Category Archives: Salt Lake City

Spedelli’s: Where the $1 High Life and Tasty Pizza Rule!

We have this new favorite place.  It isn’t some fancy 4 star restaurant nor will you find any white linens or $10 cocktails.  What you WILL find is everything you want if you are looking for low-cost but delicious food, fun entertainment, or a chill hang out session after a day on the mountain.  Welcome to Spedelli’s!

Spedelli’s is on Foothill Blvd., right as you are coming out of the mouth of the canyon–which makes is super convenient for anyone who is starving after boarding or skiing all day. My boyfriend, the obsessed snowboarder that he is, loves Spedelli’s because it caters to his mountain-riding, snow-loving instincts.  I would venture to say that if he can’t be on the mountain shredding or in our garage practicing his skillz–he would be at Spedelli’s eating pizza and watching The Art of Flight for the 11 billionth time.  However, being the non-snowboarder that I am (currently), I still love the place for very different reasons!  YES!

Spedelli’s is just plain cool.  The atmosphere is similar to a lot of pizza joints, but with some very awesome additives.  Spedelli’s big highlight for me is their bar and bar prices.  The actual bar makes you feel like you aren’t just at any other pie-slinging corner diner.  AND, the prices for their beer and wine are pretty fantastic.  $1 High Life and $1 PBR in the can is a great way to go, or take it up a notch for the draft pint of PBR at $1.75.  They also have imports and other drafts for the beer snobs, but still at much better prices than most bars or restaurants.  Wine?  $6 a glass all around.  NICE!

However, the food at Spedelli’s is also pretty awesome–and getting better.  We have been eating there since they opened and find that the pizza only gets better each time. And…there is something about Spedelli’s sauce that keeps us coming back. Also, all of the side or appetizer items we have tried so far have been great, fresh, and reasonably priced.

While you are eating, you can choose to watch snowboarding videos, or if you are so inclined, read some of the local print such as SLUG and City Weekly or even Arkade.  If that doesn’t suit you, you can play a game of pool, or hit up some of their new video games like Asteroid or try to get yourself a killer prize from the game claw.  Spedelli’s even has live music! There is seriously something for everyone regardless of your  shredding abilities or involvement (thank GOODNESS!). Personally, I just like to check out the collection of vintage beer cans. 🙂

So, go support a great local spot that makes a habit of supporting other local artists, boarders, musicians, etc.  They deserve it and you won’t be disappointed!



2352 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84109

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Lemon Dill Salmon & Fresh Veggie Orzo

During the holidays I can start to feel like, well, basically, a fat cow. All of the food around is always so rich and full of calories. Don’t get me wrong, the holidays are the time of year to splurge–and I indeed do. However, I feel an overwhelming need to break up the sugar overload with something fresh and light.

Tonight’s dinner was just what we needed.

Two fresh fillets of salmon from the supermarket, a box of orzo pasta, a few lemons, a box of grape tomatoes, a bunch of asparagus, and you are pretty much set.

I marinated the salmon for about an hour in fresh lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil, dried dill, sea salt, fresh garlic, and 4 lemon wedges. You don’t need to let it sit for very long as all of these flavors are pretty intense….30 minutes to an hour is plenty (in the fridge).

While the salmon is marinating, you can start on the orzo pasta.

First you will want to blanch the asparagus.  Cut in to pieces about an inch or so long and then boil for about 4 minutes.  Take directly out of the boiling water and place into ice water to stop the the asparagus from cooking.  After the asparagus has cooled, you can put it in a bowl with the grape tomatoes, which you can cut in half.

Add some salt and lemon to the veggies and then cook the orzo pasta per box instructions.

Once the pasta is done cooking, add it directly in the bowl with the veggies.  Here is where you get to be a little creative.  I don’t like to follow recpieies.  I like to take suggestions. 🙂  For this pasta, I added a bit of olive oil, some more dried dill, some lemon zest, and about 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.  That might be too much vinegar for some people, but I like things tangy and salty, so I always add a lot of both of those items.  Season with other things such as fresh garlic and onion powder if you feel so inclined.

