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Shawarma to steak – a look at the Utah restaurant reviews this month

Koyote - tantan-men ramen (Gastronomic SLC)

In Utah stories, Ted Scheffler takes in four businesses since our last recap. Midvale’s Toro Ramen & Sushi is up first, the latest home for Sunny Tsogbadrakh, the notable chef who worked magic at Naked Fish, before going onto Layton’s Nikko. Next up is Sticky Wicket (located above Royal Street Cafe at Silver Lake Village, Deer Valley), a 21+ bar with food that matches some of DV’s ritzier locales according to Scheffler. Scelto, Sandy’s latest Italian eatery, is also visited, while Farmington’s WildFin opening takes the writer in the opposite direction Nothrwards – remarking on the use of local producers, but also the steeper pricing.

Also in Utah Stories this month, our very own Heather L. King, recounting the tale of Facil Taqueria out in Olympus Cove. You might recall we covered Facil back in 2022, asking if is this Utah’s best fried chicken.

Whittle's Bakery - pies and puddings of UK
Whittle’s Bakery – pies and puddings of UK (Gastronomic SLC)

Speaking of GSLC, if you wondered about the relative radio silence here the past couple weeks – I took a well-earned trip back to good ol’ blighty, a land of puddings and pies. I’m back in the hot seat now, just shaking the jetlag off. In the interim, here’s something I did just before I took to the skies; a fun interview with the talented team at City Cast on what to expect in 2024.

Back to print then and the Tribune’s Kolbie Peterson covers the updates at 2 Row Brewing while also speaking to design expert Cody Derrick about four Utah restaurants with real vibes. STK, Violet, and Koyote are all places Peterson writes up in more detail.

SLC’s local Axios outlet was also keen to get in on the Koyote action (pictured top, from our review) – a wise move indeed. If you didn’t get in there quickly after my preview at the start of the month – the word is definintely now out. The first official week for the business saw the place immediately sell out. Queues lined the exterior Marmalade streets with the restaurant subsueqntly needing to take a day or two out to retool. Also in Axios, Erin Alberty bullet points the changes over at Brighton, specifically the revamps underway with their food program. Expect a detailed story on that at GSLC soon too.

STK in downtown SLC (Gastronomic SLC)
STK in downtown SLC (Gastronomic SLC)

City Weekly’s Alex Springer hits up a quartet of newcomers this month. Basta Pasteria, Kompas Taqueria, Alhambra Taqueria, and Egg Break; the myriad shawarma at Taylorsville’s Alhambra particular piques my own interest with Springer noting the “shawarma itself is a stellar example of the craft”. Springer points to the “Supreme Shawarma ($22.99)” as the way forward for the indecisive – a compendium featuring much of the menu in one box.

Another busy month for Salt Lake Magazine sees Lydia Martinez first check out the migration of Geoff Patmides’ Hog & Tradition, which recently made the leap from The Local to HallPass. Martinez also takes a moment to extoll the virtues of a sharing platter of Taste Of Mahider – the stalwart State Street Ethiopian. Avrey Evans goes over the “virtual Tour of Italy class” from Caputo’s while also stopping in at the new Bonnie & Clyde’s, a new downtown lunch-leaning spot. STK gets a brief mention from Megan Bartholomew while head honcho Jeremy Pugh teases the upcoming Dining Awards. The big bash is this coming Monday – expect the results of Utah’s finest the following day.

Hog And Tradition at The Local - Dominican BBQ special
Hog And Tradition – Dominican BBQ special (Gastronomic SLC)

For a brief break from all that reading head to the big screen where FOX13 features Basta Pasteria, The Locker Room, STK, and Vito’s; ABC4 also leads with Great Greek, Veneto, Basta Pasteria, Toro Ramen, STK, and Sidewinder. On the interweb’s gogglebox, Andrew Zimmern reckons SLC will be a food destination soon. Who knew? We did, we did.

The last few weeks saw the Deseret News also dip their toes back into the local food writing scene with Bountilful’s Vito’s and Orem’s TRUreligion seeing writer Lee Benson pen longer form stories on each businesses background and story. More of this, please.

Hmm. What else? The Standard-Examiner’s Val Philliis covers Roy’s Burger Bar, the sixty-year-old burger shack known for a rotating selection of ‘exotic’ meats, with more burger news courtesy of the Herald Journal recounting the opening of Morty’s Cafe in Providence.

Baby’s Bagels pops up in the Daily Utah Chronicle while Lavanya Mahate is profiled in SLUG. Shabu is celebrated by PC’s TownLift and again by KPCW, while Utah Valley restaurants are rounded up by KSL.

A few other write up include Mastra over in the Lhei Free Press, the arrival of Houston Hot Chicken in Cat Country, as well as some national coverage of High West in Spirits Business, and Urban Hill in Wine Spectator.

Want to stay on top of the SLC food scene, minute by minute, dish by dish? Here are a few other places you should follow along:



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