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C&C have once again researched places to eat in our host city. Unlike past years, however, we are only publishing a general list of the places we found that fit our standards (close, reviewed well, good menus, etc.) The times allowed for meals in the schedule is quite short. We suggest people plan accordingly. See you in SLC!

– GA 2009 –
Salt Lake City
Raft Ports o’ Call

Martine
Popular tapas restaurant (North African, Spain, Provence) – Not Veggie Friendly
.2 miles 22 East 100 South 1.5 blocks East
M-Fri 11:30a-10p Sat 5:30p-10:30p Lunch $9-12 Dinner $8-31

Bambara’s
New American bistro with worldly flair, winner of green biz award – veggie doable
.3 miles 202 S. Main 1 block East, 1 block South
M-Sat 11a – 10 p Lunch $10-20 (special $13) Dinner $10-45 (special $30-33)

Siegfried’s Delicatessen

German deli, very popular – NOT VEGGIE FRIENDLY
.3 miles 20 W. 200 South 1 block South, ¾ block East
Mon-Wed 9a-6p Th-Sat 9a-9p $7-11

ACME Burger Company

Gourmet burger joint. – Veggie doable
.4 miles 275 South 200 West Almost 2 blocks South from West Exit
M-Thur 11:30a-9:30p Fri-Sat 11a-10:30p Sun 11a-9p $10-30

Squatter’s Pub and Brewery

Brew pub dedicated to economic, social, and environmental value – veggie friendly
.4 miles 147 West Broadway 2 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), ¾ block West
M-Thur 11a-Midnight F 11a-1a Sat 10:30a-1a Sun 10:30a-Midnight
Weekend Brunch 10:30a-3p $7-25 (daily specials)

Takashi, Sushi

Busy, top-rated sushi restaurant – ?
.5 miles 18 W. Market St. 2.5 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), 1 block East
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30a-2p
Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30p-10p Fri-Sat 5:30p-11p $$$$

Market Street Grill

SLC’s finest seafood restaurant – NOT ONE VEGGIE OPTION
.5 miles 48 West Market Street 2.5 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), ½ block East
M-Thur 6:30a-3p 5p-10p Fri 6:30a-3p 5p-11p Sat 7a-3p Sun 9a-3p
Lunch $10-52 (specials $12-15) Dinner $10-55 (specials $20)

One World, Everybody Eats

No set menu, all-organic, non-profit, everyone eats – Veggie/Vegan friendly
.7 miles 41 South 300 East 4 blocks East, ¾ block North
Daily 11a-8p No set prices, pay what you think is fair free Dal and Rice

The DoDo

Funky, eclectic bistro – veggie friendly
.8 miles Gateway Mall, 152 S. 400 W. 2 blocks West (from West Door), ¼ block South
Lunch 11 a – 3:30 p $7-15 Dinner 5 p – 11 p $10-25

The Wild Grape New West Bistro

Updated western café using local ingredients – veggie friendly
1.0 miles 481 E. South Temple 6 blocks East, 1 block North
Lunch M-F 11a-3p $10-20
Brunch Sat-Sun 9a-3p $10-15 Dinner Fri-Mon 5p-10p $10-30
In-Between 3p-5p Late Night Sat 10p-12 $10-15

Stoneground Restaurant

Family owned, Pizza & Italian, with late night dining (11p) – veggie friendly
1.0 mile 249 East 400 South 3 blocks South, 3 ½ blocks East
M-Sat 11a-11p $7-18
Sun 5p-9p (Sin Sunday – only pizza and salad on menu) $?

Thai Lotus

Family owned, epic menu, highly rated – veggie friendly
1.1 miles 212 East 500 4 blocks South, 3 ¼ block East
Lunch M-F 11a-3p Sat 12:30-3p Dinner M-T 5-9p F-Sat 5-10p
$8-18 (lunch specials $8)

—– Special Treats —–

Les Madelines

French bakery, pastries, sandwiches, salads, soups – veggie doable
1.3 miles 216 E. 500 South 4 blocks South, 3 ¼ block East
M-F 8a-6p Sat 8a-4p $8-15

Fendall’s Ice Cream

Gourmet ice cream, sherbet, gelato, etc. – family owned (not a regular meal place)
1.7 miles 470 South, 700 East
Mon-Fri 9a-6p Sat 9a-4p

C.Kay Cummings Chocolate

Unique hand-made candy creations since 1928.
9.4 miles 2057 East 3300 South
Mon-Fri 9a-6:30p Sat 9:30a-6p

C&C were travelin’ around the southwest earlier this month.
I had started an in-depth, day by day, travelogue– when it occurred to me– that it was the equivalent of making people come over and look at your vacation slide show.
Decidedly un-fun.

