in your mouth while you are enjoying the delicious flavors of the sushi roll. Highly recommended.

What You Should Do: I never thought I would recommend a sushi place in Utah (where does the fish come from?!!??!), but Asahi in Orem is definitely a great location to check out. They make quality products at very reasonable prices. To curb that sushi craving, there is no better place! ALSO, Monday through Thursday after 7 (I think) is happy hour, where you can get rolls at half price. Its pretty amazing. Normally I feel like sushi is always a huge splurge, but at Asahi, I can get sushi I actually like for prices that I definitely like!
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

LEATHERBY'S FAMILY CREAMERY

Where: Leatherby's Family Creamery, 1872 W 5400 S, Taylorsville

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Amy's Hot Fudge Brownie with Mint Cookie Ice Cream and Jill's Cookie Concoction 

What It Cost: $15.46

What We Thought: 

Let's just start with the pictures...



I need to make a disclaimer -- we only came for the ice cream, and didn't try any of the other food. So this review is ONLY ABOUT THE ICE CREAM.

And wow, the ice cream! I mean, just looking at the photos above is enough to get me salivating all over again. The restaurant is a very vintage, retro style ice cream parlor, with unflattering lighting and pretty crammed seating, but the staff is so friendly, that you totally feel comfortable and ready for a good time. I can totally see this place as being the awesome reward for scoring a home run in your baseball game as a kid or something - it just makes you feel good. Well, until you eat WAY too much ice cream...!

These ice cream sundaes, though a little pricey, are amazingly over-the-top, gorgeous, and a LOT of ice cream! It is such a fun treat, and the ice cream is all homemade :) Owen thought his mint cookie ice cream was a little too intense -- the flavor was super rich, especially considering how much ice cream they served! I love both of my flavors -- one was a classic cookies and cream, which was super smooth and delicious, and the other was peanut butter ice cream with caramel and cookie dough! Talk about indulgent! The cookie with my sundae was surprisingly soft and tasted SO good, and wow, the hot fudge. If I hadn't been in a total ice cream coma after our experience, I would have bought a bunch of this to take home! What an amazing and scrumptious treat!

What You Should Do: We went here for Owen's birthday, and it was the perfect place to go for a special occasion treat! The ice cream was super delicious, the presentation amazing, and the brownie/hot fudge/cookies were incredibly good as well. The only recommendation I have (besides, obviously, you should go!) is the first time, you might want to share! Neither Owen nor I could even make it through half of our sundaes, so if you can agree on a flavor, you may want to save the money :)
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LUCKY 13

Where: Lucky 13, 135 W 1300 S, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen and Aaron

Number of Visits: Sadly, only one

What We Ordered: Regular hamburger, Ol' Man hamburger, Celestial hamburger, and three ginger sodas

What It Cost: $24.84**

What We Thought: 

Welp, all I have to say about this is that it is simply the best burger I have ever eaten. 


I feel like there are not sufficient words in the dictionary to describe how incredible the burgers at this place were. Any words I use don't do it justice.


Fresh. Flavorful. Perfect. Fresh. Delicious. No other burger in the world should even exist.


I may sound ridiculous to you, but go there. You will understand. Also, get the fried pickles. They are so fun. Cajun fries and onion rings were also so good though. You really cannot go wrong here.

What You Should Do: I feel like crying when I think about how long I have been in the state of Utah without knowing about this place. Just make sure you're over 21 and bring your ID, because it is a bar, but you don't have to drink if you don't want. JUST EAT THESE BURGERS. now.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ROMANO'S MACARONI GRILL

Where: Macaroni Grill, 4801 N University Avenue, Provo, UT

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Blood Orange & Basil Soda, Spaghetti & Meatballs, and Pasta Milano

What It Cost: $31.32

What We Thought:

Sorry these photos are so crummy - it was kind of a last minute decision to go here since we won a gift card to this restaurant the night before and I didn't feel like making dinner...so I was unprepared, but now I am here to talk about the food!

On a side note, I really should just give up on Italian restaurants. Or someone should just prevent me from entering them. It never ends well. 


So I started out with a pretty tasty non-alcoholic cocktail -- it was a fizzy blood orange soda with basil and some other stuff... I actually really liked it! But I'm the kind of person who likes weird herbs and flowers in their food, so yeah. You should try it if you never have before :)


We started the meal with a hunk of bread big enough to serve a small family, and embarrassingly, chowed it all down at lightning speed because it was probably my favorite part of the meal. Yeah. Good bread, I must say. It was flecked with rosemary and probably doused in butter, and had a perfectly crispy exterior and soft interior. Everything you could ask for in bread, if you ask me!


