Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TULIE BAKERY

Where: Tulie Bakery, 863 E 700 S, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Just me!

Number of Visits: 1

What I Ordered: Pain au Chocolat and Hot Chocolate

What It Cost: $8.10

What I Thought:

After Paris last summer, I have been on a rather unsatisfying quest to find baked goods that measure up to my boulangerie memories. Yeah, yeah, I realize how snobby and pretentious that sounds, but its the truth, so deal with it. I decided to check out Tulie Bakery after a friend's recommendation, and it seemed hipster/artisan enough that it might just be good :)


I ordered my favorite - pain au chocolat, in addition to a hot chocolate to sip on as a casually read a book for the first time since classes started last September. The environment was nice and cozy-chic, and I definitely liked feeling like I could take my time and enjoy the morning. The first bite into my pastry was promising -- it was buttery, flaky, and crisp. But as I continued to eat the pain au chocolat, I was a little disappointed at how chewy and dense it was in the middle. I just want the combination of crispy, flaky on the outside + light and airy on the inside! So, this was half of what I've been looking for. It still tasted good, and was overall satisfying, but just off target slightly.


The hot chocolate on the other hand, was surprisingly good! As a non-coffee drinker, I've always been a little jealous of all the pretty latte art out there, which makes for such popular Instagram fodder. So I was pleasantly surprised with this pretty little drink, and loved the creamy top which contrasted deliciously with the rich chocolate underneath. It was spiked with a little cinnamon on top, which added just the right amount of interest, and was overall a tasty little drink.

What You Should Do: So, $8 does seem a little pricey for an every day pastry and drink, but if you are in the mood for a little comforting splurge and relaxing café morning, then Tulie Bakery is definitely a good place to visit!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FIORE

Where: Fiore Wood Fired Pizza, Food Truck

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen and Aaron

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: New Yorker Pizza and Sweet & Spicy Pork Pizza

What It Cost: $18

What We Thought:

Oh food trucks. We humans are such suckers for them. What is it about food coming from such a tiny space and waiting in a long line that just makes food so appealing? 

I have to admit, I kind of feel like I can't make a super accurate review of this place seeing as I waited in line for 1.5 hours for it, and probably anything would taste amazing at that point. But, here we go anyway...


I have to admit, this food truck was one of the more fun ones I've seen - they have a nice industrial design and all of these clear glass panels, so you can watch them making the pizza while you wait in line for forever! So tantalizing! Actually, I was pretty impressed (and shocked) that they actually hand rolled the dough for EACH pizza as they were ordered - very fresh!


You know a place is good when literally every pizza on their menu sounds delicious! Sorry it's kind of hard to read with the mountainous reflection on the glass, but we ordered the New Yorker, which had tomato sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, pepperoni and sausage, and their special of the day, the sweet and spicy pulled pork. But seriously, any of the options looked incredibly delicious (on other days, their special is sweet corn and bacon. Um YEAH that sounds awesome!) Also, don't be deceived -- it says that the pizzas cook in 90 seconds, but it definitely does not mean that 90 seconds after you order, you will get a pizza. HA! Maybe on more slow days (this was definitely probably on their top 10 busier occasions I think), but yeah, it was more like 45 minutes after you ordered. Popular place! But....was it worth it?


The answer --- YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, the above pizza is the New Yorker. A good amount of toppings, and WOW, some of the best crust I've ever had! It was super light and airy, chewy and amazing. I am really on a ricotta kick right now, so that was obviously delicious, and I loved how crispy the pepperoni and sausage were. In essence, this was one of the top pizzas I've ever had! Of course, it could be the lengthy anticipation, but yeah, it was amazing.


Ooooh, and the sweet and spicy pork. Hunks of some of the best pork I've ever had, pineapples and peppers, and an amazing creamy cilantro sauce. The only disappointing thing was that they didn't really cut it very well (considering their whole 90-seconds per pizza thing haha), so it was a little hard to pull apart and kind of messy. But that was only an issue since we were splitting it amongst 3 people - if I had hoarded it all to myself, it would be no problem :)

What You Should Do: Yep, another food truck that's worth tracking down! Hopefully you can find them at a less busy location, because the pizza is fantastic! I don't want to be too bold, but it may be some of my favorite food truck food yet! They have fresh ingredients, perfect flavor combinations, and some seriously incredible crust. I can't wait to try it again!
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

PIER 49 PIZZA

Where: Pier 49 Pizza, 3210 N University Ave, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Family

Number of Visits: 3

What We Ordered: Regular Pizza -- half Ghiradelli with alfredo and half Telegraph Hill

What It Cost: $16.70 

What We Thought:

There's just something about picking a local pizza place that you're loyal to. That's Pier 49 for us. Not because they are the best pizza, most creative or unique or trendy. They are dependable, never busy (which is why I've hesitated posting about them here!), and make the kind of pizza you want when you're REALLY CRAVING pizza.  


