(L–R) Since opening Waterpocket, Alan and Julia Scott have released compelling and creative spirits and liqueurs. Photo: ColtonMarsalaPhotography.com

2084 W. 2200 S., West Valley
T: 385.202.5725 | waterpocket.co

Provocative spirits are being conjured at Waterpocket Distillery. Since the distillery opened this year, their compelling flavors have been used in cocktails served by the coolest bars in Salt Lake City. My curiosity was piqued by the creative cocktails, so I jumped at the chance to meet the owners, Julia and Alan Scott, for a distillery tour and a tasting.

The distillery is small, located in a business park in West Valley—if you blink, you’ll miss it. But once you step into the back room where the magic happens, you’ll be utterly impressed. The first thing you’ll notice is the double-pot still system, custom made from a family-owned business in the Black Forest region of Germany. Nicknamed “Witch” and “Warlock,” the stills are a steampunk fantasy, made from gorgeous brass with various tubes, latches, temperature and pressure gauges. There are rows of old whiskey barrels, and the largest containers of turbinado sugar and Blackstrap molasses you’ll ever see. A tiny lab tucked into the corner is stocked full of botanicals. After smelling the exotic spices and herbs, my appetite was whetted for the unusual and delicious.

Waterpocket’s products are sorted into three categories. House Spirits include Coffee & Rum Liquor and Blanco Rum. Toadstool encompasses the “bitter and beyond range.” The first offering under this brand is Notum, an amaro with flavors of rhubarb, clove, fennel and a bit of peppermint. The Long Lost label is where you’ll find resurrected spirits inspired by the golden age of botanical liquors. “We’ve tried to dig up beautiful old spirits,” says Alan. Oread is the current offering, flavored with star anise, sage, orange peel and galanga.

The tasting was extraordinary. I’m always delighted to talk to people who are passionate about what they do, but the Scotts brought a whole other level of science, history and geography into the mix. And the unique liquor flavors were mind-boggling.

We started with the most straightforward liquor they stock: Robbers Roost Light Whiskey. It’s light and tasty without the usual whiskey bite. Try it neat or on the rocks—it has a smooth vanilla and and caramel finish. Blanco Rum is a sophisticated white rum suited for sipping. The Blackstrap molasses is the strongest flavor I noticed, with coconut and fruit flavors appearing after a minute. This rum made me want to get cozy with blankets and a good book.

The Coffee & Rum is delicious and approachable. I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with this liquor. The light rum, made with turbinado sugar and Blackstrap molasses, is aged in whiskey barrels for four months before the flavors are added. Cocoa, cinnamon and rose petal mingle with the coffee, a combination of Ethiopia Agaro, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Wenego and Rwanda Rulindo. There’s not a lot of sugar, so you’re tasting real flavors. “Our philosophy is to pull the sugar back as much as possible,” says Alan. “We start at the bottom and work our way up. Sugar adds and enhances, and we’re fine with that. Beyond that, it begins to obscure and cloud the flavors. It becomes all about the sweetness.” Coffee & Rum is only available only at the distillery, so pick up a few bottles when you visit.

Notom is an amaro, a fancy herbal liquor meant to be enjoyed after dinner to aid digestion (a digestif). The prominent flavors are fennel, clove, peppermint, anise and galanga, which is commonly used in Chinese cooking. There’s a slight bitterness from the rhubarb and gentian. “Notum with a tiny bit of ice is just the thing before I go to bed,” says Alan. The recipe is based on a forgotten Kräuterlikör (herbal liqueur) recipe from the Czech and German frontier. Fun fact—this is the first amaro distilled in Utah! Serve this drink neat and chilled.

“Oread really sorts people out,” says Alan. “It comes down to star anise and the licorice flavor—if that appeals to your palate. It’s distilled like gin but has a completely different flavor profile. It’s an interesting range of flavors.” Oread Botanical Liqueur is named after the nymphs in Greek mythology that haunt the mountains. It tastes as ethereal as it sounds: a heavenly combination of sage, orange peel, cassia, nutmeg, ginger, galanga and star anise. Under the Long Lost brand, this unique botanical liquor embodies what Waterpocket Distillery is all about. “This is an Old World–style botanical liquor in the tradition that we’ve long lost,” says Alan. Julia continues, “We’re really surprised. The reception has been really good. We’ve actually sold more of Oread than anything else that we make.” Alan suggests using Oread as a substitute for gin and to spike margaritas and other cocktails with the botanical liquor. I’ve been mixing Oread with tonic water and a slice of lime—it’s a refreshing change from my usual vodka and gin.