I ordered spaghetti and meatballs because I really couldn't think of a more classically Italian dish, and if you're going to go boasting yourself as Italian cuisine, I should hope you would do the basics darn well. Well. This is where the line of good things ended for us. The pasta was cooked fine, but the sauce was lacking (both in volume and in flavor), and the meatballs were just a source of sadness. They were a totally overcooked, completely lacking in moisture and goodness, and I'm pretty sure the kind you can cook from the grocery store are superior. Blaahhh. I didn't even finish this dish or want to take it home, which was pretty disappointing for overpriced pasta that I could have (and should have) made better in my own kitchen.


Then Owen's dish, the Pasta Milano. It was supposed to be some sort of chicken penne dish with white sauce and some array of vegetables I believe, but to be honest, all I can remember about it is SALT. I seriously have never had such a salty dish in my whole life, it was even saltier than Carrabba's! Another dish we didn't bother to finish, another dish we regretted. There is a fine line between hearty Italian food and a salt lick, and this place just went way beyond the boundary.

What You Should Do: The quest for edible Italian food (beyond pizza) served in a restaurant that actually feels worth the hefty bill that often accompanies these sorts of restaurants STILL CONTINUES. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. I should mention however, our server was very nice and friendly.
Read other reviews here: 
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

OASIS CAFE

Where: Oasis Cafe, 151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Chelsey & Tara + her daughter 

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Tomato and Fennel Soup, Blueberry Pomegranate Juice, Breakfast Croissant, Kids Quesadillas, and Grilled Salmon

What It Cost: $29.51 for me -- grilled salmon, soup and juice

What We Thought: 

I had heard a lot of good things about this place from the internet world, so when I had a chance to pick a spot for lunch with a friend, I decided to check it out! This place is especially popular amongst the more "granola" population of Utah (I can say that since I'm from the northwest haha... :), and they have plenty of vegan options for those who are into that kind of thing. They were moderately busy for a weekday lunch, but we were seated quickly even with a toddler (and they had a high chair readily available too!) 


I am showing this picture in the order I wish I had received my food, rather than the order I actually received them...what is it with restaurants not bringing soup as an appetizer any more? Does anyone really want their soup once you're gotten your main dish? I just think its weird. Guess I'll just stop ordering soup. Anyway, I had read rave reviews on this soup, which is why I wanted to try it, but it really was kind of odd to our tastes. The fennel tasted a little soapy when next to the roasted tomatoes (and I'm a person who normally really, really likes fennel) and it was pretty cold once I got a third through it and just really was not very appetizing at that point. Meh.


This blueberry pomegranate juice was probably the highlight of my meal -- yum! Wicked expensive of course, but I can imagine that it took quite a few blueberries and pomegranates to reach this point, so I am okay with it. Plus, it was delicious.


Tara got the breakfast sandwich, which looked pretty tasty, though I am not sure if I will ever be able to eat a croissant here in the states ever again after going to Paris this summer...but it seemed nice, and even had some avocado on it that looked pretty tasty.


The quesadillas were...well...cheese between tortillas. Can you really screw this up? At least they were arranged cutely on the plate I guess. No salsa though. Weird.


Then I ordered the grilled salmon, because it looked fun -- it was topped with olive-oil and merlot vinegar tossed arugula, and accompanied by a honey-lavender polenta cake and saba (a syrup made from freshly squeezed grape juice). I like weird floral food, so the polenta cake was probably my favorite part of the dish. It was slightly sweet and original and nicely cooked. The salmon tasted a little overcooked and dry to me, but I like it rarer than most people, and the arugula just kind of felt like a presentation afterthought. The weirdest part of the whole dish was how sweet the salmon was -- I couldn't tell if it was the saba or if they put honey on the salmon as well, but it was just a little too sweet for me personally. Maybe it would suit others fine, but I'm a pretty big sweet lover, so it may just be a little too much. The service was mediocre -- aside from getting my soup super late, they sat us next to the back door where staff members kept coming in and out, even hitting my chair twice, which was a little awkward. Sorry to be in the way?

