Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery: Good Lunch, Slow Service

If you’re in a hurry, do not try Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery.

Situated just north of fourth south on Main Street in Salt Lake City, Maxwell’s is an obvious stop for the downtown crowd. Occupying the corner of the building, Maxwell’s is lots of polished wood, a central bar, large televisions, and high stools. It’s an attractive place, and, in retrospect, the food was pretty good, too.

Just don’t come in a hurry.

We hit Maxwell’s for lunch, and when the waitress offered, within a minute of our arrival, we jumped at the lunch special–our choice of one of four types of salads and one of four types of sandwiches. For just $5.

Nice deal, eh?

It is. If you can get your food in less than 45 minutes, which we did not. To boot, as we waited, we watched our waitress approach and try to hand us our check…before we had been served our food.

Awkward moment, to say the least.

On to the food. I order a Caesar salad and a chicken parmigiano sandwich. The sandwich was a tender piece of chicken parmigiano with a marinara sauce on sliced Italian bread toasted in butter. It was tasty, and not too large, either.

The Caesar salad was a good side, drenched in dressing, and added a god green to the menu.

Final analysis? Good food, less than average service. I’ll go back at least once more to try their pizza, though. I’ve heard great things.

Service: 5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Food: 15/20
Parking: 5/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.4/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

Maxwell's East Coast Eatery on Urbanspoon

Chunga’s: Good Mexican Food, Just Outside of Downtown

The great thing about finding good Mexican food off the beaten path is that you don’t have to wait in line. Walk right up, place your order, and find a seat. Five minutes later, you’re enjoying your enchiladas, heaps of beans and rice, washed down by your favorite soft drink.

You can worry about the calories later.

In the meantime, get off the beaten path and head over to Chunga’s and enjoy that good Mexican food.

Over in Rose Park on 900 West, Chunga’s doesn’t look like much. More than meets the eye, though, and it’s worth checking out. The menu is simple, but looks written for a mixed clientage of native Spanish speakers and local gringos. I ordered my standard enchiladas with rice and beans.

While we waited, we were treated to restaurant style chips and salsa, the kind that you can’t stop eating. At most Mexican restaurants, the chips are long gone, along with my appetite, before the food arrives. Today, though, my order arrived before I could down more than  three or for chips.

And how were the enchiladas? Let me put it this way: not only did I finish them, but I also finished the rice and black beans that came with, as well as the pre-meal chips. It wasn’t quite Red Iguana, but Chunga’s certainly proved itself worthy of a drive away from the usual haunts in Downtown.

Last point: if it’s warm enough, don’t miss the chance to sit outside. There’s a lot more room outside in the patio area on the north of the building than there is inside. Might as well take advantage of it.

Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 6/10 (none, really. )
Food: 18/20
Parking: 6.5/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  7.9/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

Chunga's on Urbanspoon

Firehouse BBQ: They Have a Real BBQ

If you’re going to go out for BBQ, you might as well go get it right off the barbecue.

Serious.

I have no idea how I found it, but Firehouse BBQ puts the fire, and the BBQ, back into…well, you get the point.

While my friend and I are sitting there examining and enjoying the sweet and satisfying pulled  pork and beef brisket sandwiches, I look out the window and see our patron pulling out his bbq, a big steam engine looking thing, complete with smoke piping out of the top.

Wow.

And the food wasn’t too bad, either. Try it out. It’s simple, a moderately large portion, and a good break from the fast food grind.

Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 6/10 (nothing special, but check out the woodwork in the floor…)
Food: 13/20
Parking: 7/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.8/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

Firehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon

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K-Rico Peru: Salty, Rich, and Worth a Try

It’s almost hidden, squished into a strip mall just down the street from Home Depot on Third West, and I had to drive by twice before I could find it. K-Rico Peru.

I’m glad I did, though I may not go back too soon, which I’ll explain.

With large televisions blaring news from Peru (because that’s how you make a place feel Peruvian, I suppose), I found a seat in the clean and tidy dining room up front as soon as I walked in. It was a little before the lunch hour, and we were the only gringos in the room. (That changed later, but for a while…I only heard lots of Spanish buzzing through the air).

The waitress was quick and courteous. She came with drinks, as well as a tray of a sauce, or two sauces, I guess, as well as some roasted corn nuts. It’s been years since I’ve had corn nuts, and I’ve never had them fresh roasted. I liked them, though I found dipping them in the sauces more messy than I cared to try more than once.

For the entrée, I ordered the Lomo Saltado (I think?), a richly flavored dish of steak, chicken, fresh tomatoes, shrimp, and onions on a bed of hot fries. The flavor was a salty cumin that seemed to permeate everything on the plate. It was a ‘hot’ kind of spicy, but it certainly was not gentle, either. The meats were well marinated and for the most part tender. I hadn’t noticed that the meal would come on a plate of fries when I was ordering, but the fries were a welcome addition.

The meal also came with a side of rice, and I welcomed the bland flavor to balance the intense saltness of the Lomo Saltido, as were the tomatoes. Filled with wedges of fresh red tomatoes, they were an almost fruity contrast to the salt of the rest of the meal.

My gripes are few, but they are two-fold: first, it was a large plate, but I only found three shrimps. What gives? Second, the flavor, while rich and exotic, was almost too heavy and too salty. I found myself downing my water faster than my meal. (which, fortunately, they kept full).

One last note: apparently they do karaoke on Saturdays at 7 PM.

Service: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10 (because the t.v.s were large and set to Peru news…in Spanish)
Food: 12/20
Parking: 8/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.4/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

K-Rico Peruvian Grill on Urbanspoon

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Bohemian Brewery & Grill: Sprechen ze Good Food?

If it were to be judged solely on the service, then Bohemian Brewery & Grill would earn a “Two Thumbs Up” and a Gold Star, too. Add food to the equation, and I doubt the score would change.

Within seconds of walking into the Bohemian for the first time, I was greeted with a smile, taken to a seat, and informed, quite pleasantly, that nothing I ate today had been bottled, canned or packaged. It was all fresh.

“The only way you get better German food,” he said, “is if you buy a plane ticket.” Presumably, that ticket would need to land in Berlin.

After eating, I had to agree. The food was great.

I ordered a brat sandwich with a side of potato pancakes (no, don’t ask me how potato pancakes qualify as a “side dish.” I shared them, effectively halving my calorie intake for the meal to about the average for three normal people…and I am normal people). The sandwich was a sliced brat drowning in swiss cheese and sweet tasting sauerkraut on parmesan bread.

It was a delicious combination and a cornucopia of flavor. I’ve eaten a few brats in my day. This one had more than a hint of fennel and when the contrast of the slightly salty parmesan bread was added to the equation, made for a delicious, if messy, meal.

Accompanying the sandwich were garlic fries. When I say “garlic,” I mean that the fries were literally flavored with fresh garlic. It was delicious, only adding to the palate of diverse flavors coming out of this meal. The only complaint I have was that as good as the fries were on the outset, and as hot as they were, as time passed they became soggy. Not too unexpected, but still, there it is.

The potato pancakes were passably good. Crisp and fried on the outside and just thick enough to leave a soft mushy texture on the inside.

I’ll let you do the math on the calorie content of the meal. Regardless, it was enjoyable, and worthy of at least skipping a couple meals to compensate.

Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 7/10 (because the t.v.s were large and everywhere…distracting)
Food: 7/10
Parking: 7/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  7.5/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to SLCWeekendReviews@gmail.com.

Bohemian Brewery & Grill on Urbanspoon

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