So… here are the highlights and lessons from our walkabout.

• A good friend is one who will drive you and your stuff to the airport.
(A great friend will pick you up and then serve en-route snacks and beverages.)

• A good host will serve a good meal or two while you are there.
(A awesome host will bake pastries in the morning so you wake up to yumminess.)

Warhammer Quest is fun when played in NM.
(After some discussion, we’ve decided that NM does not count as a stop on the WHQ World Tour. Since it counts as home base for half our party, it doesn’t count as a tour stop.)

• You know it is a good restaurant when everyone enjoys what they ordered.
(You know you are dining with good friends when everyone shares what they ordered.)

• Santa Fe is cool.
(Friends who drive to Santa Fe to “exchange” us host-to-host are cooler.)

Restaurants that are also bakeries do not always have the best desserts.
(But the sandwiches and the pizzas were deeeeelicious.)

• The Moon Rabbit is a toy store run by really nice, friendly folks.
(Zombie Flux is a cool game. Less with the backstabbing and friend-eating–see Zombies.)

• The Chuck Jones Studio Gallery is my new favorite gallery.
(I’m adding the Sorcerer’s Apprentice print to my b-day list.)

• The Santa Fe Cathedral is worth visiting and is very awe-inspiring.
(At the very least, the statue of a winged St. Francis dancing has to be seen.)

• Again with the friends cooking us breakfast. How did we ever get such good friends?

Bandelier National Monument is very cool. We did not climb the ladders or tour the caves.
(Don’t miss the nature trail. We saw prairie lizards, mountain skinks, a garter snake, and a pocket gopher.)

• Visiting the White Rock overlook is a good idea.
(Stopping at the grocery store and picking up stuff for a picnic lunch at the overlook is absolutely brilliant.)

• Back to Santa Fe for another host-to-host exchange.
(The best brisket we’ve ever had was at the restaurant where we met. Yummy. The Tres Leche cake is also amazing and unique.)

More WHQ. More games. More good food and good friends.

Zombies is not a bad game.
(Unless you don’t like games where you stab your friends in the back, mess with them, and generally win by successfully feeding them to the zombies. For the record, C does not like those kinds of games.)

More bakery to greet us in the morning.

• The Wildlife West Nature Park was the best $7 (per person) we’ve ever spent. The park only takes in animals native to the southwest that are unable to be released to the wild. Some are injured, but most are victims of being illegally kept as pets or imprinted to the point where they can’t fend for themselves.
** I can tell you how many front teeth an elk has, and what their breath smell like.
** Bears eat a lot and they get very itchy when it starts to rain on them.
** Gray foxes smell almost as bad as skunks, but are way cuter.
** Mountain Lions are really fast and sneaky and their teeth are HUGE.
** One of the mountain lions has a crush on our friend.
** If you go, try to be at the mountain lions at 1:30 when the handler goes in and “plays” with them. (We missed that. Maybe next time.)
** If you are smart enough to bring your camera, and smart enough to put the camera strap around your wrist, do not bump the battery compartment latch while leaning over the animal enclosure. (When we get the pictures, we’ll try to post them.)

• Being on a television set is very cool. Watching them film a television show is interesting/boring depending on your point of view.

Geocaching looks like it might be fun.
(I’m adding a mobile gps unit to my b-day list.)

• Pizza on the grill is yummylicious.
(Grilled pizza on the deck of a friend’s house watching the sun set on the mountains is…priceless.)

Hey, look, more WHQ. (We’re told they haven’t put the game away yet. They’re waiting for us to come back. Awwww… that’s sweet.)

And now we’re back.
And the biggest highlight of the whole trip:
being cared for and pampered by such good friends.

