Friday, June 26, 2015


Where: Cow Chip102 1st Avenue South, Seattle

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Cow Chip with Walnuts + Peanut Butter Cookies

What It Cost: $4.50

What We Thought: 

So, like I said, we are moving to Seattle. And actually, Owen is living/working there part-time right now, so we have started scoping out the neighborhood, trying to find some great places to eat! This cookie place had an adorable sign outside, and since I tear up instantly when I think about leaving Ruby Snap behind (honestly, a tragedy), I figured I need to find the best possible cookie replacement in Seattle (though nothing could ever truly replace Ruby Snap of course).

Owen passes this place every day on his way to work, so I thought we definitely needed to check it out.

On the surface, these cookies look fine. And in reality, they WERE fine. But they weren't awesome. They didn't change my life. All they did was make me think "Wow, that was an expensive cookie." And the customer service was quite terrible. I'm not a huge fan of feeling like I'm an inconvenience to whomever is working, and this place was super awkward and we just wanted to EAT OUR COOKIES AND GET OUT OF THERE.

What You Should Do: Yeah, skip it. I know, you thought a pretty cookie picture for a Friday sounds pretty good...sorry to get your hopes up. If you're still in the SLC area, go to Ruby Snap for me and cherish it, okay? Thanks.

Read other reviews here:
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Obviously, New York City is an amazingly huge city, and there is no way I could ever hope to put together a truly comprehensive and current guide to this wonderful place. However, I will share with you some of  the can't-miss and the definitely-skip places (based on my experience, and lots and lots and lots of Google time....)!

First up: Shake Shack!

A great place for a dang good burger, and probably the cheapest meal you will eat in NYC. We visited the location on the UES, and there was no line, and it was absolutely delicious. It's just your basic, classic, wonderful American burger, and the SHAKES. OMG. So, so, so good. I got the black & white cookie one, and it was to die for. We almost ate here twice, we liked it so much (but you know me...) If they opened one in Utah or Washington, I would probably die of happiness. 

Not the greatest photo, but hey - I was on vacation! 

We also visited Mighty Quinn's BBQ, because my little brother's name is Quinn! It was pretty good - I liked the sweet potatoes on the side, and the crunchy cucumbers were good, but honestly, I would SO much rather have barbecue at Blue Smoke instead (pictured terribly below). The BISCUITS there basically changed my life, and it had a much cooler, less stoner atmosphere. Plus the most divine fried chicken with honey and OMG IT WAS SO DELICIOUS AND AMAZING. Go to Blue Smoke, for sure. 

Artichoke Basille.

I guess we had just gotten used to NYC pricing, but we didn't balk when we thought about spending $30 for a pizza to share. Yeah, the server really should have warned us. This was literally the biggest pizza I have ever seen in my life. Use my mom's cell phone on the table to the left of the pizza as a size reference!!!!! We each ate one piece and were quite satisfied, then had a second and didn't eat the rest of the day. Luckily, you can order by the slice, so PLEASE DO THAT. This pizza was the bomb, probably the best pizza I've ever had (its all about the sauce), and you would be amiss to miss it!

Smorgasburg over in Brooklyn was definitely a fun experience! Tons of different food carts and stands with flavors from all over the world. We had Korean tacos, spicy chicken and cheddar cheese waffles (with the BEST pickles!) and these amazing ice cream sandwiches from The Good Batch that were so delicious on this hot day. They have other highlights like Dough doughnuts and the famed Ramen Burger - its definitely a fun place to spend an afternoon! 

Eataly was incredible! I know if I lived in NYC, I would be SO tempted to come here all the time and would probably waste very much of my money… The options were incredible, and I wish that I didn't have to try to fit everything into a carry-on (darn liquid limits!) or else I would have come home with lots of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and more! We ate at the Pasta place, it was the bomb. We had to sit at the bar because of a huge wait, but it was actually fun because we got to see into the "kitchen," and you know how I love that. The Nutella bar also looked like a dream come true, for those of you who are into that :)

Chelsea Market was not as amazing as I had hoped - don't get me wrong, it’s a fun place to walk around for a little while, and I would definitely go there for lunch instead of breakfast like we did. Skip the cupcake that so many people rave about at Amy's Kitchen -  we thought it was dry and unexciting. Also Fat Witch Bakery was a let down…not much improvement over boxed brownies, and you should probably just make them at home (or with this recipe!)

