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Friday, October 24, 2014

HIRES BIG H

Where: Hires Big H, 427 S 700 E, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Owen and Chelsey

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Fish & Chips, Blue Cheese Burger, and Raspberry Milkshake

What It Cost: $24.90

What We Thought: 

An old, classic Utah establishment with retro decor, friendly service, and seriously good food. 


Also, can I just say this is like one of the least expensive halibut fish & chips I've seen in Utah?? And it's totally a good value because the fish was excellent (moist and not too fishy), the tartar sauce was the bomb (as tartar sauce usually is), and the fries were top notch. Fish & chips can easily go down the "way too greasy" road, but this managed to be just right. YUM!


The burger had all of the components of a classic, old-school burger (fresh, local bun, great tasting patty, etc.) but was pumped up with the blue cheese and bacon. I was stoked that they used gorgonzola, which gives a great mild blue cheese flavor without overpowering everything. The bacon was thick and crispy, and altogether, it was just a great burger.


And this milkshake was just one of the best I've ever had. Fresh raspberry, but without any annoying frozen berry chunks. It was the perfect consistency (not so thick that it's basically ice cream, but not soupy), and seriously the best end to our meal. Although, let's be honest, it was the first thing we tasted...

What You Should Do: I was totally surprised with the mixed reviews with this place -- we had such a great experience! The owner personally greeted us as we came in, rang out our check, and thanked us sincerely for coming. The food came quickly and tasted great. We will definitely be coming here again!
Read other reviews here: 
Hires Big H on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 17, 2014

HRUSKA'S KOLACHES

Where: Hruska's Kolaches, 434 W Center Street, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 3

What We Ordered: Raspberry Cream Cheese and Jalapeño Sausage Egg & Cheese Kolaches

What It Cost: $4

What We Thought:

If you're ever in the mood to check out the farmer's market downtown on a Saturday morning, this place is an AWESOME breakfast stop! Of course, it is also awesome every other day of the week too...


I had never heard of kolaches before this place popped up. Apparently it's a Czech breakfast item, kinda like a doughnut/muffin/danish type of thing (though they have savory ones too!) and they are really popular in Texas. And now, they are really popular in our household!

I love how this is just a little family-operated joint that is just bringing flavors they love from Texas here to share with us. And the kolaches are seriously good -- fresh baked rolls with crisp exteriors and soft chewy insides, with scrumptious flavors to go! We loooooove the jalapeño/egg/sausage (or bacon!) ones - a little kick in the morning that comes with a serious flavor punch. The dessert ones are all fantastic too. We are definitely partial to the fruit + cream cheese combos. YUM.


What You Should Do: Follow the advice of me and your friendly Provo City mayor, and give this place a try! It's such a fun breakfast alternative, and make sure you ask them to heat them up for you! Man...I want some right now!!!!!! We've tried a bunch of flavors, and the spicy sausage one is definitely intense (you've been warned) and for some reason the cinnamon roll wasn't my favorite. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE SERIOUSLY ROCKS!
Read other reviews here:
Hruska's Kolaches on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 10, 2014

COSTA VIDA

Where: Costa Vida, 1200 N University Avenue, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 3

What We Ordered: Pork Salad and Steak Burrito

What It Cost: $16.45

What We Thought: 

Costa Vida. Or, in my mind "the other Cafe Rio." Finally. After much deliberation, the results are in. 


Reasons Costa Vida is better than Cafe Rio:

1. More flavor options for meat (including raspberry chipotle chicken, which is kind of exciting)
2. Usually much shorter lines
3. You can order a half salad (though it's only like $1 or $2 cheaper, but if you really are working on portion control, this could be advantageous)
4. They serve it at BYU Football games


Reasons Cafe Rio is better than Costa Vida:

1. The sweet pork just tastes better
2. Better salsa (2 of 3 visits, my salsa has had a weird, fishy taste??)
3. Better tortillas (at least when they are made fresh)
4. Bigger burritos
5. Better atmosphere (right next to the bowling alley just doesn't do it for me...?)
6. It's at the airport
7. Sauces taste better (and more of it on the smothered burrito)
8. Everything just seemed to taste fresher...maybe because Cafe Rio goes through so many customers, they have to get fresh new food more frequently? Not sure...