Thick and flavorful sourdough crust, just enough cheese to be delicious without overwhelming everything, and scrumptious toppings. The ghiradelli flavor is your basic Hawaiian, which we tried with white sauce this time - a little weird. Stick with the zesty tomato sauce - it's good. On the other side, we had the Telegraph Hill (might not be on the menu, but ask for it!), which has a Rajin' Cajun sauce on it (spicy barbecue!), southwest chicken, red onion and mozzarella. Ask for it extra spicy!

What You Should Do: Though I don't want them to get TOO busy, you should definitely check out Pier 49 pizza. They have locations all throughout Utah, and some of them aren't doing very well which makes me so sad! They are really good! I think the one in Provo just has a bad location -- you should really try it. The staff there is super friendly, they get the pizzas out quick, and they are the perfect pies to fix your craving. We dig it.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CORNDOG COMMANDER

Where: Corndog Commander, Provo/Orem food truck (that day, it was at Rock Canyon Park)

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen, and Aaron

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: One Polish Corndog 

What It Cost: $3.50

What We Thought: 

You know, sometimes, you go 17 years without eating a corn dog, and then all of a sudden it just hits you. And you want one. RIGHT NOW! 

Luckily, there is a food truck right there. With a giant corn dog on top of it. 


Okay, so it wasn't really immediate. In fact, the line was super long. It actually took like an hour (we were in a really popular place) because they hand dipped every single one and popped these babies out fresh and hot. Does that sound weird? I don't know. Whatever. This was easily the best corndog I've ever had, and I'm not even a hot dog person (at all). The exterior was crispy and the breading was amazingly good. I prefer mustard only on my corndog, and luckily they supplied plenty -- everything about this was perfection in our opinion. Oh, did I mention its a foot long? Yeah, definitely twice the size of a normal corndog.

What You Should Do: If the craving hits, go find this truck!! I think it is often across from Helaman Halls (or so I've heard), and they have a breakfast one that seemed like a sausage wrapped in a pancake and fried? Uhhhh yeah. Gotta try it. What is it about food from a mobile vehicle that makes it so fun!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THAI DRIFT

Where: Thai Drift, 1655 N State Street, Orem 

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Papaya Salad, Spicy Pad Phet, and Pineapple Curry

What It Cost: $36.00 (including tip)

What We Thought: 

Let me just start off with, this is literally the most spicy meal I have ever eaten in my entire life. Ever. And man, I like spicy food, and don't try to avoid it. BUT WOW. 


So when we ordered the papaya salad, and the server asked us how we wanted the spiciness on a level of 0-10, we went with for a 7, since papaya sounded fruity and like it would kind of cancel out some of the heat. UM, NO NO NO. Do not be surprised. It's the kind of heat where the food tastes super good so you eat it really quickly, and then it hits you. And you die. Because it feels like your tongue is literally bleeding from every taste bud -- seriously, I asked Owen to check my mouth to make sure I wasn't actually bleeding! Let me tell you, it was spicier than everything I've ever had, but the flavors were excellent and it was a lot of fun! But if you don't actually like spicy food, maybe go for like a 2. The server kind of laughed when we said we want a 7.


The spicy pad phet on the other hand wasn't as spicy as you might think (thankfully). I have to admit, we had to save most of the dishes we ordered, and reheat them the next day so that we could actually taste them. Because our taste bloods were on fire. Eating was actually physically painful. Anyway, the pad phet was really good -- normally I don't really love bamboo, but this dish made it work for me, and it was great!


Pineapple curry is always my favorite, and this one definitely did NOT disappoint! Of course, the pineapple enzymes made me want to go in for anesthesia, considering the papaya salad-damaged tongue. But when I ate it the next day, IT WAS SO GOOD! I'm telling you, Thai food definitely makes the best leftovers. This was one of the sweetest (but not in a bad way), creamiest, best pineapple curries I've ever had. And that's saying something.


The only thing I didn't like about this meal was that I was so full by the end that I couldn't order my all-time favorite dessert, mango and sticky rice! But man, it looked good, and I want to go back and order dessert first next time!

What You Should Do: I have it on quite good authority that this is the best Thai food in Utah County, and so far, I have to agree! In every other restaurant we've been to in Utah County, when you say you want something hot, they make it with a little kick, but usually pretty weak. THIS IS THE EXCEPTION. You can't say I didn't warn you. But it's so worth it!
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CORNER BAKERY CAFE

Where: Corner Bakery Cafe, 6227 S State Street, Murray

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Cinnamon Roll and Egg & Sausage Panini

What It Cost: Like $8?