“Open Wild” is Waterpocket Distillery’s motto—it speaks to their spirit of adventure. The distillery and liquors are named after the natural wonders of Capitol Reef and hints at the inspired and unusual craft distilled spirits they’re creating.

Head to waterpocket.co to book a tour and tasting or discover most of their products in Utah liquor stores. Follow their Instagram (@waterpocket_spirits) for a glimpse of the magic behind the scenes and peruse their website journal to read about their journey. There’s more on the horizon for Waterpocket Distillery, and I can’t wait to taste what comes next.

You can’t go wrong with any of Star of India’s Northern Indian fare, paired with a sweet, frosty Mango Lassi. Pictured: Vegetable Samosas and Chana Masala. Photos: Talyn Sherer

Star of India

1659 W. North Temple, SLC | 801.363.7555

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.-10p.m.

Starofindiaonline.com

When I worked in downtown Salt Lake City years ago, my best friend was an Indian restaurant. Star of India was always there for me on bad days. Their lunch buffet was perfectly suited for stress eating, stocked full of vegan comfort food. I’d return to the office much happier and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Star of India has been around since 1990. Fans of the Indian restaurant have fond memories of their old location Downtown. Bollywood movies played in one area of the restaurant, and colorful murals covered the walls. The staff was genuinely friendly and the food superb.

Driving to work a few months ago, I noticed a sign for Star of India inside the Ramada Inn on North Temple. Did I manifest a new location for my old restaurant BFF? If that’s the case, you’re welcome.

Serving Northern Indian fare, you’ll find plentiful vegan and vegetarian options on the menu. (Don’t worry; I’ll get to those in a minute.) For omnivores, there’s everything from Chicken Tikka ($15.95), marinated in yogurt with mild spices and cooked in the tandoori oven, to my husband’s favorite, Lamb Vindaloo ($14.95): cubes of lamb served in a spicy garlic sauce with cubed potato.

The lunch buffet is well worth the $11.95 you’ll spend. It’s available Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are usually at least eight entrées, half of which are vegetarian. Options change daily, and I’ve never been disappointed. As for carbs, there’s plenty. Naan, a thin bread cooked in the tandoori oven, is handy for sopping up curry. Jasmine rice, brown rice and a tasty vegetable noodle dish with tofu are always on the buffet. Fried goodies like pakora (small vegetable fritters), stuffed jalapeños or samosas make an appearance, depending on when you visit. Finish your plate with hot sauce, chutney and mint sauce. Orange slices serve as a palate cleanser, which is helpful if you’re determined to try everything. Dessert is usually kheer, a sweet rice pudding.

Creamy, flavorful and utterly satisfying, you’d never suspect that the Vegetable Coconut Curry ($11.95) is vegan. The coconut cream adds to the luxurious, silky texture. The unique flavor comes from onion, tomato and Indian spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric. Served with Jasmine rice or naan, eating this curry is pure bliss.

Saag Paneer ($11.95) is a classic vegetarian Indian dish. It’s decadent, rich and velvety, with cubes of homemade paneer cheese in a thick spinach sauce. Mellow flavors of garlic and garam masala allow the fresh cubes of cheese to take center stage.

Chana Masala ($10.95) is hearty, loaded with tender chickpeas and tomatoes with a tangy sauce that will grab you by the tastebuds. I’ve eaten plenty of Chana Masala in my time, and I enjoy Star of India’s the most. I can identify garlic, chili, tomato, garam masala and ginger, but there’s something unique about the deep flavor of the sauce. I opt for naan to accompany this dish—it’s fun to scoop up the garbanzo beans with bread.

For dessert, try the Gulab Jaman ($3.50). The delicate orbs of deep-fried pastry are made with housemade cheese and dressed in a sweetened syrup. They will melt in your mouth. I enjoy this dessert because it’s neither heavy nor cloyingly sweet. If you’re lucky, you’ll find this dessert on the lunch buffet.

Star of India serves beer and wine, but I’d suggest a cool, frosty Mango Lassi ($4) to pair with your meal. Tart and sweet, this fruit drink is made from yogurt and fresh fruit and is a perfect counterpoint to the heavy flavors.

One of my favorite things about the new Star of India location is the ease of ordering take out. Just go on their website to place your order and pay, and then run into the restaurant to pick it up. Parking is easy, and the food is neatly packaged in plastic containers.

I miss the Bollywood movies and the murals of their old location downtown, but it’s the food and the family behind Star of India that make this restaurant shine. I’m happy to say that those two qualities have not changed a bit. I’m looking forward to spending many lunch hours here and bringing home takeout for years to come.