What You Should Do: Go to Cafe Rio instead. Join my petition to get Cafe Rio at the BYU football stadium. I'm sorry, I tried. Both are better than Bajios, however.
Read other reviews here: 
Costa Vida on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 3, 2014

HABIT BURGER

Where: The Habit Burger Grill, 11380 S State Street, Sandy

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Teriyaki Charburger with Fries, and Jalapeño Bacon Cheeseburger with Onion Rings

What It Cost: $12.29

What We Thought: 

A Santa Barbara classic comes to Utah. I was surprised to find that The Habit was recently rated the best burger chain in the U.S., even above more prevalent choices like In N Out and Five Guys. So, obviously we had to try it! 


It was pretty busy, since it was a Friday night, but we still got our food relatively quickly. The weather was gorgeous outside, so we definitely took advantage of the outside seating! The whole restaurant kind of reminded me of In N Out a little bit -- simple menu, California vibe, low prices, quick service. The biggest difference for me, however, was the burgers were actually amazing! (Sorry In N Out fans...) Their buns were fabulous, the burgers hot, fresh and flavorful, and toppings superb. It was a lot bigger as well, and definitely felt like a great value. I liked how the teriyaki burger still had all of the flavors I wanted, but wasn't too messy, like other Hawaiian/teriyaki burgers I've had in the past.


The fries were the only downside for us - they were a little stiff and nothing too special. Liked the fry sauce though!


The onion rings totally made up for the lackluster fries! Seriously, these were hands-down the best onion rings I've had in Utah, and I am super picky about onion rings! The outside was more of cripsy, golden panko-type crust (as opposed to beer-battered, yuck), and the onions were the perfect width, and they were just awesome.


One little thing we loved here was the pepper bar - next to the condiments, there was a range of various peppers, including jalapeños, which Owen loves on burgers, and extra spicy peppers (habañeros maybe? Couldn't tell, they were green...) that we dared each other to eat while we were waiting for our food to arrive. Fun!

What You Should Do: I wouldn't say its our new favorite burger place, but if you happen to find yourself in the area, it is definitely a solid choice for a delicious burger. Excellent prices + fresh & flavorful burgers = all good in my book.
Read other reviews here:
The Habit Burger Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 26, 2014

RITA'S ICE

Where: Rita's Ice, 1283 N University Avenue, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen 

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Birthday Cake Milkshake and Key Lime Ice with Chocolate Custard

What It Cost: $4.26 (we had a coupon)

What We Thought:


Who doesn't love ice cream, right? Well maybe lactose-intolerant people, but anyway...we decided to try Rita's, and I was pretty excited because there was a frozen custard place near my home in Washington that was super good -- the custard was basically creamier, heavier, more delicious ice cream! I got the birthday cake milkshake. The flavor was really delicious - and really tasted like birthday cake! This treat would definitely be good for those of you who are sprinkle fanatics. Towards the bottom quarter of the shake though, it seemed like it was more sprinkle than ice cream, which was not quite as delicious.


Owen got an Italian Ice + Custard mix, choosing key lime ice + chocolate custard, inspired by the chocolate covered key lime pies we had in Key West a couple of years ago. It was kind of good - the lime was a little too tart and the chocolate not rich enough, but still fun to combine your own choices. Personally, I wouldn't go for the ice again - it was just like an overpriced slushie, but the custard was pretty delicious. I wish they had more custard flavor options!

What You Should Do: If you happen to be wandering around near BYU campus one day and it's still hot outside, this place is a fun deviation from the norm, and is worth a trip or two!
Read other reviews here:
Rita's Ice on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 19, 2014

UVRMC HOSPITAL CAFE

Where: UVRMC Hospital Cafe (aka River Rock Cafe), 1034 N 500 W, Provo (make sure to go to the one on the third level, East tower!) 