What We Thought:

So on the morning before the Chex Mix Party at Fashion Place Mall, I was kind of hungry, but didn't want to eat a HUGE breakfast because obviously we were going to be chowing down on Chex Mix, so we decided to pop in to Corner Bakery Cafe. I've had their sandwiches at a couple of catered lunches (they seem to have a really awesome contract with the University of Utah), but catered food is usually not a good representation, so anyway, we went for a bit of a breakfast snack. 


This was definitely one of the best store-bought cinnamon rolls I've ever had! Of course, Owen obviously picked out the one that had the most frosting, which is definitely a must here. I usually prefer a creamier frosting than an icing type, but this one was pretty darn good!


Mmm...panininininininiiiii. I'm not a huge breakfast sandwich person, but this one was actually surprisingly good. Super fresh sourdough bread, actually real Cheddar cheese (nothing skimpy here!), freshly cooked eggs (I actually saw them cooking the eggs, so that's good!), and applewood smoked sausage. A great little sandwich, a great little breakfast...overall, much better than I expected considering their sometimes soggy catered sandwiches...

What You Should Do: A pretty good breakfast alternative if you ask us! I haven't tried many options there, but all of the bread and pastries were fresh and delicious, and it seemed like everyone around us was enjoying their breakfast too :) I definitely want to come back here some time and give it another try!
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

CHILI'S

Where: Chili's, 122 E 1300 S, Orem

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Chips & Queso, Guacamole Burger, Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

What It Cost: ~$30

What We Thought: 

Can you ever say Chili's without wanting to sing "Babyback Ribs"? Me neither.


After doing a survey, I had the choice of getting a $25 gift card to Chili's or Olive Garden. I'd already been to Olive Garden (post to come soon), so that was how we found ourselves at a Chili's on a Wednesday night at 5:30. Not that that's lame or anything..................................


Most people in the United States have been to Chili's at least once, so we had many recommendations for people because believe it or not, I'd never been to one! I know, it's almost un-American. Anyway, first on the list to try was "Chips and Queso." This actually isn't a menu item, you just order the queso since chips come with every meal, along with salsa. Okay, so the chips -- there is only one word I can think of SALTY SALTY SALTY SALTY SALTY. Wowza. I've never had such salty chips in my life. The salsa was even a little salty, which was weird. And obviously, queso is going to be salty, but somehow the different levels of salt kind of negated each other into something that was weirdly good. Like the kind of good you crave after a super long week where you've studied your brains out and are in a strange kind of mood where you just want to dip salty chips in salty cheese (maybe meaty?) sauce. Also, that little skillet is not as deep as it looks. But yeah...


Okay, I don't know about you, but there is something about the stratification of this burger that kind of weirds me out. Its like all of the components were in little packages that were all pre-formed and then slapped together? I don't know. Anyway, the bun was surprisingly good, the guacamole was the only thing in the meal that was oddly unsalted, so it was not all that flavorful, and the burger and vegetables were alright. Not the greatest burger, not especially crave-worthy, but not bad.


The fries were just how I like them, but OH MY GOSH THE SALT! I hope you can see the detail on those fries, but yeah, that's how much salt was on there. They were pretty good once you brushed 99% of the salt off, and doused them in ketchup. We definitely left feeling ultra bloated.


I ordered the sour cream chicken enchiladas, which I would describe as "pretty good white girl enchiladas." The chicken was pretty good, not overcooked, the sauce was tasty and there was plenty of cheese and corn salsa to satisfy. It definitely did not feel authentic in anyway, but it was probably my favorite part of it all. The black beans weren't comment-worthy, and I couldn't really go for the rice because it felt like each piece of rice took its own little oil bath. Meh. No thanks.


Then OBVIOUSLY we had to get there classic molten lava cake, which is probably the most talked-about dish from Chili's (at least that I've heard of). It was chocolatey, it was cakey, and it wasn't the worst molten lava cake I've ever had, but of course it wasn't the best. It was amazing, almost scientific, how there was the perfect ratio of ice cream to cake - they've definitely had people testing that. And the chocolate shell on top was fun in a 90s-dessert kind of way.