DOUGHNUT PLANT OMG. Home of square doughnuts, and filled doughnuts where the filling goes ALL THE WAY around, this place was the bomb. Their seasonal flavors were delicious, and we especially flipped for the pumpkin and spiced pepita doughnut. SO GOOOOOOD! 

Breakfast at The Smith was quite good, conveniently located to our apartment, and had really fancy ketchup. My pecan caramel pancakes were quite the indulgence, and incredibly tasty. A great option if you're in the area. Plus they supposedly have a photobooth in the bathroom downstairs, but it was out of order when we were there…

Locande Verde was one of our "NYC Brunch" experiences (in Tribeca, it felt quite appropriate), and it was totally worth it. The food was divine (my ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and blueberries were otherworldy, and my mom's french toast with toasted hazelnuts and grapefruit was inspiring) and it had a really fun atmosphere. I definitely would go here again! 

Mary's Fish Camp - this one divided us. I really liked my lobster roll (my first one ever - it was rich, buttery, and divine!!) and my mom was not impressed with her dish (the daily special). It was in a pretty pretentious area in the West Village (Louboutin around the corner), and the service was not amazing, so I'd say only head here if you really, really want a lobster roll. 

We didn't take any pictures at Babbo (it was way too dark), but this was our one total splurge option. Gwyneth Paltrow recommended it, so I felt pretty cool when we got a reservation. Honestly, it was good, maybe even great, but did it change my life? No. The saffron panna cotta was definitely the bomb, and I would recommend this place if you want something fancy but still with a cozy atmosphere.

Tal Bagels has dang good bagels, with lots of options. This was where we went to get our "authentic" NYC bagel, and it definitely lived up to the hype. I'm sure there is somewhere else that the real bagel experts go, but this was in our neighborhood and was delicious, so I was satisfied. 

Other NYC must-dos:

Sail around the Statue of Liberty: This was the classiest and most awesome thing we did in NYC, and it wasn't even that expensive. Skip all the lines on Liberty Island and see the Lady herself in great style.

New York City Ballet: Even if you're not a huge ballet fan, you have to appreciate their dedication and incredible talent. Lincoln Center is gorgeous, and its just a beautiful thing to do in a busy, busy city

Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue: If you're a girl, you're going to love this place. Trust me.

Met Museum: Duh. Not overrated. Must do. Wish we could have stayed there for three days.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge: This was totally fun (surprisingly busy!) and a great way to enjoy the Manhattan skyline! Take the subway over, and watch out for bikers on your walk back!

Where we stayed: POD51 Hotel

It was tiny (so tiny), but met our needs, was in a great location, and was not expensive (by NYC standards). I'd probably stay here again if I was traveling on a budget. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


Where: Olive Garden, 504 W 2230 N, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 2

What We Ordered: Two Italian Sodas, Tortellini al Forno, Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo, Ravioli di Portobello

What It Cost: $48

What We Thought: 

Man. What is it about Olive Garden that seriously sucks people in? I mean, there are almost 400 restaurants in Provo and Orem, and yet somehow, there is always at least an hour wait at this place! So, though I had visited an Olive Garden a couple of times in the past, we decided to give it another go with as much of an unbiased opinion as possible, trying to get the whole "Olive Garden Experience." 

So, when we got there, we were told that the expected wait would be an hour and a half. Cool! 

Luckily we had some friends who were also waiting in line, and we weren't in any hurry, so when we were finally seated, we were still in pretty good spirits. We OF COURSE started with the free soup and salad and breadsticks -- isn't that the big draw of this place? Owen got the Zuppa Toscana (translated: Tuscan Soup), which in theory had potatoes, sausage, kale, bacon and creaminess. It was alright -- pretty heavy, oil a little visible on top, but it wasn't bad.