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen & Yvonne

Number of Visits: 5

What We Ordered: Cinnamon Roll Pancake, Breakfast Bagel Sandwich, PB&J Pancake, & more

What It Cost: $1.25 for a HUGE pancake!!!!!!!

What We Thought: 

So, I did a rotation at Utah Valley Regional, and I gotta admit, this cafeteria was the best lesson I learned from the whole experience (just kidding Mindi!!)



But seriously, there is no other place where you will find such a delicious and creative breakfast for so cheap! These hospital people are keeping it secret, but anyone can eat there, I promise! And it's So SO SO so SOsO good! My favorite thing is definitely the pancakes. The guy who cooks them is sometimes a little slow, but it is soooo worth the wait. And at $1.25, you can beat the price! Every time I got a pancake, I got a little thing of fresh fruit for $2, and it was the most amazing breakfast! Of course, I couldn't ever finish the pancakes because they were HUMONGOUS! I really should have taken a picture of one of them next to a fork or something so you could get a size comparison, but just imagine a full dinner plate. Yeah. That's how big they are. Up above is the cinnamon roll pancake, which yeah, tastes just like a cinnamon roll. And it rocks. The first pancake I ever tried there was the cinnamon apple pancake with caramel pecan syrup, and eating it made it impossible to pay attention in that "Antibiotic Use in Neonates" lecture I was supposed to be listening to...



My friend tried the bagel sandwich, and reported that it was excellent. But I really think I'm going to stick to the pancakes here. Lunch choices were never as exciting - breakfast is really the star here.



The PB&J pancake. Complete with happiness. SO GOOD. Another day, I tried a Carrot Cake Pancake with Cream Cheese Syrup, and I've heard rumors of the legendary Oreo Pancake. The only problem is they rotate their schedule, so you don't know what special pancake they will have that day unless you call ahead. But trust me, it's worth the effort.

What You Should Do: Call them and see when they are having that apple cinnamon pancake. It will change your life, I promise! Be warned though - they don't open until after 7. I showed up one day at 6:30 before my rotation and was exceptionally sad. And if you're a normal sane person, you can probably order one pancake to share :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

SODALICIOUS

Where: Sodalicious, 30 W 300 N, Provo (in the barber shop)

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen, Kim, Daniel, Kelsey, Jessica, etc.

Number of Visits: At least 7...

What We Ordered: Various sodas, rice krispy treat, sugar cookie

What It Cost: ~$5

What We Thought: 

OH MY GOSH HOW HAVE I NOT POSTED ABOUT THIS PLACE YET.



Sodalicious is...happiness. It's life. It's what makes everything better.

Okay, it really is a little shack on the side of a barber shop that serves soda with mix-in flavor choices. And they come up with the best combos. It's kind of bad actually. I never even really liked soda before coming here. And know, I lie in bed at night thinking about the Boy Scout (rootbeer + toasted marshmallow + half&half). I've tried so many different flavors here, and have only been disappointed once (different people have different tastes, of course). I can't remember all of the clever names they have for everything, but it is a really wonderful treat for $2. We've found the best way to maintain balance and ensure beverage success is something like: sweet soda + slightly acidic fruit + something creamy. For example, Coke + raspberry + coconut or Dr. Pepper + cranberry + half & half. Oh yeah. Don't knock it until you've tried it!

As far as the other food -- the popcorn is your typical movie theater style (meh), the rice krispy had potential, but was sadly stale, and sugar cookie is the best I've ever had.