Photo: Amy Meyer

“No Hate! No Fear! Refugees are welcome here!” chanted the crowd of 8,000 people attending the Utah March for Refugees on Feb. 4, 2017. This peaceful march was in response to the first executive order halting refugee resettlement. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has since stayed the first and second executive orders (as of press time), but since then, the number of expected refugees resettled has significantly decreased. Utah has long welcomed refugees with open arms, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has played a large role by providing humanitarian aid.

On Feb. 4, 2017, Elve Na stands in solidarity with refugees at the Utah March for Refugees—a population whom the Journey to the Wasatch event benefits. Photo: Amy Meyer
On Feb. 4, 2017, Elve Na stands in solidarity with refugees at the Utah March for Refugees—a population whom the Journey to the Wasatch event benefits. Photo: Amy Meyer

If helping refugees is something you’d like to learn more about, you’re in luck. Journey to the Wasatch, a fundraiser for GenR (a group of young humanitarians who work with the IRC), will take place on April 19 at The Falls Event Center at Trolley Square. “Journey to the Wasatch will be a really fun party!” says Natalie El-Deiry, Acting Executive Director of the Utah IRC. “We’ll have a live auction, vignettes of our different programs and interactive displays.”

A major component to any fundraiser is the food, and Journey to the Wasatch is no different. One of the IRC’s programs, in partnership with Salt Lake County, is the Spice Kitchen Incubator, and they’ll be showcasing some of their successful businesses at the event. “We have a commercial kitchen that’s about 4,000 square feet where we help people with training and technical assistance to start a food business,” says El-Deiry. Spice Kitchen helps people secure marketing opportunities through catering or at special events in the community, like the Downtown Farmers Market. “Most people want to move into a brick-and-mortar, or some people just want to cater. We’re here to support them,” says El-Deiry. “We predominantly serve refugees, but we also serve new Americans and other disadvantaged people.”

Expect to sample flavorful Jamaican fare from Jamaica’s Kitchen. Olives and Thyme, one of Spice Kitchen‘s first and most successful businesses, will also be on hand with delicious Middle Eastern food, among other entrepreneurs. Uinta Brewing and Beehive Distillery will serve beer and signature cocktails. General tickets are $75 and include entrance at 6:30 p.m. If you fancy yourself a VIP and would like to attend the special reception before the event, tickets are $100. Current members of GenR will receive a discount on their tickets. Buy your tickets online at cvent.com and be sure to RSVP to the Facebook event page to help get the word out (and so all your friends will know that you’re going).

Journey to the Wasatch promises to be a fun and enlightening event, and the proceeds will stay local, helping the IRC serve refugees and their families. “By attending this event, people are standing up and raising their voice in support of refugees,” says El-Deiry. “We truly believe that refugee families are looking to us for reassurance that they are welcome and safe from harm and free to make Salt Lake City their home. We appreciate the support of SLUG and other sponsors sending a powerful message about the compassion of Utahns.”

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still join GenR, a dynamic part of the IRC with chapters all over the country. “GenR is a group of young, influential humanitarians who have joined forces with the IRC to help refugees in Salt Lake City to rebuild their lives and thrive,” says El-Deiry. “This group was founded because we were seeing a demand from young people that wanted to become engaged with the IRC.” A membership to GenR is $125, which includes invites to film screenings, special volunteer activities and other unique opportunities to network with other humanitarians and support IRC’s mission. To learn more about GenR and their important work with refugees beyond Journey to the Wasatch, visit rescue.org/genr and follow them on Facebook (@WeRGenR).

It’s never been so critical to support the work of GenR and IRC. “We’re at a unique and pivotal time in the United States. The values that the U.S. was built on, immigration and religious freedom, are at stake,” El-Deiry says. The outpouring of support at the Utah March for Refugees was a good start, but we have more work to do. “With the increase in hate crimes, we are seeing people deal with fear and anxiety,” says El-Deiry. “Some women are choosing not to wear their hijabs because they’re uncomfortable and getting strange looks. The IRC is committed to protecting people who have every right to be here.” Attending Journey to the Wasatch will be another public show of support, demonstrating to our refugee population and others that we stand behind the IRC and their important work.

