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It’s A Wrap – August 2018

Alamexo Cantina - plantain cakes with salsa ranchera

Alamexo Cantina – plantain cakes with salsa ranchera.

Alamexo & Alamexo Cantina

Mexico’s revolt against Spanish rule began on the early morning of September 16 in 1810, when Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell of his church in Dolores, as a call to arms that triggered the Mexican War of Independence. His speech, the “El Grito de Dolores” or “Cry of Dolores” has taken on world-wide iconic status and is the beginning of the festivities in Mexico each year when the president re-enacts it from the balcony of the National Palace while ringing the same bell. This starts two days of celebration, much like the 4th of July in the U.S., filled with concerts, parades and family parties.

With that in mind, chef and owner Matt Lake has concocted several festive specials to serve at both his downtown restaurant Alamexo Mexican Kitchen, and at the new, more casual, Alamexo Cantina in the 9th and 9th area. Both have beautiful patios open for the festivities. Specials will run Friday, September 14th and Saturday September 15th downtown and will also be served Sunday September 16th at the Cantina.

Alamexo Cantina - margarita

Alamexo Cantina – margarita

Lake and the team will be cooking up enchiladas mixtos con langosta y bistek: two soft corn tortillas filled with Maine lobster and Double R Ranch filet mignon, baked in a guajillo salsa and topped with lettuce, radish and queso fresco ($23); mole negro con carnitas de pato: traditional mole negro plate served with duck carnitas, fresh tortillas, lettuce, radish and cilantro ($22); and tostadas aguacate con jitomate y calabaza “baracoa”: two crispy large tostadas topped with mashed avocados, sliced heirloom tomatoes, mixed squash and eggplant “barbacoa,” lettuce, crema and salsa macha ($18). These complement his nightly menu filled with chef’s regional Mexican specialties at both locations.

Both dining spots have a new drink menu to complement the traditional house margarita offerings. For Mexican Independence Day, they’ll be offering the mezcal fizz, with Bozal Ensemble Mezcal, orange juice, orange zest, bitters and Grand Marnier with a burnt orange peel garnish and chili sugar rim. ($13).

268 State St #110, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 779-4747

1059 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 658-5859

DABC licenses

Given a slight delay in the DABC’s meeting note publishing in June, this month’s recap of recent DBAC news takes in both the July and August meeting info. Some of the notable highlights include the first Hash House A Go Go coming to Utah (St George); while those watching the Taco ‘Bout Burritos spot might want to note the seeming renaming to Yoyis Mexican Grill.

Full service licenses (beer, wine liquor)

Cedar Breaks Bar & Grill, Brian Head.
The Grille at Sand Hollow Resort, Hurricane
Stage Coach Grill, La Verkin
Taco ‘Bout Burritos, Salt Lake City, conditional
The Corner Restaurant, Midway, conditional
Beaumont Bakery & Cafe, Salt Lake City, conditional
Hash House a Go Go, St George, conditional

Limited service license (beer and wine)

Magleby’s, Springville
Black Bear Diner, Washington
Red 8, Lehi
Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Salt Lake City
Gurkhas Indian & Nepali Cuisine, Salt Lake City
Freshies Lobster Company, Salt Lake City, conditional
Itto Sushi, Orem, conditional

Alibi - one of Salt Lake's newest bars

Alibi – one of Salt Lake’s newest bars

Bar license

Lift, Brian Head
Brazen Head Saloon, Tooele
Alibi, Salt Lake City, conditional
Templin Family Brewing, Salt Lake City, conditional
Policy Kings Brewery, Cedar City, conditional

Meanwhile Riverbank Bar in Millcreek is still struggling with its home city to procure the necessary building permits to finish work and open to the public. With Sugar House Proper not ready for a few months more yet, the August meeting ended with an almost preposterous three bar licenses available and up for grabs. Almost unthinkable!


Savoy (Price) and Circle Lounge (SLC) both found their bar licenses revoked in a 4-2 vote among commissioners. Each business failed to complete appropriate DABC classes. Revocation in this manner means neither business can now obtain a new liquor license for…3 years…

Billy B’s Hash House (Midvale) continues to await its opening. During the July meeting the liquoir license for this business was extended for another modest period . A representative for the business indicated issues with having to switch general contractors and anticipated an opening in 4-6 weeks. Any day now by my reckoning.

Cerveza Zolupez Beer Company (Ogden, producing Mexican style beers), Policy King’s Brewery (Cedar City) and St. George’s Beverage Co. (Washington) were both granted beer manufacturing licenses plus a type 5 package agency license. RPM Brewery (Salt Lake City) also received a type 5; note the type 5 is what lets manufacturers sell directly from their proaction facility – even on Sundays.

High West Distillery was approved for another manufacturer license in order to open a facility to barrel ages their whiskies; the location is located in downtown SLC; this is unlikely to host the public however from the sounds of things.