We also got some Italian Sodas. Not memorable. Moving on.

This little starter was actually our favorite part of the meal -- it was cheese and prosciutto stuffed ravioli with a parmesan cream sauce, bacon crumbles and bread crumbs. Crumb. Anyway, the ravioli was surprisingly flavorful, soft and creamy with nice contrasting crunch. Pretty salty of course, but actually pretty good!

Then the salad and breadsticks arrived. Such a big bowl for a one-person salad :) The salad is nothing amazing, pretty pale vegetables, but I really think that its the dressing that makes the salad pretty dang good actually. Like in the kind of way you could just eat a million of these little salads. In fact, I weirdly want some right now...

Those breadsticks. Please, just Google Jimmy Fallon + Olive Garden breadsticks. You won't regret it.

Owen's pasta was actually pretty decent. The meat was a little overcooked and challenging to slice, but there was an appropriate amount of blue cheese, and all of the flavors meshed together pretty well. I thought the sharpness of the blue cheese counteracted the typical SALT taste you get at Olive Garden, and I would definitely replicate this dish at home.

My ravioli on the other hand was HEY-YO SALT CITY! (Different than Salt Lake City of course....) I was nervous about the mushrooms because I'm actually not a huge mushroom fan, but the flavor of salt and cream totally overpowered it, so no problem there. There were oddly a ton of green onions (healthy?) and the dish was satisfying but not anything to write home about.

What You Should Do: For the love of Italian food, please just skip this place. It's not really the food, its the whole concept that really drives me nuts. People say they like Olive Garden because its affordable and convenient and reliable. Well, nearly $50 for two people doesn't seem like that great of a deal for the quality of food we got, and I could NOT believe how long we had to wait. And it wasn't even a busy time of night! We were waiting to be seated for OVER AN HOUR, which seems literally insane when we could have walked to several other decent restaurant options in a quarter of that time. Olive Garden is Olive Garden. They have it everywhere, so you probably should enjoy some of the more unique and special (and family-operated!) places here in Utah County while you can instead! 

Read other reviews here:
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Thursday, June 18, 2015


It's almost officially summer!

My birthday is actually June 21 - first day of summer, and I have to admit, it's truly my favorite season right now. Fresh fruits and vegetables, berries finally being in season - it is a good time to eat, my friends (very important comma...).

So if you're planning on having a little party this weekend, or just want to impress a certain is another dinner party guide!

Starter: Grilled Tomato Toasts

Fresh, home-grown summer tomatoes may be one of my top three favorite foods of all time.Glory in that seasonal tomato taste with these fantastic grilled tomato toasts, and you may never want to move on to the first course.

Salad: Avocado and Pineapple Salad

Keeping it fresh with a fruity and simple salad, this unique combination is sure to please. This salad is a super tasty way to start off the meal and is surprisingly refreshing.

Main: Key West Grilled Chicken

I am a lime fanatic, and going to Key West, I absolutely loved all of the Caribbean flavors! It was actually our mission on that island to try as many key lime pies as possible - a very worthy mission indeed. This Key West grilled chicken recipe is super simple, super delicious, and a nice, light summer dinner to utilize that grill now that the suns out!

Side: Sticky Rice and Grilled Red Peppers

No recipe for this one - just make sure to buy calrose (sticky rice) at the store, and cover your red peppers with some olive oil and seasoning salt (Slap Ya Mama is the best!!) and toss them on the grill while you are cooking your chicken. You want to cook them (either whole or sliced) over a medium flame until they feel softened and are slightly charred.

Dessert: Homemade Ice Cream

Take your pic - there are SO many amazing recipes out there! My all-time favorite ones come from David Lebovitz - his salted butter caramel ice cream is from the gods, and the chocolate recipe on his blog is divine and infinitely adaptable. I don't know about you, but one of my goals this summer is to use my ice cream maker more (seems reasonable), and this weekend seems like the perfect time to get started!

