Man, did we eat some good things while driving from New York to San Francisco. Here are the delicious highlights from a 10 day trip from that took us through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.
'Utah' on Serious Eats
Though I seem to have somehow inherited Dean Martin's liver, no one else in my immediate family is much of a drinker. So when I took a ski trip with my Dad and brother to Utah, a drop-in at Epic Brewing Company in Salt Lake City wasn't an easy sell. Still, aware of my priorities while touring on the road, my travel companions were willing to make the concession in exchange for my committing to the hotel pullout that night.
Lucky 13 serves well-executed burgers with a lot of garlic love and dreamy house-smoked bacon.
Provo may not be a well-known travel destination to those who aren't familiar with Brigham Young University (BYU). It's biggest draw (besides education) are the Cougars. However, once people make the drive to Provo and experience the quiet beauty, majestic mountains, and unlimited outdoor activities, it becomes a destination for more than education and and sports.
When Salt Lake magazine wrote about the 75 best burgers in Utah, it put a double cheeseburger from Coneys Frozen Custard on the cover. That very enticing photo, along with the promise of frozen custard in the middle of August in Utah, pushed this AHT reviewer to go check out the wares.
The Premium ($7.49) from Toasters layers premium prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, all piled gloriously atop a ciabiatta brushed lovingly with balsamic vinegar and olive oil that's then "toasted" in a panini press. After eating this, I thought about it for the next week straight.
Anybody who's been halfway around the block is aware of In-N-Out's secret menu, which allows you a few custom options other than the regular hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, shakes, and Double-Double that appear on their printed menus. But the options don't stop there. Here's a rundown of everything you can get at In-N-Out, secret menu and beyond.
The Godfather ($6.25) from Caruso's Deli in Salt Lake City is proof that nothing tastes as good as simplicity done right. The foundation of the sandwich is a sourdough loaf, baked fresh daily at Stoneground Bakery. It lends the right resistance when biting down and sourdough tang to complement the salty, creamy flavors of the sandwich innards: turkey, roast beef, bacon, and provolone. The thinly sliced meats, chewy bacon, and melty cheese make you wish you had ordered a second loaf.
I'd never given much thought to Salt Lake City as an Italian food destination, but Tony Caputo's is a mighty fine Italian market, with any kind of cured meats, cheeses, pastas, tomatoes, and imported goods you can imagine. At the sandwich counter, you can't go wrong with 'The Caputo' ($8.25)—prosciutto, mortadella, and salami layered with provolone, plus lettuce and tomato
It sounds like a novelty stunt, or a Primanti's knockoff--Belgian frites and fried merguez sausage and tons of sauce in a bun, served at Belgium native Pierre Vandamme's fries-and-waffles shop, Bruges. But it's a classic friterie sandwich called a "mitraillette," directly translated to "machine gun"--and a far more refined sandwich than the description lets on.
It's time to put the spotlight on Utah's pastrami burger—specifically the one from Crown Burgers.
The ski and resort town of Park City, Utah, may not be a place filled with decent cheap eats, but the sandwiches at the Back Door Delicatessen are mighty fine.
If Salt Lake City seems like it doesn't get much credit as a food town, then Orem, Utah—45 miles south—isn't even on the radar. But between a series of strip malls, down a long drive, and across from what looks to be a half-finished rent-an-office space, is Pizzeria 712.
The pizza above just emerged from a 900°F oven at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Salt Lake City. Opened in January of 2007, it's the second Settebello location (the first is outside Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada), and Utah's first VPN-certified pizzeria. The flour is Molino Caputo; the prosciutto, from Parma; many of the cured meat products, from Salumi in Seattle.
There are two kinds of dressed-up French toast: French toast with stuff on it, and French toast with stuff in it. I generally find myself more a fan of the latter, so I loved the Jule Kake French Toast ($8.49) at Finn's in Salt Lake City, which might be called a Scandinavian diner. Here, the "Norwegian Christmas Bread" is laced with raisins, citron, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, dipped in a simple creamy-eggy batter and griddled golden brown.
Before visiting Utah a few weeks ago, I can't say I had any preconceptions about Salt Lake City's bakery scene. But after a morning spent cruising the town for pastries, I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. Former Serious Eats intern Alison Herzog brought me by Tulie Bakery to sample all sorts of chocolate goodies, but it was the morning bun I fell hard for—flaky, tender croissant pastry spiraled around sugar, tasting gently but unmistakably of orange.
October! National Pizza Month! This month we'll be bringing you Daily Slice, quick snapshots of slices and pies all of us at the Serious Eats empire have been enjoying lately. —The Mgmt. [Photograph: Carey Jones] I think the world of former Serious Eats intern and Utah co-eater extraordinaire Alison Herzog, and I've never had cause to question her taste in food. But that didn't mean I trusted her when she told me that Maxwell's East Coast Eatery in a Park City, Utah, strip mall made "serious New York–style pizza." I mean—I'm from California. There are a dozen pizzerias within ten...
Today's AHT reader recommendation comes from Rod Schiffman (aka brownbag on AHT) in Salt Lake City. The Copper Onion appeared in Salt Lake magazine's latest issue as one of the best burgers in Utah. Thanks, Rob! If anyone else wants...
The October 2010 issue of Salt Lake magazine is all about burgers—more specifically, dining editor Mary Brown Malouf's picks for the 75 best burgers in Utah in 10 categories (plus onion ring recommendations). You can read the article online (jump to page 56). Here's a full list of the restaurants mentioned.
When Jane and Michael Stern hailed the Idle Isle Cafe in Brigham City, Utah, as "Worth Planning a Day Around" they weren't kidding. A cross-country road trip afforded me the opportunity to experience this worth-the-detour destination in person over an unforgettable lunch of mountain trout and their famous Idleberry pie.