It is better than we deserve and more than we could have hoped for.
And we’re going to go back.

C is not superstitious. Not really.
C does, however, like rituals.
We both do, really.

So it should come as no surprise that we have a ritual for traveling by flight.
(And when I say “we” I really mean “me” actually.)

1. Touch the outside of the plane as you board the plane. (My cousin taught me that one.)
2. During take-off and landing, you must “help” the airplane by “flapping your wings.” (In the interest of decorum and limited space, you may define “flapping your wings” as something as simple as moving your fingers back and forth in a vaguely vertical fashion.)
3. If available, one should drink tomato juice or bloody mary mix. If that isn’t available or you can’t handle that, then Ginger Ale may be substituted. (This is in honor of Zeke and our trip to the coast.)

That is all.
Yes. I’m serious. We do flap our wings when we fly. How do you do it?

Some of you might be planning a regular trip in the very near future.
C has just finished planning for that regular trip. (C isn’t coming this year. We are very sad.)
Anyway, just because she wasn’t traveling, doesn’t mean C was going to stop planning.

So, together, with some help from some friends, we have a RAFT ready to go.

If you want a copy, just let us know. (We’re not posting it this year.)

Also, for those who are wondering about that other event– it’ll be Friday at 8 pm.
(oops, misread our own secret plans…)
Location, as usual, to be determined. Invite only, again, as usual.
Want an invite, see C or contact him.

Secretive enough?

Earlier today, C&C were in C’s hometown.
We went out to breakfast with BB, C’s dad.
When the food came out…

Waitress: Honey, who let you order three pancakes?

[confusion on our faces]

C: Um… the other waitress…

C thinks to himself, “Let? Let? What do you mean ‘let’, C can order whatever she wants…”
(He’s so cute when he thinks someone is messin’ with C.)

The waitress then sets down the plate of three HUGE pancakes. Bigger than C’s head.

We look at the pancakes. We look at the waitress.

Waitress: Do what you can, dear.

C: I feel so at home.

A brief summary of our last two weeks.
(Pictures will be added in another post.)

•Northwest is better than United. (Though they don’t serve warm cookies and they charge $5 for snacks on the plane.)
•Traveling apart, while necessary and doable, is terribly unfun.
• We really liked this city. The people were friendly. There were trees, trees, and more trees. The air was clean. The public transportation was easy and clean and quick. We wish we could have spent more time there. We think we will return one day.
•There is nothing better than spending time with friends. NOTHING. If you happen to be able to see old friends and new friends during the same vacation, well then you are just a lucky, lucky, blessed person.
• The best vacation plans are flexible.
• J&J know how to celebrate a birthday.
• And the winner is…. C. (While I did not dance on the table, C claims there was some gloating and bragging going on. I deny this. Ok, a little bragging. Sorry.) Congrats to Starbuck for taking 2nd place.
• We tried to hike to the top of these falls. We didn’t make it. The falls were very pretty though and I’m glad C made me go. (The person walking up the mountain in flip flops disturbed us.)
• The City of Roses is aptly named and the park is a wonderful thing. We could have spent the whole day there. (Friends in need trump pretty parks.) Roses of every shade and shape with mountains in the distance.
• C loves boat rides. Ferries count as boats. The ferry to the Emerald City was great fun. Not at all like the Merrimac Ferry. (Seagulls will hover for cheetos. More on that later.)
Flying fish, Ranier cherries, and huge shoes–OH MY. That was a fun shopping trip.
P&S Express is a very good charger company. T is a wonderful friend for finding it and making arrangements. We saw Harbor Porpoises, Orca Whales, Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, and an Elephant Seal. We are both very happy that we are not prone to sea-sickness.
• Our dear friend, K, taught C how to make sushi. YUMMY! The rest of the meal was feast-like as well.
• Crabs of all shapes and size like to hang out under the rocks on the beach at this park. If you pick the crabs up, they will pinch you. There are jellyfish in the surf. (VERY SCARY!) (OK, C is not that scared and is laughing at me. It should be noted, however, that she didn’t go near them either.)
• Port Townsend is a cool place. There is a volunteer, non-profit youth-run coffee house there. The servers and patrons are friendly (but they make a lousy chai.) There is also a UU church there. We missed the pride parade, but we did tell M1 and M2 about it.
• Crab cocktails are yummy.
• We saw two rainbows on our way back to our point of arrival/departure.