When the orzo is done, you can put your salmon on the grill.  That is right, grill.  Don’t bake it or cook it on the stove–I feel like those two things can bring out the fishiness of salmon.  I only cook salmon on my George Foreman grill. It really makes a difference.  I also always cook the lemons with the salmon because roasted lemons are amazing and add more flavor while the salmon is cooking and also when you are serving as added lemon on top.

When you plate the mail, add a few more fresh lemon wedges and some parmesan and you have a lovely, colorful, and delicious meal that will leave you feeling satisfied as well as gratified that you didn’t just drink a large glass of eggnog and a bowl of macaroni and cheese (which is all I have been craving for months!).


The Tin Angel: Flavors from Heaven…

Why did it take me so long to eat at The Tin Angel?  This is the question I have been asking myself for a week.  Since The Tin Angel opened its doors, I have never heard a negative thing about it–so I have no idea why on earth it took me so long to check it out; and, I feel a little embarrassed that it was kind of an accident!

We were heading to The Star of India, when my boyfriend changed his mind at last minute…and we were off to The Tin Angel instead.  He had eaten there for lunch, but this was going to be a new dinner experience for the both of us.

We were lucky they had an open table…

The atmosphere at The Tin Angel is right up my alley.  Eclectic, yet you feel at home. Modern, but welcoming.  The walls are adorned with all sorts of colorful art and the place settings, as well as glassware, almost feel as though you have pulled them from your own cabinet at home.  The service was great and while the food is tasty enough that this could be a “stuffy” place, it is just the opposite.

We started with a nice glass of the house red wine (Canyon Oaks, $5) and a Manhattan with local High West Rye ($8.50).

Next, a few tapas for appetizers.  The Artichoke Risotto Cake ($4.50) and the Sweet Potato & Truffle Timbal ($4.50).  The flavor of the Sweet Potato dish was outstanding.  Light, but incredibly full with complex notes.  The few bites we got to enjoy of this small dish were heavenly.  The risotto cake was a great compliment to this rich sweet potato, as it was much more dense and had a more basic flavor (please note, “basic” doesn’t mean not delicious!).  The risotto was creamy and rich, but not overwhelming.  Both tapa plates were incredible.

For our main dishes, I ordered the Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce ($12.50), which The Tin Angel touts as a ‘house favorite’ and my boyfriend ordered the Spring Sirloin Filet ($26.50), which was on special for the evening.

I have been having  a love affair with Gnocchi lately, but this Gnocchi dish was ridiculous.  It is definitely a ‘house favorite’ for a reason.  The gorgonzola cream sauce is insanely luscious, silky, and absolutely to die for.  The gnocchi was perfectly cooked, without any sogginess at all.  This is one of those dishes that you savor every single bite.

This lavender and espresso rubbed sirloin was killer. The steak is served with a red beet potato cake and fresh veggies–which were all cooked to perfection.  My boyfriend isn’t a huge fan of beets, but the potato/beet cake was a lovely paired with the espresso.  The dish is then finished with a blue cheese mousse (oh my…) and a port wine reduction.  The steak was cooked at the chef’s suggestion of medium rare and with every bite, there was a little head shake of deliciousness–you know what I am talking about–when something is so good all you can do is shake your head.  Yup, that happened a lot.

For dessert, we ordered the bread pudding, which flavor changes seasonally (this is always a good sign as flavors SHOULD change seasonally).  For our autumn dessert, the bread pudding was chocolate and carmel and if I close my eyes, I can still taste its warm silky flavor.  Holy moly.

Obviously, cleaning our plate was an understatement. 🙂

Listen, don’t be silly like I was and put off going to The Tin Angel.  It is far too good to pass up.  The price range is great because you can live it up, or stay pretty moderate.  The food is awesome and the people are welcoming.  I am going back soon, I promise.


The Tin Angel

365 West 400 South

Salt Lake City


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Dine O’ Round–Get Your Nosh On!

Dear Salt Lake City Locals:

It is finally Dine O’ Round time!