What You Should Do: I know a lot of people go crazy if I post about places in Salt Lake, but don't worry, I'm not forcing you to make a trip up here for this one. I can't really say it was worth the drive, so you are welcome for saving you from a trip and a mistake. Not to mention it was pretty expensive. If you're vegan and always find a shortage of places to eat out, then maybe Oasis Cafe would be a good place for you, but I'm not so I'll probably won't choose to eat here again.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

EGGS IN THE CITY

Where: Eggs in the City, 1675 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Me + a bunch of classmates

Number of Visits: 1

What I Ordered: Huevos Rancheros and Hot Chocolate (me), Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine with side of French Toast, Meaty Omelet with side of Pancakes, and something like Mexican enchiladas...

What It Cost: $15.48 (for the Huevos Rancheros and Hot Chocolate) 

What We Thought: 

Ah brunch. What a leisure and luxury. If you've made enough time out of your day for a belated breakfast, you want to make sure the food is worth it! Word of mouth led me a group of classmates to Eggs in the City one morning for breakfast, and I'm here to tell you all about it :) 


One of my all-time favorite splurge breakfast dishes is Huevos Rancheros -- eggs on tortillas with tasty sauce, beans and salsa. YUM! Obviously the portion sizes here at Eggs in the City are enormous, so it has that going for it, and my dish was reasonable in flavor. I've definitely had better, and I've also definitely had worse, it was just kind of middle of the road for me.


Mmm saucy. This was another twist on Huevos Rancheros, with a verde sauce instead. I like green sauces a lot, so I kinda wished I had ordered this one instead!


They have a couple versions of eggs benedict, including the florentine with spinach and tomato. A nice lighter twist on a delicious dish!


Ummmm talk about a meaty omelette -- I think there is more meat than eggs in this dish! It was pretty intense, but for those who are super meat-lovers, I really can't see any better options than this for you!


Oh, and did I mention you can order a side of pancakes? Ummm yeah -- this pancake above is the SIDE DISH. It kind of looks like a main dish, but if you're into that kind of thing, you can definitely get two breakfasts for one!


They also have regular eggs benedict, if you're into that kind of thing :) The eggs were poached perfectly, and everyone who went with the eggs benedicts were totally satisfied.


Also you can get a side of French toast - yep, another side dish!

What You Should Do: If you're in the neighborhood, Eggs in the City could be a decent choice. It's a pretty small restaurant and we definitely had to wait with such a big party (I couldn't believe how busy it was on a weekday at 10!), and the flavors were pretty decent, so it could be okay, especially if you're in the mood for eggs benedict, which seemed like the best prepared dish in my opinion. The dishes were pretty large, but definitely not on the cheap side, and I don't know about you, but every breakfast food seems weird to take home and reheat (microwaved eggs? bleh) so I don't know if I'd really want leftover breakfast.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

POP'NSWEETS

Where: Pop'nSweets, 42 E 1230 N, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Sour Patch Peach, Wunderbar, Mars, & Hello Panda 

What It Cost: $8.54

What We Thought: 

Kind of a freaky picture of me, but we had to tell you about the newest little shop along Bulldog Avenue -- Pop'nSweets. The name gives it all away -- all they sell here is pop and sweets. And a LOT of it. Rare sodas from all over the place, including my all time favorite ginger beer (super intense!) and even bacon soda (ew!). You can get those sodas chilled or even get them prepared as a float with BYU Creamery ice cream! 


In addition to hundreds of sodas, this place has candy bars from all over the world! Mexico, Europe, China, and tons others that I'm sure I am not remembering :) I can see this place becoming super popular with return missionaries who are craving candy from their mission!


I'm not a huge candy person, but obviously we had to try a couple! Let's start with my favorite, the Sour Patch Peaches! Now, everyone knows that the Sour Patch Watermelon are the best candy that you can get out of the BYU vending machines, so I obviously had to try the peaches. Um....why are these not sold everywhere?!?! They were amazing!!!!!!!!!!! So much better than the weird little dudes and even (dare I say it) the watermelons! Its like peach rings with a kick. YUMZ. Next up, Mars bar. Apparently the European Mars bar is basically like a better Milky Way. And it was better. Also a total yum. The Wunderbar, which apparently is the same as the Canadian Starbar, was a chocolate bar with caramel and a crunchy peanut center. It was reminiscent of a Take 5, but without the pretzel, and I kinda liked it! Finally the Hello Panda. They were super adorable, not exactly the tastiest, but still super fun to eat in a eating-panda-heads-kind-of-way.

