Salt Lake Roasting Co.

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What’s this? ANOTHER coffee shop post? Why yes, yes it is! Because I am poor and lazy my baking adventures and eating out fun times has been desperately lacking… I apologize!

But take a look at that sumptuous shiny chocolate and chili truffle – eh? It looks so good. And it was creamy and silky and rich… but not so chili. After several bites (it was a very large truffle, guys) I could JUST start to feel a little heat build up in the very backest part of my throat…

But the café au lait was quite nice. They are never as rich or sweet as the ones from Spain… maybe they have magic beans and milk, but I can’t help but compare every coffee to those of my beloved España.

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But Cort and I, of course, came back. Because this place is great. And this time I got a slice of cake…tart…pie…thing. It has a base of a sponge or angel food cake, with a slightly crispy crust. then they topped it with the above pictured fruits. It was light and sweet and lovely. Perfect for PI day! (yes it was that long ago… DONT JUDGE ME). And I tried their spicy chai this time.

This was as good as I was hoping the truffle would be. It had all the lovely and varied nuances of a traditional chai…. BUT it lit a tiny fire in your mouth. It burn so good with the spices. Spicy chais are my favorite and so far, this is the best drink I’ve had in all of Salt Lake City. I haven’t got anything different since. It’s so perfect.

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I forgot to tell you about the restaurant didn’t I…

Well. It’s two floors and very hip. The bottom is full of roasting and grinding machines, a little gift shop and the front where you can get drinks (tea, coffee, frappés…) and food! Not just pastries but quiche and sandwiches and soups!

And then there are a bunch of tables, two sofas, a wall-sized window that looks out onto their cute patio (where we have not sat yet because cold and wet.) Then there is the second floor. Which actually isn’t that cute. It has some maps on the walls, but it’s a great study area and there are always a bunch of students there. So we fit in quite well as we chat about life or read.

And then that last picture was me just messing with a photo editor. BUT IT LOOKS COOL, RIGHT?!

I will continue to post. Even if I have to resort to subpar scrambled eggs or toast with nutella and hot sauce. And eventually, when I have a source of income again, I will have more fun places to post about and more fun and interesting recipes to share!

Coffee Garden

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Sundays are a veritable no-man’s land here in Salt Lake City. It is the second biggest frustration, after not being able to buy any liquor at any grocery store.

But there are still a handful of places open on Sundays. Mainly they are pubs! And a handful of coffee shops. But be warned, DO NOT go Downtown on a Sunday. Unless you just want to walk along empty streets and pretend you are one of the last survivors of the apocalypse.

But luckily for us, there are several coffee shops a few blocks away from our apartment. The one we tried last Sunday was Coffee Garden. As we were walking towards it we saw a crowd of people. The only populated area of the intersection, in fact! Though it was quite busy, we didn’t have to wait long to get our orders in.

I ordered my usual – a chai latte. It was decent here, not anything special. But what wowed me was the quiche. The Mushroom and Artichoke Quiche, to be exact. It was fresh tasting, still moist after being reheated in the microwave, the crust was still flaky (of course soft and flexible, that can’t be helped when sitting out for more than a few minutes) but intact and not soggy in the slightest. And the flavour was superb. While I couldn’t pick out the individual flavours of artichoke or mushroom, the overall taste was fresh and spicey (they definitely went heavy on the pepper. But in a GREAT way.)

Cortney was quite pleased with her coffee drink and the ambience of the place. Which I nearly forgot to describe!

When walking in you are affronted by a crowd of tables with the thinnest walkways imaginable. And you have to walk all the way to the back of the room to get to the counter. Further blocking your way, but also demarking the end of the table-lands is a floating island counter in the center full of one’s coffee and meal supplies. At the right hand side is the line to order, where one can see all the goodies (both sweet and savory). This line then leads back towards the left where you order and then continue to the VERY leftmost wall to pick up your drink and food.

It is a ridiculous set up. But once out of the throng, we found some seats along the hallway around the right side where the entrance to the kitchen can be found. Contrary to what you might expect, it wasn’t suffocating, but cozy. They did an EXCELLENT job of turning that most inconvenient space into a really lovely study nook. There are pictures of the coffee bean harvesting process along the kitchen wall, a wooden booth with several two person tables along the opposite wall and classical music playing to sooth your confusion-and-crowd jarred spirits.

We stayed there for a good while, simply enjoying the ambiance and doing some people watching. Then we headed to the park where we encountered a drum circle hippie fest at the bottom of a tall hill. It was so much fun to watch and commentate on those from our perch at the top while soaking up the sun and enjoying the sounds of laughter, music, and joy in the air (and the not-so-occasional ramblings of someone very high.)