This is the best time of year to try some of those new restaurants you have been dying to dine at! The participant list this year boasts some of my favorites:

The Copper Onion
Oasis Cafe

AND SO MANY MORE! Tonight I will be using the Dine O’ Round menu and price to my advantage as I check out the new to Salt Lake, Zy…can’t wait!

Where will YOU be eating???

Let me know where you end up and what you loved. Salt Lake has some fantastic eats!


High West Distillery & Saloon–Distinctive Whiskey Deliciousness

It seems as though it has been a life time ago since my tasting trip to the High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City. The past six weeks jumped off the map in terms of organizing anything long enough to write the absolutely lovely review that this restaurant & distillery deserves. So, although long overdue, let’s have at it!

We all know that I am a wine girl at heart. When I think of a beverage to “pair” with food, it is rare that I consider anything else. However, I have always been intrigued with the idea of pairing tequila with great Mexican food or Whiskey with great comfort food. High West offers this exact experience. High West has been a distillery since the 1870’s, so they know a thing or two about whiskey. That was to be expected. What wasn’t expected was the amazing food that is served along side their signature cocktails and whiskey flights.

But, let’s start with the whiskey, shall we?

High West whiskey has always been a favorite of mine, although I wouldn’t call myself a regular partaker of whiskey in general. However, when I do drink it, I like to stick to the more high-end brands. And, the fact that High West is local makes it even more appealing. Using High West liquor and the freshest cocktail ingredients you can find will definitely make for an amazing libation experience.

The High West Lemonade was first on the menu, and recommended by our bartender. Fresh squeezed high west lemonade, double rye, and fresh mint made this a super refreshing cocktail for the middle of July (yes, it has been THAT long)!

The Dead Man’s Boots was something I couldn’t NOT order, because fresh ginger and I have a special relationship–the kind that means I don’t pass it up often. This cocktail was made with double rye, tequila, fresh lime, and ginger beer. Yay bubbles! This sucker went down smooth and light!

A little later in the meal, I had to try one more–for the sake of the review of course. The High West Silver Julep was, by far, my favorite of the evening. Cucumber? Mint? Rye? Yes, please!

And we can’t stop there, because we were at High West on the infamous “Whiskey Wednesday,” where whiskey flights and delicious food specials are presented on a menu specifically for that day. For $8, a flight of suggested whiskey was presented to our table for tasting. Good thing there were 3 of us! The Silver Whiskey got the most thumbs up for the evening–and the fact that each whiskey was served with a write up about the history of the whiskey and the flavor notes was really helpful in picking out the different flavors in each whiskey.

Now that we have covered what High West has been known for, I can’t express enough how much we all enjoyed our meals as well.

We started off with some stinky cheese that made us all happy! The Melted Mountain Cheese ($9) was pure, unadulterated heaven. It was oozing, bubbling, silky perfection and came with some amazing pickled veggies on the side. I had never experienced a pickled potato before, but I am of the thought that most things pickled are usually pretty fantastic. I was correct. The onions, pickles, potatoes, and carrots were divine and accented the creaminess of the cheese perfectly. This was my favorite dish we ordered!

I am a sucker for speciality menu items–which doesn’t make it easier for you, the reader, because usually that means that you might not be able to order that particular menu item on a regular day. But, my job is to write about the best food possible, and this dish was one of them! When someone says “pork belly,” you might cringe. Don’t. There is no reason. I had pork belly for the first time in a soup at a bar in Portland called The Victory and ever since have been a serious fan of the belly of pork.

It is rich and super fattening–which is what makes it so amazing. Pork Belly isn’t something to eat a lot, but if you can get it, try it! This pasta wore a light creamy garlic sauce with pork belly and that beautiful green stem on top is the top end of garlic, which is called garlic scape. The pork belly was definitely featured and no other flavor took over. It could have been very easy to do a rich heavy sauce with this dish, but that would have been far too much flavor explosion for one mouth to contain. So, High West did this one right by keeping everything else secondary. AMAZING.

