Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Where: Chef's Table, 2005 S State Street, Orem

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 2

What We Ordered: Cheese & Charcuterie Board, Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Rack of Colorado Lamb, Bananas Foster Cheesecake, and "Chocolate Dream Dessert" 

What It Cost: $118.44

What We Thought: 

It's so funny -- probably one of the "nicest" restaurants in Orem is really in not so nice of a location -- across the street from D.I. and next door to PC World...ANYWAY. Since it's won so many awards (lots of Best of State, Zagat, etc), we of course had to check it out. The first time we had a Groupon (scout these out -- so worth it here!), but we actually kind of liked it, so we had to go a second time...

You know those nights when you're just feeling like, I want to go somewhere nice and expensive! Okay, okay, it's rare (we are students, after all), but when you do, Chef's Table totally fits the bill (literally). Though it's in a really weird location, it has a pretty view of the mountains, and a very pretty dining area. We started our meal with the cheese & charcuterie board, and you know that song "These are a Few of My Favorite Things"? Well, this board is that song to me...Tartufo Salami, Soppressata, cornichons, gorgonzola, merlot-soaked sharp cheddar, crostini, prosciutto, and kumquat marmalade? These are a few of my favorite things! In all seriousness, this charcuterie board was a great mix, and a super delicious start to the meal. The only things that could make it better -- 1) More crostini (it was a little awkward to eat the cheese & meats without a good carb base) and 2) The server didn't know who made the meats - I thought it was Creminelli, but it would have been nice to know for sure :)

I mean, is there anything that makes you feel more sophisticated or like this is an Important Meal than a lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate? I think not.

Now...for the entrées...YUM! Owen got the rack of Colorado lamb, which was served over the creamiest polenta, with a roasted tomato sauce and green beans. The lamb was cooked perfectly medium rare, and was sooooo juicy and tender. I would eat this every day if I could afford it haha.

I ordered the macadamia crusted halibut, which was served over a delightful risotto with asparagus and beurre blanc. The risotto and sauce were AMAZING, and the halibut would have been really great except for the fact that I am totally picky and the fish was a little overcooked for me. It was still all really good, but when I mentioned to the server that the fish was a little dry/overcooked, he offered to make up for it with some free dessert. Yeah, you know I couldn't turn that down...

And WOW am I glad we didn't! First off, it is rare that more than one dessert sounds even remotely appealing after, you know, a full meal. But at Chef's Table, literally every dessert sounded super intriguing. I ordered the Bananas Foster Cheesecake, and Owen got what the server described as "It's really chocolate-y - chocolate brownie topped with chocolate mousse and chocolate wafers and chocolate sauce...yeah, it's a lot of chocolate." Of course we had to try that. The cheesecake was divine - I looooove bananas foster AND cheesecake, so I knew this would be a win for me. The flavor was phenomenal, and I loved the brûléed banana - it was perfectly cooked and the bananas weren't mushy at all! I was surprised with the raspberries on top, but it was a perfect bit of tartness on a dessert that could have been overwhelmingly sweet. I WANT THIS RIGHT NOW.

I can't even describe this chocolate dessert thing ever/I love chocolate/so intense but so good/you gotta try it/never take this off the menu

What You Should Do: Like I mentioned before, Chef's Table is a great place for those special occasions where you really feel like splurging! The service was really excellent and they want you to have a wonderful dining experience. My only advice is hey, if you're going to be spending more than $100 on a meal, let's dress a little nicer, okay? Just a personal thing... :) I would probably give this place four stars, but it is pretty expensive in reality, and I'm not recommending going here every day!
Read other reviews here: 
Chef's Table on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 24, 2014


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


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


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


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


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