Tag Archives: Restaurants I Like

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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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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Crown Burger: The King of Second South

On the one hand, there are a lot of burger joints out there, and it takes a bit to rise above the pack. On the other hand, how hard is it to mess up ground beef?

Well, I’ll let you answer that latter one for yourself, because I think it’s clear that there are still places that mess up ground beef.

Crown Burger, though, manages to not mess it up, at least not too badly. The fact that I had to wait in line to order must say something, at least about popular demand.

That said, I have little to say. The toppings were fresher than most and lettuce shredded beats lettuce whole, and the bun sure beats  the dry thing Wendy’s they put meat between. By a mile. It’s good enough  for a lunch, but probably overpriced (two combos cost me almost $18). The fries are hefty, somewhere between steak fries and burger fries, and are, like the burger, sufficient.

The last point in Crown’s favor is that it is, if nothing else, consistent. Every burger you order is the same.

Service: 5/10 (because I had to wait on myself)
Atmosphere: 5/10 (atmosphere? Conversations near crowd levels)
Food: 13/20 (gets a double weighting because it matters more)
Parking: 7/10 (surprisingly full parking lot, ya know, but still parking was fine)
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6/10
Crown Burgers on Urbanspoon

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Layla Mediterranean Grill and Mezze: “Got me on my knees…”

Not just a great Eric Clapton song. It’s also a great place in Holladay for your next dinner reservations: Layla Mediterranean Grill and Mezze.

And I do mean reservations. It only took me once to learn the lesson, and the second time, a good friend of the owner saved me when I forgot to get reservations, again (and proved the adage–it’s not who you know, but who knows you…). He called in for me at 5:30 PM on my anniversary, and we were seated by 6.

In my defense, I had planned on going somewhere else, but my boss insisted that Layla was the best place for the occasion. After eating there that night, I tend to agree.

Coming in from the hot summer sun, the soft lighting, tile floors, and cool air was a welcome relief. The room was comfortable, but not tight, and full of patrons. After eating, I could tell why, as well as the need for reservations.

We started out with an assortment of appetizers: kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, and tabbouleh. The kibbeh was crispy and just spiced enough to taste exotic. The stuffed grape leaves were among the best I’ve had, and the tabbouleh provided a light tasting bit of contrast to the slightly heavier kibbeh.

For our main courses, I ordered chicken curry, which was served over vermicelli rice, and My Better-half had the mougrabieh, a soupy dish that is described on the menu as “Lebanese pearl couscous topped tender chicken, pearl onions, chick peas, and exotic spices.” Both arrived piping hot.

The chicken curry was good, but slightly on the bland side. Given that it is a curry dish, I expected a slightly heavier punch. However, I finished it off, and gladly. It was a good recipe, and I’d probably be glad to eat it again.

The mougrabieh was also delicious, and perhaps a good dish for the adventurous eater. My Better-half enjoyed it, taking the left overs home for a warm lunch the next day.

The service was great, our glasses were always full, and the meal was great experience. If you haven’t had a chance, take trip over to Layla, and see if you don’t agree.

Just don’t forget to make reservations in advance.

(All pictures are from the Layla website where you can find the full menu, restaurant story, and join their email update list)

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

Layla Grill and Mezze on Urbanspoon

Rio Grande Cafe: The Right Place for Lunch

It is hard for me to criticize the Rio Grande Cafe. The place has great food, great atmosphere, and generally good service. It has become my “go to” when nothing else will fit the bill for lunch.

During my most recent trip over to Rio Grande, we arrived a little after the noon hour, and we expected a crowd at just about anywhere we stopped to eat. You can imagine our pleasant surprise, then, when despite the crowd (and there was one), we were greeted with a smile, seated immediately, and quickly offered drinks and menus.

I’m a fan of almost all foods Mexican (it’s the beans and rice, see), so rather than parse through the options, I took the daily special. I was treated to a combo of a tamales and an enchilada swimming in refried beans and rice, sided by lettuce and tomatoes. Both were delicious, more than I expected, and my plate was cleared before I had time to notice.

Next time you’re down town, check it out. It’s great for families, for a lunch time tête-à-tête, or groups. A patio shaded by trees makes it nice during the summer, as well.

Rio Grande Cafe on Urbanspoon