The other two dishes ordered at the table were also fantastic. The Idaho Elk & Chanterelle Musrooms ($28) had a beautiful presentation and complementary flavors. I am not huge into game meat, but this was pretty ok. The plate was certainly cleaned by its owner and the Distiller’s Grain Spatzli with Kumquat Cranberry Relish on the side was delightful. Also, the High West Burger ($14) was perfection. Organic Niman Ranch Farm’s Beef and Rolling Hills Ranch Bison made for a hearty meat patty and the whiskey onions and gruyere added hints of smoke and good old fashioned western spices. The fries on the side were also tasty, crisp, and perfectly salted.

And, because it was Whiskey Wednesday, the small plates special had quite the gem: Blackened Kodiak Halibut with Sherry Champagne Grape Gastrique. Oh, momma! We didn’t even get a photo of this one before breaking into it. The blackened taste with the white fish, complimented by the sweet grape compote on the side was a spicy/sweet that I haven’t tasted too often. Perfect combination!

Yes, we are beyond full at this point. BUT, we couldn’t pass up dessert. This sweet treat brought a joyous tear to my eye! Metaphorically, of course. 🙂 I have a hard time passing up a donut of any kind. This was no exception. Don’t pass up the High West Grillswith ($8), which is a grilled cinnamon dusted krispy kreme donut with whiskey vanilla ice cream. Yes, the sucker is fattening beyond belief…but this is one dish that is worth every calorie!

This might be one of my favorite reviews so far. The service was excellent and every recommendation was delicious. If you are a Salt Lake local, take the 20 minute drive up the canyon and check out High West at 703 Park Ave in Park City, Utah!

And don’t forget to pick up a bottle of your favorite High West Whiskey on your way out at the General Store!


High West Distillery & Saloon on Urbanspoon

Pipa Asian Tapas and Sake Bar–Take a Trip to the West Side and Be Delighted

When I hear a rumbling once about a new restaurant, I take note. Twice, and I might write it down. Three times, and I am pretty much going to get there. Over the past month or so, I had several people recommend that I check out the ‘hot new Asian tapas restaurant.’ Of course, I am a sucker for small plates of any kind, and a new tapas restaurant really piqued my interested. There were a few caviates, however, to these recommendations.

First, it was sort of in a really unexpected location.
Second, the location was really…unexpected.


You will find Pipa in 900 West and 118 North. And, you will find it in a strip mall. Don’t let either of these thing deter you though–because Pipa was a totally awesome, hip, delicious, and very moderately priced restaurant with an almost dance club feel. From the moment we opened the door and walked in, I totally forgot I was anywhere near a strip mall OR even in Salt Lake City for that matter. And let’s be honest, the location of Pipa is probably keeping their amazing food prices down, which we can all appreciate.

When you walk into Pipa you will be greeted by a very wonderful and friendly staff; it may have been some of the better service that I have had in a while. It seemed as though everyone there was truly invested in the idea and the food of this super cool restaurant. The lighting is dim and sort of…well, sexy. Everything about the atmosphere (except for perhaps the diner-looking chairs) was totally something that this Nosh Maven can appreciate. Ambiance is almost just as important as food…almost.

While looking over the menu, I was really surprised by the huge selection of sake inspired cocktails they had and how awesome the prices were. Usually, I could expect to spend 8 or 9 bucks on a saketini at other bars in the downtown area. However, Pipa’s awesome cocktails were more in the $5 range. I started with the Summer’s Kiss, which was sort of a spin on the pina colada–but with an asian twist. Delish, but a bit too sweet for my taste. 🙂 Although, it came with an umbrella, and that always counts for something.

Next, I asked for a suggestion and got a sake cocktail infused with fresh ginger. This was AMAZING.

While the cocktails were awesome, the food that Pipa brought to our table was interesting, well thought out, modern, and tasted amazing and somewhat unexpected. First, we started out with some edemame. This, I thought was easy and mundane, but they found a way to make it exciting with the presentation (anything in a martini glass is always welcome at my table).

We also ordered the Garlic Asparagus Fries ($5.95) which were so creative. Take one of my favorite veggies and wrap it in a wonton? Yes please. Don’t pass these babies up. The garlic aioli is fabulous.