What You Should Do: GO ON TWO PUNCH TUESDAYS. 1. Get a punch card 2. Get some soda. 3. Drink 4. Repeat (5. Bring me some?)
Read other reviews here: 
Sodalicious on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 5, 2014

HUHOT MONGOLIAN GRILL

Where: HuHot Mongolian Grill, 693 N 920 E, Spanish Fork

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen 

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: 2 Dinner Buffets (one with sweet & sour soup, the other with Asian salad)

What It Cost: $36.78

What We Thought: 

Continuing on the Asian theme from last week, we decided to make a visit to HuHot Mongolian Grill in Spanish Fork. After trying Mongo's Stir Fry in Provo (I can't find my pictures anywhere!!! We loved it, but it might be closed? Let us know if you know anything about this!!), we were pretty excited. Excited enough to make a trip all the way down to Spanish Fork, after all :) 


I was put off from the start of the visit by the service - I am that annoying customer who always asks to be sat next to a window (hey! It was really dark in the restaurant, and I am taking pictures for all of you here!), and for some reason they refused to seat us at one of the several empty tables that were near windows. They claimed something about having to keep a rotation or something, and assured me that those tables were being used or reserved, but two of them stayed empty during our whole stay. It's a little thing, I know, but it really was only in their benefit (photo-wise). Oh well.

We ordered the dinner buffet, since that was really the only option for dinner. You have to get the full, all-you-can-eat buffet choice, and there are no cheaper options for people who aren't really in the mood to eat a ton, which was a bummer. I started out with the Asian salad, and to be honest, it looked so bleh that I didn't even really eat it. The dressing was weak (thus, dry salad), the raw broccoli was gross, and really - who is going to eat a salad when they can get as many noodles as they want? Don't fill up on this. Plus the whole package of ramen noodles on top was rather deterring.


Owen got the sweet and sour soup, which was alright. Pretty brothy and mild. Not good, but not bad.


Then we got in line to make our noodle stir fry. They have three types of noodles, various meats (pork, beef, chicken, even tofu!), an assortment of vegetables, and a whole lot of sauces. The sauces are really the highlight here, and for those of you who are easily intimidated, they have sample "recipes" where you can combine various sauces for more interesting flavor profiles. 

So you load up everything onto a plate, and then get in line to have it fried for you on the Mongolian grill. Somehow, all of those foods magically cook at the same rates, and they mix, chop and fry it all up for you right then and there. This part is pretty fun, and though you can tell they are dying of sweat and exhaustion, the fry cooks put on a little show, throwing knives and such around. I hope they are getting paid a lot! 



After waiting in two, possibly three, lines, you can finally eat your food! It's really hard to comment on the flavors of the food here, since it's your own fault if you put together a bad plate of stir fry! It's really up to you to make a good combo of meat, vegetables, and sauces. The ingredients on their own were all fresh and mostly well-cooked (broccoli and potatoes turned out a little raw, so be warned), and it's a great place for picky eaters! The only bummer was both Owen and I were totally full after one round.


We went back because we felt like we had to "get our money's worth," and $18 for one plate of stir fry really did not seem worthwhile. But we ending up totally stuffing our faces (and stomachs), and regretting it afterwards.

What You Should Do: If you're in the mood, you better come very hungry. Or if you're like a football player or something, this place may be good for you. If you are a regular person who generally only eats one plate of food per meal, you may be disappointed by high costs. We loved Mongo's because they had different size options (small, large, or all-you-can-eat) with better prices, and if HuHot went this route, we would totally be down with it. But for how much normally eat, we both thought it was too expensive. Plus they forgot our rice (not that we would have eaten it...)
Read other reviews here:
HuHot Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 29, 2014

SPICY THAI

Where: Spicy Thai, 3230 N University Avenue, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen, Kelsey, Daniel, Scott & Hayley

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Green Curry, Pad Thai, Pineapple Red Curry, Pineapple Yellow Curry, Mango & Sticky Rice

What It Cost: $27.25 for two people (2 entrees + dessert)

What We Thought:

Decent curry, not the cheapest prices, kind of Americanized dishes.

None of the dishes were anything to go crazy about, but none of them were bad. This meal left me full, but not really excited, if you know what I mean? I thought their heat meters were pretty accurate - I was satisfied with the spiciness of my dish, without having my taste buds burned off. But for those of you who like your Thai food REALLY spicy, Spicy Thai may not be your best bet.