We are tired now.
Work beckons insistently.
Sigh.

So, C & C took a little road trip this weekend. Work took me up north and west in our fine state. I will summarize the preliminaries in order to get to the 9$ cheese curds.

* C & C met a pal at a German restaurant for dinner. Service and food and fellowship were all excellent!
(On the off chance the nice young server reads this blog, I do feel it is my duty to let her know that (1) we are very glad you moved the 5 strands of hair away from directly in front of your mouth and nose– the effort to not giggle as they poofed out during the reading of the specials was almost more than we could handle, (2) the plural of salmon is salmon, and (3) if your mobile dessert cart is bigger than the tables in your restaurant and almost as wide as the doorways–then it should probably have a speed limit and/or maybe fenders.)

*Unlike many places, when this hotel says it has two person whirlpool tubs in the room, they actually do mean a whirlpool tub that will fit two real people–at the same time.

* If one is traveling for work and has to get up in the morning, it is wise to listen to C when she says, “Should we set some kind of alarm?” and to not listen to C when he says, “Nah… we never sleep that late anyway.”

* Some towns are prettier than others. This town was not one of those towns.

* When driving around in a strange town on a Sunday it is worth noting the local customs. (1) Many restaurants are closed. (2) The bars and the adult book store are open. (3) The gas station we really wanted to stop at (The Tank and Tummy– we kid you not) is also closed.

* In a state better known for pine trees not http://www.units.muohio.edu/dragonfly/itb/palm_tree.htmlx and snow forts not sandcastles, there are an unusual number of “tropical paradise” themed eateries.

We ate lunch at one.

There were the required fake palm trees outside, fake parrots inside, and fake pictures of beaches and bue waters everywhere. (There were also old black and white photos, tuscan prints, and packer paraphenalia. The decor was… muddled.) We took our seats and opened the day-glo menu. Nothing tropical about the menu. Pretty standard American family restaurant fare. But there was nothing standard about the prices.

C: Eight dollars for an omelet? You have got to be kidding.
C: Yeah, look at the cheese curds. Nine dollars. Nine dollar cheese curds? They better be the best cheese curds I’ve ever had.

Now, we could have gotten up and left. But, we were hungry and we had just spent 20 minutes driving around looking for a restaurant that was open that didn’t have a neon beer sign in every window. The prices were high, but it wasn’t going to break us.
So we ordered.

One omelet for me. One burger for C. And an order of the $9 cheese curds.

C: So, I wonder why the prices are so high.
C: Yeah, it isn’t like these are unusual items.
C: Maybe the cost of living is higher here.
C: Higher than Chicago? Higher than Madtown?
C: I don’t know. Mabye it is so far off the major routes things are just harder to get.
(C has taken economics and understands supply and demand. He thinks he is smart.)
C: I don’t know, that doesn’t seem very likely.

The waitress returns with our food. It is at this point that the mystery is solved. There is another perfectly logical explanation for the increased cost of the food that we had neglected to consider.

Portions.

The waitress’ hands shook from the weight of our three plates.
The order of cheese curds covered an entire dinner plate, with more piled on top.
The hamburger C ordered was as big as my hand.
And the omelet… OMG.. the omelet was over two hand-spans long and two inches thick.

We gasped.

The waitress rubbed her sore wrist and said, “Yeah, we get that a lot. Especially with the seven egg omelets.”

C: Seven egg omelet? I ordered a seven egg omelet? (What the hell was I thinking? That isn’t an omelet, that is a quiche.)
Waitress: Yup. All our omelets are seven egg omelets. Enjoy!

C & C had stumbled upon the Paradise Diner of Brobdingnag.
(We were glad we hadn’t said something about being hungry enough to eat a horse. We would have been crushed for sure.)

Neither of us could finish more than a third of our plates. We loaded the rest into containers and hired the locals to help us haul them out to the trunk of our car.

We expect to finish our left-overs sometime this month.

Moral of the Story: Paradise means different things to different people. In the North, apparently, it means portions for thrashers.