Tag Archives: Restaurants

ekamai Thai Curry: Get your curry fix

I’ve made many a trip to Bruges Waffles and Frites, and every time (almost always on a Saturday morning) I pass by a place called ekamai Thai Curry. Finally, this week, I managed to find a lunch to pop on down and try it.

First thing about it: plan on eating outside, or on a stool at a counter, if you’re not inclined to brave the weather. Get past that, and you should find yourself in a happy little place for lunch.

I had a beef curry and a pineapple curry, as well as a spring roll.

First, the curries. Both were satisfactory, but I enjoyed the beef more. For some reason, I’ve never been able to quite enjoy the sweet that pineapple adds to a curry. On the other hand, the beef curry was about what I would expect–nothing more, nothing less. My only gripe is that the potatoes in the beef curry were cut larger than bit size, necessitating  a cutting maneuver with the side of my plastic fork.

Final analysis? It’s a lunch place, probably a dollar or two over priced, but a good way to get your curry fix if you’re in need over the lunch hour.

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Market Street Grill: Yes, the breakfast is AWE-some.

Market Street does breakfast. And it is glorious. Who knew?

So, naturally, I’ve a little back tracking to do. A few reviews ago, I posted my thoughts on Market Street Grill. “Good food, but I’m not a fan,” I said.

It’s time I repented. I popped in to try the word of a friend (you know who you are), and at the recommendation of my breakfast partner, tried the eggs benedict.

Hello. Fantastic. I can’t wait to go back.

There. You were right. Breakfast at Market Street is excellent.

Enough said.

APROPOS: Apparently, Market Street Grill is also a haunt of the popular and the powerful, not to mention where young attorneys interview. I checked in on Foursquare, and when I got back to the office got interrogated by my boss about whether I was interviewing. Note to self: don’t check in when I am interviewing.

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Ali Baba: it’s your fault if you leave hungry

Ali Baba shares a parking lot with a gas station across the street from a Salt Lake County Parks and Rec golf course. If you didn’t know it was there, I wonder if you’d notice it. I know I wouldn’t have. I’ve driven by dozens of times, even fueled up at the gas station, and I’ve never noticed it.

“There used to be a 5 Buck Pizza here,” the woman behind the counter told us when I asked.  “But we’ve been here for more than a year.”

To read the reviews on Urban Spoon, it has been a successful “more than year.” It has developed a following of devotees who love Ali Baba’s food:

“I’ve tried almost all of the Pakistani/Indian food in the valley and this is probably the BEST!”

“I have been visiting this place almost daily. The food is Delicious and filling.”

“Highly recommended!” and

“All in all, i can see myself coming back here repeatedly.”

Yeah. Lots of fans. So I decided to take a trip over to check it out. My conclusion? It’s not too bad.

To be sure, it is not the best Indian/Pakistani food in town; that award, in my book, still goes to the Bombay House or the Himalayan Kitchen (I have also heard that Royal India is fantastic, too, but I’ve not made it there, yet). But in it’s class–along with places like “Curry in a Hurry“–Ali Baba does rank well.

Unlike some of the more expensive Indian restaurants, Ali Baba has a spartan dining room, very utilitarian and simple. You wouldn’t know that the cuisine was Indian/Pakistani but for the menus. They could have served burgers or burritos for all the room indicated. However, it was clean and tidy, and so I have no complaints.

We arrived a little before the lunch crowd, and the smiling waitress/server took our order and brought it out after just a few minutes. Later, the cook, or owner? came out to ask us how we were enjoying the meal.  It was a nice detail, and I appreciated the thought.

As for the meal itself, I was pleasantly impressed with both the quantity and the quality. While nothing to write home about, The naan was light and savory, as well as in a portion larger than we could finish. We both ordered a curry chicken combo which, while light on the amount of chicken, compensated with plenty of lentils and a side dish of some type of potatoes and cabbage.