The Pad Thai was pretty good - not as peanut-y as I normally like, and the sauce was pretty acidic. Of course this didn't stop me from eating the whole thing with Owen, since Pad Thai is my new favorite meal of 2014, but I've had better. I liked how you could choose what type (or if) of meat you wanted.


Cute rice container! There was plenty of rice for everyone's curry, which was nice. Nothing worse that shortages of rice! I thought it was a little odd how much they charged extra if you want sticky or brown rice though...I love sticky rice, but I definitely wouldn't "upgrade" to it here.


Normal yellow pineapple curry. Nothing too crazy here...


I ordered the red pineapple curry, and thought it was pretty good. It was actually my first red curry (I usually stick to yellow), and I was surprised to find I like it more! Nice pepper flavor coming through, which was tasty with the pineapple to mellow out the heat.


I always have to get mangoes & sticky rice! This one was much more soup-y than others I've had - it kind of seemed like the coconut sauce was just poured on top instead of cooking the rice with any coconut flavor. But mango was in season, so the fruit was absolutely divine.

What You Should Do: It's not a bad choice, but it definitely wasn't my favorite Thai place we've been to. I've heard they are really good for take-out, but I don't know if we'll be back, since it wasn't that cheap for the portion sizes.
Read other reviews here: 
Spicy Thai on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 22, 2014

CHEDDATRUCK

Where: CheddaTruck, Food Truck

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen and the Interns

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Ole' Faithful Burger, Mother Hen Burger, and The Nasty Burger

What It Cost: $8 per burger

What We Thought: 

And the food truck details continue! I wonder how these food trucks will survive during the winter....do they just shut down until summer comes around? If anyone has details on this, I would greatly appreciate it! 

Anyway, I've been wanting to try CheddaTruck for a while now, since they park overnight across the way from my house and I looked at their menu online....it's pretty exciting. Let's just say, one of the burgers is served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut (to be tasted...)


I was not feeling quite so incredibly gluttonous this day, so I went with the Mother Hen burger, which is still pretty intense! Okay, it's really intense. A burger, served on an English muffin, with bacon, muenster cheese, a fried egg, sriracha aioli, and a spring mix of greens. Wowza. It was TOTALLY worth all of the calories I saved up all day! The English muffin was a little small to hold it all in, so it was totally messy, but the flavor of the muffin went great with the breakfast twist of eggs & bacon, and the sriracha aioli was mild, but still interesting enough to give it some pizzazz. The muenster was a nice salty cheese, which was balanced by the greens, and this thing was just a few moments of messy burger happiness.


Owen got the Nasty, which has braised onions, pepperjack cheese, sriracha buffalo sauce and tarragon dressing. Here I got to try the CheddaTruck's regular bun, which was fresh and heavenly. MAN THIS PLACE MAKES GOOD BURGERS. This one was spicy and just plain awesome.


Finally, we tried the Ole' Faithful, which is their basic, "traditional" burger (with braised onions, roasted tomatoes, and the tarragon dressing of course). It was of course fabulous. Hands down, one of the best burgers I've ever tried, and definitely the best one I've ever had from a truck! The regular burger was amazing, but how could you ever get a traditional burger when you have choices like these:

The Green Mile Burger - Mac & Cheese, Roasted Peppers, Bacon, Whole Grain Mustard

The Hipster "Burger" - Brat Haus Veggie Patty, Roasted Tomatoes, Brie, Corn Pudding, Arugula

Kill Me Softly Burger - Bacon, Blue Cheese, Arugula, Cranberry Gastrique, and Krispy Kreme Donut Bun


What You Should Do: Meet me down at the Provo Food Truck roundup, where you can try these guys, and a bunch of other fun places! The roundup is every Thursday from 5-9 at the Startup building in Provo (near the FrontRunner station). Just follow the lines of cars :) But it's so worth it! I definitely recommend trying the CheddaTruck, and you can follow them on Instagram to get updates on where they will be throughout the day!

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