What You Should Do: So, somehow there are over 1500 of these across the world. Crazy, right? I don't know what that has to do with anything, except I just don't really know what to say. They really have this down to a science. The food all looked like we ordered it from a catalogue, which was a little odd. The food wasn't BAD, but it wasn't great. I probably wouldn't go again, except maybe for that cake. Though I'm pretty good at making molten lava cake, so who knows...Oh, I should also mention, the service was quite speedy and our server was very nice.
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Friday, May 2, 2014

BRIO TUSCAN GRILLE

Where: Brio (at Fashion Place Mall) 6173 S State Street, Murray

Who Went: Owen & Chelsey

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Prosciutto & Asparagus Bruschetta, Pasta Pesto, Campanelle Carbonara, Creme Brûlée

What It Cost: $59.40 (including tip)

What We Thought: 

The saddest thing as a food/restaurant blogger is when you randomly go to a restaurant because you're out shopping and are super hungry, and then the restaurant you choose happens to be super good, and you are totally unprepared without your camera! So the deliciousness of the food is not sufficiently represented by your weak-sauce camera phone, but that's life I guess. So here you go. Don't judge too harshly based on the photos -- we really (surprisingly) liked this place!


As mentioned before, I have a serious prejudice against Italian restaurants. Common themes from my previous experience at Italian restaurants include "overpriced" "could have made this at home" "disappointing" and "boring." So once again, my expectations were low coming in.

I used to say that you could really tell a lot about a restaurant when the bread first comes out. Good bread = good chances. But then we went to Macaroni Grill where the bread was heavenly and the food was meh, so after tasting this pretty darn scrumptious bread (warm and crispy on the outside...mmmm) I was slightly more hopeful, but still, IT WAS AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT, so....


Then this beauty came out. I know it does not look that beautiful courtesy of my camera phone - I tried taking a closer up shot below so you could see all the details - but let me explain it to you. On each delightfully crunchy crostino, there was melted Fontina cheese (which is definitely in my top 7 of cheese), a spread of Pinor Noir soaked onions (which made them taste almost like caramelized onions, but with a sweeter, richer taste and less slime), some perfectly al dente asparagus, topped with some actually decent prosciutto (perfectly salty and tender). Put it all together and WOW. What a wonderful flavor kick in the mouth! That sounds weird, but really, these bruschetta may be one of the best parcels of flavor I've had in a long time. I just want to eat it every day!!! I was super on the border about ordering this appetizer, because calories, blah blah blah but OMG I AM SO GLAD WE GOT IT, IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!


Just, just try it. Please. 


Extremely excited to receive our pasta dishes after that stellar appetizer, we tried Owen's campanelle carbonara first. First off, can we just talk about how fun these pasta were shaped? Apparently campanelle means little bell in Italian, and I never knew how much I wanted to eat bell-shaped pasta until I tried it. Anyway, a super delicious alfredo sauce paired with grilled chicken, bits of crispy bacon, shredded sharp Parmesan cheese, and a little spinach, just so you can pretend there was anything healthy about this. Um, yeah this was straight up comfort food baby, and it did the job. And it did it good. If you're looking for that Italian dish that just feels like heavenly indulgence with every bite, this is what you need. 


I was in the mood for something lighter - I told Owen before we got there that I just wanted something light with fresh, flavorful vegetables that I wasn't going to regret too much after eating, preferably with a lot of basil, because basil is awesome. The Pasta Pesto (though not as pesto-y as the name may suggest) definitely fit the bill for me. It was just a classic dish with simple components, each done extremely well. Here we had really delightful angel hair pasta (its so funny how you forget how delicious regular pasta is after you've only had whole-wheat pasta for a while...) topped with loads of spinach, tomato, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken, caramelized onions, basil and sprinkled with some feta cheese. To me, it was summer in a dish. And to make it even more bright and delicious, I asked our server (who had a really enjoyable British accent) if he could bring me some lemon, which I squeezed over the whole thing and sent me off the edge. Aaahhhhhhhh. THIS is my kind of Italian food. Don't torment me with pounds of salt and butter which mask what might have been food under there -- the more simple, the better when it comes to most food, and this was no exception. As Alice Waters said, "Let things taste of what they are." Amen, sister. 


And since we really did not want the whole thing to end, after boxing up half our pasta dishes to go (not-so shabby portion sizes here), we HAD to order the crème brûlée, which was so divine, it inspired me to run back into Crate & Barrel at the mall and promptly purchase my own kitchen torch so I could try making it again at home.

What You Should Do: Honestly (like really, honestly), I cannot believe I am saying this, especially considering I've always kind of associated Brio Tuscan Grille with malls (they have one at City Creek too), but you have to try this place! I really hope we were not the exception here and I am not leading you all miserably astray, but we had such a delicious meal here, and I finally have a reason to go out for Italian food again! I mean, you really can't buy bell-shaped pasta at Macey's (I think), and somehow it just tastes better in that adorable shape :) If you're craving Italian and are finally ready to cut off the chains which bind you to the hour+ long waits at Olive Garden, Brio is definitely the place to go!
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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 jalapeño 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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