I like a spicier curry, and this curry was not very spicy. However, I suspect it was because it was toned down for my western palate. Even so, it was a tasty combination with the garlic naan.

Will I go back? Probably not unless I am in the neighborhood or have been playing golf across the street. It was good, but just not quite good enough to go out of the way to have over lunch.

Ali Baba on Urbanspoon

Michelangelo Ristorante: upbeat Italian in the suburbs

I must have driven past Michelangelo Ristorante hundreds of times during law school, and I still do regularly. I don’t know what took me so long to try it out.

Not the only restaurant on the stretch of Highland Drive just south of the intersection of Highland Dr. and 1300 E , Michelangelo Ristorante is a step (0r two) above the Del Taco across the street from it and the Crown Burger further south. It’s about ten minutes from downtown and just over the bridge from Sugarhouse.

The restaurant exudes a hip upbeat ambiance, complemented by high ceilings and nearly wall length windows, dark wood tables, black napkins, and capacious glasses. In addition to couple-sized booths in the front, the restaurant has room for larger groups in a second room (we had six, but they had seats for more at our table), as well as a back room with a door for lunch meetings of larger groups.

I ordered a cheese ravioli with a marinara sauce laced with chopped tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves. It was served after a green leafy salad  drizzled with a balsamic vinegar dressing and sprinkled with ground pepper. I’ve never had a salad like it, and though it was a bit different, I enjoyed it. The ravioli was light and flavorful, and the sauce tasted hearty and fresh. The meal was accompanied with bread that I could not eat enough of, as well as beaker of oil and vinegar for dipping.

Others in my group had paninis, which they recommended, as well as a gorgonzola gnocchi, which was delicious (I sampled a bite). In fact, when I return, it’s likely I’ll order the gnocchi instead of the ravioli.

My one gripe was the service. While we were quickly seated, our orders promptly and accurately taken, and our glasses filled, the waiter was slow to fill our glasses, and in fact, I don’t think returned to fill the water glasses. Additionally, he did not keep track of who ordered what, and several of the members of our party were given the wrong paninis when the food was served.

Fortunately, the food was delicious. That alone would make the restaurant worth returning to a second time. The food’s appeal is bolstered by its price–lunch was just over $10, with a drink (though that drink was never actually refilled).

Michelangelo Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Fiddler’s Elbow: Hidden in Sugar House

I don’t drink, but a friend recommended Fiddler’s Elbow, a pub-like restaurant hidden in Sugar House, for our lunch. It’s down a narrow drive in off of 2100 South. After parking in the back, I was soon sitting in a booth talking about politics, the media, and sandwiches. The atmosphere is set by a shadows, high ceiling rafters, and exposed wood everywhere.  Large flat screens are strategically situated all over the room and set to about every sports channel modern cable can offer. It looked like there was an outdoor seating area, too, which, if it was warmer and drier, might make a good place for a group gathering.

I ordered a Buffalo Chicken sandwich, which was just spicy enough to remind me of spicy wings (because the sauce, apparently, is the same sauce), but not too spicy to make me break out in a sweat.  It was good, the meat tender but cooked; however, it was nothing spectacular. The Boston cream chowder it came with was also tasty, and, if I had my druthers, would have come in a bigger bowl. Our server was quick and gracious, and very carefully repeated back my requests to make sure he got them right. He kept our glasses full, and I was glad to leave him the tip on our way out.

If you haven’t been to Fiddler’s Elbow before, I recommend it for lunch, at least. I believe they also have a breakfast menu, too. Check out their menu before you go, here.

While I was not overly impressed with the food, I did like the location, the quiet, and the atmosphere. The service was good, and because of its proximity to my office, it makes for a good alternative to the usual haunts in the area. Last, the prices were reasonable, if on the upper end of inexpensive.

(By the way, check out Urban Spoon for more reviews on local restaurants, because Urbanspoon rocks!)

Fiddler's Elbow on Urbanspoon