The foodie culture in Utah has been gaining traction for years, which is w...Read More
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The foodie culture in Utah has been gaining traction for years, which is why it’s no surprise that our annual Corporate Cuisine Awards program continues to honor some of the state’s most unique and inviting restaurants. From Salt Lake City’s newest hot spot, Current Fish & Oyster, to Chow, a gourmet Asian cuisine food truck with a new storefront in Farmington, there’s something tasty to satisfy almost anyone’s palate in this year’s crop of award winners. Join us as we celebrate the winners of the best of business dining in Utah.
Best Meeting Place
163 Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Best Coffee Break
878 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
254 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Twenty-two years ago, Alan Hebertson and his husband Dieter Sellmair opened Coffee Garden in the 9th and 9th neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Years—and an adjacent Starbucks—have come and gone, but the local charm of Coffee Garden remains.
“I think it’s just our consistency [that draws people to Coffee Garden],” says Hebertson. He adds that throughout the years, coffee has gained popularity and that “hipster” coffee creations have had their day in the sun. But for Coffee Garden, it’s the simple things that are most important. “We haven’t tried to branch out in too many directions—it’s just the coffee, the product in the cup,” Hebertson says.
Classical music plays in the background of the 9th and 9th location, and Hebertson calls the ambience of the location “friendly and conversational.” Plenty of regulars and newcomers come through to drink coffee, sit and talk or knit, as a group of regulars do every Friday morning.
Coffee Garden offers various types of coffees and specialty teas, as well as sandwiches, locally-made cakes and French macarons (made with almond flour and rich buttercream), as well as homemade quiches.
Hebertson says the baristas at Coffee Garden are particular about every detail in their coffee-making, from brewing to presentation. The café, he says, was the first in Salt Lake City that began creating “latte art”—the little rosettes, smiley faces or other drawings in milk foam that give a beverage an added visual oomph. “The way the milk is foamed, the smell as you pick up the coffee—[everything] is integral to the coffee,” he says.
Hebertson recommends that coffee aficionados try any of Coffee Garden’s espresso drinks, to savor the blends and the brewing. For novices, he recommends going wild and trying “anything they’ve heard of on television,” like a caramel macchiato.
Best Food Truck
Food truck: location varies
Walk-up: 112 N. West Promontory,
Farmington, UT 84025
SuAn Chow, “boss lady” of Chow food truck in Salt Lake City, just celebrated her business’ five-year anniversary. When she opened Chow in 2010, she says she was the first gourmet food truck in the city. City ordinances regarding food trucks were outdated, written for sandwich trucks that would go from business to business. Her own concept, a gourmet Asian cuisine food truck, worked on a different model—customers coming to a relatively static location.
Until the city revisited its stance on food trucks, Chow had to move her truck every two hours, but she still managed to thrive. Her food is not just standard lunch fare. Chow offers light and crisp calamari that’s seduced even the staunchest of squid-haters. Chow says she often even has the pickiest of eaters—young children—coming up to her truck asking: “Can I have a squid sandwich?”
“It’s encouraging to see a lot of sophisticated young palates,” says Chow. “There are a lot of younger kids who are much more interested in trying a lot of different flavors—[they] are more interested in trying something that isn’t the standard fast-food kids menu.”
Another popular menu item is the Asian root vegetable chips, a blend of lotus root, golden Yukon potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots, yams and beets hand-cut thin on a mandolin, made fresh and spiced. A current special is the elk slider, which comes on a mini-bun with chipotle aioli, chimichurri slaw and Peruvian teardrop peppers on top.
“Our dishes are very sensory,” says Chow. “They’re visually appealing, they’re pretty to look at, they’re delicious and there are a lot of textures and flavors. There’s a lot of layering of the flavor components. A lot of thought goes into the presentation. I liken each one as a little jewel that goes out our windows.”