Eat Local Week

The yearly Eat Local Week is just around the corner, running September 8th – 15th for 2018. ELW challenges Utahns to pledge online for the Eat Local Challenge – an effort to eat mainly or wholly local products. Additionally, businesses around town also get in on the fun too. The following events are currently arranged:

Saturday, September 8th: Free Wasatch Community Gardens Tomato Sandwich Party, Free Eat Local Week Kickoff & Wasatch Co-Op Perfectly Wild Produce Contest at the SLC Downtown Farmers Market, Free Taste of Harmons Rooftop Festival at Harmons City Creek

Sunday, September 9th
Punk rock farm to taco with KRCL

Monday, September 10th
Free modified screening at Brewvies

Tuesday, September 11th
Spice Kitchen Incubator special for Eat Local Week

Tuesday, September 11th
Free Tuesday Harvest Market Quickle with Slow Food Utah

Wednesday, September 12th
Eat Local Week celebration at the Sugar House Farmers market

Thursday, September 13th
Summer in a jar workshop – salsa & sauces at Harmons City Creek

Friday, September 14th
Free taste of the Liberty Park market, 4 pm-dusk

Saturday, September 15th: Free 2nd Annual Fermentation Festival at the SLC Downtown Farmers Market with CATALYST, Green Urban
Lunchbox Harvest Bash, Festa Italiana SLC

September 1st-30th: During the entire month of September, all four Tsunami locations (Sugar House, Union Heights, South
Jordan and Traverse Mountain) will be featuring a Farmers Market Roll made with Anaheim peppers, shallots, heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers – all purchased from vendors at the SLC Downtown Farmers Market. Proceeds from the sale of the Farmers Market Roll will go directly to support the market.

Restaurant closures

Sad news time, both Vertical Diner (100 South location only) and The Dispensary called it quits in the last month via Facebook posts as follows:

Vertical Diner: With our continued efforts towards consolidation in order to provide excellent service to our customers and our team members, our 100 South location will be closing this Sunday. Feel free to visit and enjoy in the meantime, and please know that our 9th South location is as strong as ever. Thank you again to all of our Vertical Diner friends and customers.

The Dispensary: Well folks, The Dispensary is Closing. It was a super fun experiment. We’ll be open for lunch through the end of the month, so if you want to come check it out before we close we’d love to see you one last time! Thank you all for so much support. I know a lot of you loved what we created, and salt lake will have a restaurant like this one day.

In the short time that we were open we had a lot of amazing interactions, supported a ton of great events, collaborated with some of the most amazing folks and created a lot of wonderful dishes, here’s a comprehensive list of all the things we had on our menu.

Utah Cheese Awards 2018 judging (Steven Ralph Jerman)

Utah Cheese Awards 2018 judging (Steven Ralph Jerman)

Utah Cheese Awards

The Utah Cheese Awards completed it’s second annual contest Saturday, awarding 34 medals in 13 cheese plate food categories, as well as a Best Of Show in each division. The award winners will be announced, and medals presented, October 20 in South Salt Lake.

Forty cheese entries and ten non-cheese entries from a total of 11 companies and individuals were entered. Judging took place at a private event at the Cyty Byrd Cafe in Salt Lake’s historic City-County Building. The Utah Cheese Awards were started in 2017 by Salt Lake City born Steven R. Jerman, a commercial artist, and entrepreneur who spent four months as a farmstead apprentice at a Cache Valley creamery. There he saw a need for local cheesemakers to better promote their products.

The 2018 judges, all Salt Lake residents, were, Ted Scheffler (Utah Stories), Tosha Rustad (Caffe Ibis), Alex Springer (City Weekly) and Amanda McGraw (Copper Onion).

The winners will be announced October 20, at Shades of Pale Brewing where producers may pick up their medals. This tasting reception, which includes local vendors, runs from 4-8 p.m. with announcements at 7.30 p.m. This 21 and over event is free, but attendees may purchase a cheese plate of Utah-made foods, including some of the winning entries for $16or a double portion for $30.

VIP Tickets are available on the show’s website, The complete listing of awards will be posted on the same site by November 1, 2018.

tuesday harvest farmers market

Tuesday Market

The ninth season of the Tuesday Farmers Market is now in operation and continues through September, from 4 p.m. to dusk. This laid-back produce market will feature about twenty vendors, during the peak of the harvest season. Shoppers will find a dynamic and diverse shopping experience featuring produce, along with meats, cheese, baked goods and other locally produced food.

The smaller size of the mid-week market creates an intimate experience that is easy to access and park for convenient shopping while supporting the local food economy and locally grown food. Alison Einerson, Urban Food Connections of Utah director writes”

The Tuesday Market offers farmers an additional opportunity to connect with local shoppers during a time of the year when farms are producing at their height. Tuesday Evenings are a perfect way for both residents and commuters to pick up farm-fresh produce and locally produced food before heading home.

Another attraction of the Tuesday Farmers Market’s smaller size is enhancing the opportunity for shoppers to engage with farmers and growers – one of the core missions for UFCU. Commuters, downtown residents and regular market shoppers will find the Tuesday evening markets a welcome addition to the popular Saturday markets to stock up on local produce after work.

More Tuesday Farmers Market information –

Waterpocket spirits

Waterpocket spirits


Even Stevens faces troubles

Waterpocket interview

La Caille’s Billy Sotelo interview

Korean Bistro restaurant profile:

Food talk

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