The XOXO Noodles were also quite surprising ($5.95). When they were brought to the table, they almost looked like slices of really tender pork or beef. However, they were noodles that looked thick and then separated into thiner slices, somewhat like a biscuit. The flavor was awesome and the texture of the noodles was different, thick, and filling. These were one of my favorites.

I always struggle with one decision at an Asian restaurant: fresh rice paper spring rolls or crispy fried ones? If you choose the wrong one, you will always wish you went with the other. But, at Pipa, Garden Spring Rolls with the fresh rice paper rolls were a great choice ($5.75). You can choose to have a sweeter roll with mango and papaya or you can go with shrimp and pork. We chose the latter–and they were awesome. The peanut sauce was to die for.

We aren’t done yet!

My boyfriend recently turned me onto authentic Ramen. I have been craving it ever since. So, I couldn’t pass up trying the Mini Cup of Ramen on Pipa’s menu ($4.95). Did I mention this dish is only $4.95??? The Ramen had a great flavor and I particularly enjoyed the pork dumpling in each small cylinder bowl. It was a really lovely twist on an ancient dish. I really liked that it was served so that three people could enjoy and the bean sprouts on the side were fresh and crunchy!

My absolute favorite dish that we ordered at Pipa was by far and away the Snowball Shrimp ($6.95). I believe that they nearly left us speechless. I have never had shrimp that were so amazingly well prepared and in such a succulent, creamy, sweet sauce. If you want a sexy dish at Pipa to go with the atmosphere, this is it. I have been dreaming, literally, about these shrimp ever since. The flavor is so full and perfect that it was nearly unbelievable. I am not exaggerating. If you do not go to Pipa and get the Snowball Shrimp, you are missing out on a life experience. Stop reading now–right now–and drive to 900 West and order the Snowball Shrimp. YUMMMMMM.

For dessert we went with a few different options…because, why not? At Pipa’s pricing, you can pretty much get whatever you want!

First we had the Mochi Green Tea Ice Cream ($4.50). I don’t like super sweet things, so for me this was perfect. My boyfriend would have preferred something a bit more sugary, but that is just because he is so sweet. 😉 I really really loved the way this ice cream was served and the way you could just pick it up with your fingers and pop it in your mouth. This was a very modern semi sweet dessert.

Last, but not least, we had the Mount Lychee ($4.50). Wow. This tart and zangy Asian fruit has my heart. This dessert had everything–sweetness, texture, tartness, and happiness all stacked in a tower of beauty! Why do we not eat more of this in America? The raspberry puree was a great accent and I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to an amazing meal.

So, have I convinced you? Get out of downtown for an evening and check Pipa out. And, tell your friends. This place deserves some really great customers who appreciate really amazing food. It won’t be long before the great folks at Pipa hit up some swanky downtown location…and you might not get that amazing Snowball Shrimp at the price you can right now!

Pipa: Asian Tapas + Sake Bar on Urbanspoon

Sea Salt–If You Know What to Order, You Can’t Go Wrong!

Sea Salt is a beautiful restaurant that opened their doors this last summer. I had been meaning to get there for the past few months and do a review, and I finally had the opportunity this last weekend.

The location of Sea Salt is great. It is in east Sugarhouse, right above one of my favorite brunch joints, Eggs in the City. I get to Eggs about once a month or so, and each time I would look out the window at the nice building across the street and think to myself…’now, that place looks classy.’ And classy, it was!

Seven of my wonderful girlfriends and I decided to hit up Sea Salt before a party. I was really excited and grateful because I am currently not eating carbs or sugar–so a pizza place was going to be hard to review. However, it wasn’t an issue at all.

From the moment we set foot in the door, the atmosphere was clean, welcoming, simple, and elegant. The white, grey, and stone colors made me feel like I was in an ice cream parlor. An ice cream parlor in heaven. 🙂 Needless to say, the atmosphere is one that should be noted.

We were greeted promptly and with smiling faces, which to me is always majorly important. And the second most important thing in the first 15 minutes, is if my cocktail (or wine, or diet coke) is in front of me in a timely manner. The good folks at Sea Salt were all over this. That sufficed all 8 of us very quickly (as to be expected).