(Top Photo from Rocket News 24)

Monday, June 15, 2015


Hey! Father's Day is next weekend! And if you forgot to get a gift (dads are THE HARDEST to shop for! They are always so selfless and don't want anything!), and don't want to be a schmuck, treat Dad out to a dinner as a thank you for teaching you knife skills and how to change the oil on the car. 

And cherish your dad. You don't know how long he'll be around for. 

This place is the bomb, and the giant, ultra satisfying sandwiches are even decent on the budget. Dare him to the get the extra spicy :)

Okay, this one is definitely a stereotype, but if your dad is into sports, this is my favorite Utah County place to go. There are so many screens filled with so many sports (even tennis, yay!) and it’s a lot of fun to try a bunch of different wing flavors! Skip any of the sides or appetizers - the wings are really the main attraction here. The best flavors (in my opinion) are Salt & Vinegar (sounds weird, but you gotta try it), Jammin' Jalapeño, and Asian Zing.

If your dad's into barbecue, then you can't go wrong with The Smoking Apple. Their meats are always super juicy and flavorful, they don't run out of stuff as frequently as (ahem) other BBQ places do, and their sides are the bomb. My two favorites are the cornbread and the baked beans, but you really can't go wrong here!

Pupusas = life. That's all. Oh, and everything else here they have is amazing.

If you're taking Dad out for lunch, these sandwiches are sure to satisfy, and are definitely a treat!

And of course, Joe's Café is the most excellent choice for ALL occasions -- hopefully it won't be closed, and you can treat Dad to the most incredible breakfast in his life. Trust me, this is far above those banana pancakes you were planning to bring him in bed…

Me & my dad - can you tell we're related?

Friday, June 12, 2015


Where: Park Cafe, 604 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Chelsey & Devynne

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Migas Special, Michigan Hash

What It Cost: 18.95

What We Thought:

Park Cafe is one of those "buzzy spots" according to my phone (I love how my phone sounds like a grandpa sometimes...) that everyone seems to be talking about, a place to see and be seen. So, obviously, I needed to see. 

We went on a Monday morning at 10, which felt like a random day and time, but it was definitely hopping already. Luckily we were seated quickly, but I could see how this place would get packed in no time. The place is decorated in your typical hipster fare (I secretly loved the stickers on the condiments), and had a pretty decent selection of options for breakfast. I ordered the breakfast special - some Mexican migas (mmmm), and my sister got the Michigan hash.

This place would definitely be a good place to go for brunch - the dishes were hearty and portion sizes generous (seriously - four pieces of toast??) Our favorite part was the homemade jam at each table - it was totally good, and I kept wanting to sneakily steal other flavors from the other tables...

My migas were pretty good, though definitely not the best I've ever had. They were a little dry, but the really great salsa helped with that. Normally migas has corn tortilla chips cooked inside with the eggs, so I thought it was a little weird that they served it with corn tortillas, and it could have used some sour cream maybe? Overall, it was a dish I would eat again, but maybe not one I would order again.

Devynne's Michigan hash had high and low points as well - the sausage and eggs and cheese were all good. We actually liked the way their potatoes were cooked too - they seemed crumbly at first, but were quite delicious to eat that way. The only thing that had me like "really??" was the use of only green peppers - blech. We all know those are the worst bell peppers, and my sister is still on the fence about bell peppers, so I would have liked to see a mix at least with some red. And the bread just tasted like white bread, not sourdough. 

What You Should Do: It's a fun place to meet with friends, and I bet it would be super nice to sit outside on the patio in the summer. If it's a nice day and you've got lots of spare time, you could give it a try for brunch. I'm always sad at the paucity of weekend brunch places around here, so this one's decent.
Read other reviews here:

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015


One of my favorite things in the world is having people over for dinner. I admit, sometimes I like to be a bit of a show-off (acknowledging the problem is the first step, right?), but mostly I love to find great recipes and share them with others to make for a special evening.

You know that age-old advice of never try a new recipe on guests? I'm the worst at that! I almost exclusively try new things whenever we have company - I guess I like the gamble? Sometimes you totally win, and sometimes it’s a huge flop, but at least then you all have something to laugh about!

