Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sammy's Cafe

One reason I really wanted to start this blog is because I am tired of reviewers always agreeing with what's popular. What kind of food critic just agrees with what everyone's saying on Urbanspoon or something else? Some restaurants are popular because they are actually good. But there are a few restaurants that are popular for no good reason at all -- they are just trendy and receive a lot of hype, but are either overpriced, or have poor service, or just aren't worth it. And I want to warn you about these ones so you don't get your hopes dashed like I did! Here is one of those hope-dashing experiences...

Where: Sammy's Cafe, 27 N 100 W, Provo (just off of Center street, between Univ Ave and Freedom)

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Raspberry Cheesecake Shake, Sweet Potato Fries, The Promo Burger, El Paso "Burger" (WARNING: They sneak chicken burgers in there on the menu and you may not even notice it, just like me, and you will be very sad when what you ordered is not actually a burger, but a sissy sandwich instead)

What It Cost: $19.50

What We Thought: 

Let me just say that I was really excited to try this place. BYU students are crazy about a few restaurants -- J Dawg's, Cafe Rio, The Pie (even though it's in SLC...), and Sammy's is one of those few. We went on a pretty warm day in the summer, which was the first of our mistakes. The tiny place was PACKED -- even the crappy picnic tables they set up outside were full, and it was way hot in there. I'm pretty sure that the place would not pass general health code standards because while we were waiting for our food, we noticed fruit flies cruising lazily from the garbage can (which was open and right next to where we were supposedly going to eat) to the kitchen and to the restaurant guests. Not very appetizing.

We started out with a Raspberry Cheesecake shake, since they are "famous" for their pie shakes. What an underwhelming experience. The only thing different between this shake and something you might pick up from McDonald's is the price. There was no evidence that this beverage once was a pie, and it was super runny and overall disappointing for the $4.29 price tag. We slurped it up in 15 seconds and then proceeded to wait in the fly corner for another 15 minutes until some more food was ready.

Then we got our fries, which I fully blame for Owen's hatred of sweet potato fries (fortunately, this was recently remedied by Guru's...more on that later!). These were too thin, too crunchy, and too flavorless. The fry sauce was okay, nothing special but not gag-inducing, but Owen refused to eat any more of the fries, much to my great sadness. I am a huge sweet potato fry lover, and this was Owen's first time having them. Bummer.

Owen ordered "The Promo" burger, which was pretty much your basic bacon cheeseburger. Meh. Everything tasted fresh at least, but nothing blew my mind. The burger itself was a little overdone and dry, but it was alright. And it was served with sweet pickles -- when will restaurants learn that EVERYONE PREFERS DILL? Sorry, personal vendetta there...

And I got El Paso burger. Like I mentioned previously, I had a blonde moment and didn't realize this was a chicken burger, so I was pretty put out when it arrived. For a chicken burger it was fairly decent I guess -- the avocado mash on it compensated for the lack of flavor in the chicken, and I really wish I could have tasted that pepperjack cheese I paid for. 

What You Should Do: Go if you have to. It's not BAD really, it's just not that great. Just because you throw the word "Famous" in front of your restaurant's advertising campaign doesn't make you have good food, I'm sorry. I think people just go there for the hole-in-the-wall, I-went-there-before-anyone-knew-about-it appeal, and sometimes people just think food tastes better if it's more expensive. If you want a pie shake that actually tastes like it contains pie, drive down the road to The Malt Shoppe instead and order the Jumble Berry Pie shake. Nothing else on their menu is really that spectacular, but the Jumble Berry Pie shake is a diamond in the rough my friends. 

Sammy's Café on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the comment. It's fun to see other local reviewers. I'm thinking of compiling a list of food bloggers from Utah County, so I'll keep you in mind.

    And agreed, burgers sound great on the menu but then are usually overdone & lack seasoning. Try their veggie sandwich. Also, their shakes can be hit or miss, but I loooove their banana cream pie shake. Can't remember if I like Guru's or Sammy's sweet potato fries better--one I love & one I don't love, but I haven't had either for awhile, so I can't remember. See ya around!

  2. Sounds great! I would love to read reviews from other Utah County bloggers as well! You'll definitely have to hit up the Guru's sweet potato fries soon - I swear I dream about them 6 out of 7 nights a week!

  3. great review! I went there for the first time last night and the bun on my burger tasted like it was two weeks old.



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