All of the drinks were fabulous. Sea Salt’s bartender knows what they are doing. Also, it is definitely worth mentioning that they were pretty moderatly priced, ranging from 6 to 9 bucks. My nice glass of Shiraz was about $6.50 and the portion and quality were very nice.

We got some great appetizers next. Sea Salt is EXTREMELY good at this part. Every small plate or appetizer that we got was amazing. You can find most of these in the “before the pasta” section on the menu. These plates are also very well priced for the quality of food and the freshness that we got in each plate.

Insalata Caprese (heaven): $10.95

Cheese Tasting: $10.95 (DO NOT pass this platter up. The honey is out of this world.)

Proscuitto Dolce Crudo: $9.95

So far, super good. All the starters were so tasty and we were all happy girls. Then, it was time to order our entrees and we ran into a few problems.

First, under the section “pasta & risotto”, there is NO risotto. There were some of us that really want risotto and were a bit curious as to why it would be a header on the menu if we couldn’t get it. Also, there were 3 or 4 things that we asked for that they didn’t have or were out of. For example, Sea Salt only lists two soups available, and the Chilled Zucchini Squash soup was not available. It was kind of disappointing. Also, the Gnocchi was 86ed! So, after every other person was told that what they wanted wasn’t available to order, it kind of put a damper on things. Here is what we DID end up with.

I ordered the Cobb Italiana Salad ($14.95). And I am not joking when I say it was the best salad I have had in a long time. It was as though there were several different kinds of salads on one plate, but all with complimentary flavors. It had all of the makings of a classic cobb, but additionally had caesar salad elements and focaccia croutons (which I couldn’t pass up, even though I am no-carbing…whoops!) It was fantastic and beautiful as well.

There were also a couple of pizzas ordered…both of which were really tasty, perfectly cooked, and super fresh. The Margherita ($9.95) and Piemonte’ ($14.95) were terrific! And yes, I did taste them a bit. But the whole table really enjoyed the flavors of both of these dishes.

All of those meals were spot on and worth every penny. However, there were a few things that didn’t quite make the mark.

The Spaghetti al Pomodoro was disappointing. It looked beautiful and fresh, but the taste was particularly bland. It wasn’t “bad”, there just wasn’t anything outstanding about it. The flavor got lost in the presentation, and it left us all a little on the “meh” side.

Additionally, we found the same thing to be the case with the Capellini alla Siciliana, which is wild shrimp, garlic, chile, parsley, sun-dried tomato, white wine, and arugula. Each of these ingredients sounds like it would make for a flavor explosion. It didn’t. The sauce lacked flavor, and the shrimp were quite overcooked and rubbery. Again, the dish LOOKED lovely. And it wasn’t particularly bad…it just wasn’t particularly good–especially not at the $16.95 ticket price.

And lastly, was the Ravioli di Nonna Maria ($15.95). It should be mentioned, that when my friend asked “what is the meat in the ravioli?”, it couldn’t really be answered. Pork? Beef? We weren’t really sure. The meat was good–well seasoned and a great texture–but again, the sauce was nothing to scream about; bland and uninteresting. This was another dish that we didn’t super love and didn’t super hate. But isn’t being indifferent as bad as not liking something? I am considering that option…

Overall, Sea Salt was a really great experience–we had a really great time while we were there and MOST of the food was interesting, full of flavor, and delicious. I would go back in a heartbeat, and perhaps just stay away from the pasta dishes or the red pasta sauces in general and stick with the small plates, pizzas, and appetizers. What Sea Salt does well, the do REALLY well and I wouldn’t say that the mediocre pasta dishes ruined anything, but rather just showcased more what Sea Salt is really good at.

If you are looking to get some delicious drinks and unique and scrumptious appetizers, this is the place to check out. It would be perfect for a date night, a girls night, a quick drop in, or a long evening of wine paring and cheese tasting.

Check out Sea Salt at 1709 East 1300 South!

Sea Salt on Urbanspoon