So if you are looking for a great Sunday spot or just a chill place to study or read, check out the Coffee Garden. And DEFINITELY try the quiche.

Elliot’s on Congress and The HUB

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Pictured here are the pulled duck street tacos from Elliot’s on Congress. This is a neat little bar in the downtown area.

My friends and I went for happy hour where they feature great drink prices (though, honestly, their full price specialty drinks are no more than 8 dollars anyway.) It is a SERIOUSLY good deal!

I enjoyed a glass of draft Shock Top for $2 and a plate of the Street Tacos for $7. A filling and fun evening for $10 total.

The tacos were really unique and cool. I’ve never seen of this fusion before and really enjoyed the pulled duck. The tortillas were a mix of corn and flour as well, providing a nice mild flour flavor with the sturdiness of your average corn tortilla.

I will admit it was a smaller portion than I was bargaining for. Especially when compared to the huge plate of burger and fries that my friends both enjoyed.

The fries there, by the way, are truly a unique experience. They are the thinnest shoe string fries I’ve ever come across and drizzled in a light garlic sauce. They are even more addicting than normal fries because you feel like you have to eat three of them to measure up to an average fry. I don’t mean this in a bad way! It’s just different. A true SNACK food.

The decor is very trendy to boot. It’s a neat hip place that you should definitely check out!

And of course, end the evening with a visit to the HUB for some original and amazing ice cream flavours (like brandied cherry goat cheese ice cream or chocolate stout ice cream.) A very gourmet dessert for a decent price!

Thunder Canyon Brewery

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This has been a long time favorite  — especially for their Lightening Lunch specials. TCB is a local pub and brewery that offers a fun and varied selection of lunch and dinner foods, as well as delicious beers.

For dinner this week, my dad and I went to get some good ol’ pub food. I ordered the Scottsdale Salad: mandarin oranges, raisins, cranberries, walnuts and I picked the raspberry vinaigrette to go along with it all. It was refreshing and light and just sweet enough to satiate my sweet tooth.

My dad ordered the fish and chips. They are coated in a crispy beer batter and served with a light tartar sauce and malt vinegar. I’ve always enjoyed ordering the fish here!

I didn’t order a drink this time, but I was eyeing the Strawberry beer they featured. They always have at least one fruit beer and several homebrewed beers on tap. It’s great for happy hour!

Local and Thirsty Crow Bar

Doesn’t that just look mouth-watering?

The Thirsty Crow is an old timey bar on West Sunset Blvd. The inside is dark lights and aged wood with barrels and character in ever corner. Their mascot is a cartoony crow that you can find here and there in nooks and crannies.

The most unique part of the setup is the food service. Right next door is a small crêpe restaurant called “Local.” There isn’t much to it, but the menu offers delectable options besides crêpes. There are also wraps and salads and burgers. Once you have ordered and paid, you get a number and head back over to the bar. Then you get to sip at your drink while waiting for your food to be delivered.

I ordered the Albóndigas Burger with spicy fries. This was exactly what I’d been craving in a burger for ages. It was moist, bursting with delicate flavors, and a delightful texture. The fries were crisp and had the slightest hint of heat. It was such a delightful meal.

To accompany the meal, I ordered a Sloe Gin and Tonic. I had no idea what Sloe Gin was, but cherry flavoured gin was not what I was expecting at all. The drink was quite nice though! Almost too sweet, but refreshing all the same. And at the bottom? Two black cherries!

Overall, I found this place quite fun and charming. If I were living in LA it would be one of my go-to places.

Solo Café

Cleverly camouflaged amongst a strip of run of the mill restaurants and spas, is this cute alternative coffee shop on Southern and Mill.

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This mug was literally the size as my face. Just letting you know, it’s worth the trip!

The walls are covered in artwork with cute and odd monsters and skulls, what I would call alternative punk/psychedelic. There is a cozy sofa and old fashioned arm chair (as glimpsed in the picture) in the middle of the main room facing a wall-sized book shelf (with books you can actually pick off the shelves and read!), and a wooden bench that stretches the length of the back wall covered in cushions.

It is cozy if you want or a little bit stiffer for when you need to work. But you can find an outlet at any seat (cleverly hidden underneath the bench lip or on the ground) and the music is just the right volume. If you like a song, it’s loud enough to hear every word, but if you just want background then it’s soft enough to not disrupt your concentration.

Their drinks are pretty good, too. I’ve been getting their chais – they have three different flavours, and have enjoyed everyone. So far the Ginger Chai (pictured in the mug) is my favorite – it gives the tea an extra spicy kick. I’ve also tasted their hot coco (house blend) and a white mocha. I’ve yet to be disappointed!

All in all, this is one of my top picks. Perfect for meeting with friends, or for finishing some work, or simply reading a good book.