But if you don't feel like being as risky as me (probably wise), or if you just want to get some great ideas, I'm going to be pulling together some weekend dinner party guides for you all - a little menu, and maybe some tips, playlists, or decoration ideas! These recipes have all be tried by yours truly (I wouldn't send you out there to fail!) and are guaranteed to make your guests happy and your night awesome. Lots of people ask me how I got good at cooking, but I'm telling you - it's not about the skills, it's all about the internet. Anyone can learn to cook from the internet! (Or how to do anything for that matter….things Dr. Google has taught me: how to change oil on the car, how to beat box, how to fishtail braid, how to replace a broken iPhone screen…it's amazing!)

Without further ado, we'll start off with a menu that I shared with some friends just this past weekend!

Starter: Cheese Plate

You can almost never go wrong with a classic cheese plate to start off the meal and to entertain people while you sometimes run around like a crazy person. What's Gaby Cooking puts together some of the most beautiful cheese plates of all time, so I look at her pictures for inspiration, and then go to Trader Joe's to find affordable and amazing cheese. When making a cheese plate, you've always got to have at least three options (a blue, a soft cheese, and a hard salty cheese), and here are some of my favorite things to include: fontina cheese, gorgonzola (softer for those who don't like blue cheeses), cornichons, jalapeño jelly, fig preserves, dried unsulphured apricots (TJ's again), and obviously cute little cheese knives!

Salad: Watermelon Salad

The theme of our party was going to be summer (more on that later), so obviously watermelon had to be involved. This slightly savory take on watermelon from Cup of Jo was a total hit - I changed it a little by subbing pecans for walnuts, using a basil-infused olive oil, and adding balsamic vinegar as well. Get creative with what you've got!

Main: Grilled Salmon

Like I said, it was supposed to be a summer theme, which of course means GRILLING, but then an hour before the party, it started to POUR and HAIL and FLOOD OUR STREET! Yeah, so the grilling situation was out. But I had already marinated the salmon using this recipe from All Recipes, so I just used my old standby, all-time favorite way of cooking salmon from The Pioneer Woman, and it turned out amazing. Use this recipe for non-fish lovers, and you may convert them!

Side: Garlicky Spinach

Another classic from The Pioneer Woman - when I look for sides, I want something I can either prep in advance, or put together in less than five minutes. This one was of the latter, and it was good. It was a little too garlicky for some guests, so use you own judgment :)

Dessert: Brownies with Fresh Strawberries

Okay, I had to beg for this recipe, since its from my friend Jessica, who in my book, is the ultimate QUEEN of brownies. In the past, I have been strictly a "brownies-from-the-box" kind of girl, and homemade brownies sucked, but THESE CHANGED EVERYTHING. Add some fresh macerated strawberries on top or vanilla bean ice cream, and it’s a classic end to any meal.


1/2 cup butter
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Stir until smooth. Frost brownies while they are still warm.
** She doubles the recipe and puts it in a 9x13 pan, and you should too. 

(Top photo from Domaine Home)


Who's Chelsey?

scary Hawaii beach hair, giant burger, and everything

Hey, it's me!

As I'm sure you'll notice, there's been a bit of identity change over here, and I want to welcome you all to my new site, Chelsey Eats!

Yes it looks the same. But I've got to ask you - have you ever wondered why I am still in college after five years…? Confession time: I'm in graduate school. At the University of Utah (I know!) I still live in Provo (and love to cheer for our ever-disappointing teams at BYU!!!), but my time in my program is swiftly coming to an end (HALLELUJAH!!) I have to admit, I was pretty sad to think about leaving the blogging world behind when I announced here that I am going to be moving in December. And I've always wanted to bring a bit more of me into the blog, so here we are!

Not only do I love eating out at restaurants and giving you all the insight here (like, really love it), but I also love traveling, trying new recipes, and sharing good food with people I love. So, look forward to some fresh new content (coming soon…this afternoon!)  in addition to the good ol' restaurant reviews, and I hope you like the change! 


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