What You Should Do: If you're a candy-aholic, this is SO the place for you. Obviously its not a place you'd go exclusively for dinner or anything, but I could see it as an excellent place to stop by after nailing it at the Testing Center for a little treat! We didn't try any floats because I wasn't in the mood, but I think its pretty awesome how you can come up with whatever combination float you want! You should definitely stop by and check it out.
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MAGLEBY'S FRESH

Where: Magleby's Fresh, 3362 N University Ave, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen, Chelsey & Sarah

Number of Visits: 4

What We Ordered: Buttermilk Pie and Carrot Cake

What It Cost: $9.89

What We Thought: 

We went here on our second date. Adorable, I know. Owen told me that they have "the best pie in town" and that we obviously had to try it. His favorite kind was the buttermilk pie. And I got carrot cake because carrot cake is the bomb. And after our second date, this carrot cake became my all-time favorite carrot cake because it was perfectly moist, perfectly carroty, had a great amount of heavenly cream cheese frosting, and most importantly - did not contain raisins. 

Since we had such fond memories of this place, we decided to go back recently for a little dessert following our trip to nearby 180 Tacos


We placed our order, and when we got our cakes, we were surprised that it had taken them so long just to cut up a pie and microwave it for a little bit. I mean really, that presentation was just abysmal. And it was a little later in the evening, so I can understand not having a full kitchen staff, but seriously from what we could see, there was just one kid working the register and microwaving stuff in the back. Every time we heard someone order, we heard the microwave go off in the back a couple of times and then they called up the food. For a place with "fresh" in the title, I was a little disappointed. And that pie above? Really? Yikes. Did not look appetizing, and it tasted dry and a little old. Where did the magic go??


The carrot cake also did not live up to our memories. It also tasted like it had been set out on the counter for a couple of days, and was a little skimpy on the frosting. Such a bummer.

What You Should Do: Ever since the other location closed near BYU, I feel like Magleby's has been suffering a little bit. It's not really very fresh, considering the establishment's name, and the scattered beeping of the microwave in the background didn't really do much for the ambience. Let's bring back the goodness Magleby's! What once was a favorite should be restored! Also $10 for two subpar desserts? Meh.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SAIGON CAFE

Where: Saigon Cafe, 440 W 300 S, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Egg Rolls, Szechuan Chicken and Mongolian Beef

What It Cost: $22 (including tip)

What We Thought: 

Being from the Pacific Northwest, I have a special spot in my heart for every type of Asian cuisine. And it's so hard to find here in Utah for some reason! Especially teriyaki. Does anyone know of any good teriyaki places in the state of Utah?? I crave it all the time! Anyway, when I saw that Saigon Cafe was one of the highest rated Chinese restaurants in Utah County, I immediately added it to my wishlist. Then Owen surprised me on a date taking me here - what a great guy :)


I heart egg rolls. These ones were about as good as you could expect -- not outstanding but definitely satisfying. The dipping sauce was tangy and delicious, and they were served hot and crispy. So far, a good start. 


I ordered the Szechuan chicken, which had a couple chili peppers next its name, which made me pretty excited. Who knew they were literal chili peppers?! Nonetheless, it was super delicious, just the right amount of spicy, and a good balance of meat and vegetables. And I'm not sure if you noticed the plate above, but it was huge! Definitely plenty of food for dinner and at least one lunch later on...


They also brought us a little plate of fried wontons with some dipping sauce, which was kind of cute, but I didn't really get it. Are you supposed to eat them just like plain? Is it like the tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant? I don't know. We ate them because we were hungry and they were tasty, but I'm not sure if we were doing it correctly...


Owen got the Mongolian beef, which was super fun with these little crispy white things on top. The meat was super tender and delicious, perfectly cooked, and there was a lot of it! We loved the flavor of the sauce, and the dish as a whole. Yum!

What You Should Do: I don't know...I think Saigon Cafe may be moving up the ranks as my new favorite Chinese restaurant in Utah Valley! I'll have to visit it again to confirm, but it was pretty tasty. It was also a great deal! An appetizer plus two gigantic entrees for around $20 -- not bad. I would definitely recommend Saigon Cafe to anyone looking for excellent Chinese food near BYU.
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