Laziz Kitchen hummus ($6) | Photo: Talyn Sherer

Laziz Kitchen 

912 S. Jefferson Street | SLC, Utah
T. 801.441.1228  |   lazizkitchen.com 
Friday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10 p.m.
Closed Monday

Since 2012, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen have been serving Salt Lake a taste of authentic Lebanese fare. Under the brand name Laziz, which is Arabic for “tasty,” their hummus and various other spreads have long been popular mainstays of local farmer’s markets. With Sbeity’s family recipes and a simple and flavorful approach to home cooking, they’ve taught cooking classes (I’ve written about one of them for SLUG) and shared traditional recipes on social media. A few months ago, they opened Laziz Kitchen, a Lebanese restaurant in the burgeoning Central Ninth neighborhood.

I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Laziz spreads are always in my fridge, whether I buy them from the farmer’s market or pick them up from the grocery store. I’ve been waiting for the couple to open a restaurant because I knew that it would be the kind of place at which I would enjoy eating. I’m not surprised to say that Laziz Kitchen has exceeded my highest expectations. Not only is the food superb, but the friendly, welcoming and attentive service makes it feel like you’re eating at a good friend’s house.

M3LD, a popular local design firm, has fashioned a welcoming and pristine atmosphere in Laziz Kitchen. Marble tables, copper chairs and antique tiles create a warm aura. High wooden ceilings and white walls make the small restaurant feel spacious and roomy.

The market space is filled with unique items that you won’t find anywhere else. Shop for olive oils, spice blends and other Lebanese artisan goodies. There’s a retail case full of drinks and packaged Laziz spreads.

As for the menu, the small plates pack a punch of flavor—I’d happily enjoy a table full of them. Served with a side of freshly made pita bread and crisp, fresh lettuce leaves, these dips are delectable. When you’re at Laziz Kitchen, you must pay homage to the hummus ($6). Topped with a drizzle of flavorful olive oil and diced tomatoes, this rich, smooth hummus is what put Laziz on the map. Another favorite is the Spiced Labne ($8), a creamy dip made from strained yogurt that tastes more like a soft, tangy cheese. Dressed with garlic, mint and olive oil, this makes for a tasty appetizer. The Muhammara ($8) is a vegan revelation with a sweet and mild spicy flavor. It’s made from roasted red pepper, sweet pomegranate molasses and topped with crunchy walnuts. If you dig eggplant, try the Baba Ghannouj ($7). Roasted eggplant is mixed with tahini, lemon and garlic to create a deep and earthy flavor profile. If you can’t decide between them, opt for the Sampler Dip Plate ($12), where you can choose three spreads to sample.

Salads are meal-worthy at Laziz Kitchen. Fattoush ($8) is craveable and satisfying. Parsley, mint, green pepper and radish impart a light flavor, while crunchy, toasted pita chips add heft. The sweet pomegranate molasses makes this salad unforgettable. Tabbouleh ($8) is a Middle Eastern staple. The combination of bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, mint, lettuce and green onions make for a hearty and tasty dish with bright flavors.

You can’t go wrong with the Hummus Wrap ($8), a stone-fired flatbread stuffed with hummus, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, mint and pickles. Another vegan wrap I’ve enjoyed is the Man’oushe with Zaatar ($9). It has a unique flavor—tart and savory. The wraps are surprisingly filling. They’re available to go, paper-wrapped and ready in the case for those who have a busy day ahead. Choose from grilled chicken, beef or labne, among others.

Of course, not everything at Laziz Kitchen is vegan and vegetarian—I’m just partial to veg options.  My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Kafta Platter ($13). He savored each morsel of tender beef served with fluffy rice, a folded pita bread, a dollop of hummus and a flavorful salad. Next time, he’s going to order the meaty stew of the day.

If you have a group of four, don’t miss out on the Arabic Coffee. This strong brew is served in dainty cups. If you’re the lone coffee drinker, pick from a few local brews served in a coffee cup with “yalla,” the Arabic word for “Come on!” or “Let’s go!” printed on the outside. It begs to be documented for your Instagram feed. Rose syrup, orange blossom water and sparkling water come together in the Grenadine Rose Syrup ($5), a refreshing pairing for the more piquant dishes.

You’ll want something sweet to end your meal. The pastry case is full of goodies like housemade baklava ($4) and The Chocolate Conspiracy’s raw chocolate tahini cups ($6). There are some tasty options on the menu, too. The Meghli ($7) is a heavenly dessert. Rice pudding has never been so lovely. Flavors of spiced caraway and cinnamon with toppings of shredded coconut, pistachios and almonds make this dessert something special.

In February, Laziz started dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays. Options range from Cauliflower Stew ($13)—which I have my sights set on—to Kafta Bil Seney ($15), a beef-and-potato dish that my husband would enjoy. I’m looking forward to enjoying dinner at Laziz Kitchen soon.


Editor’s NoteThe original version of this article incorrectly stated the days on which Laziz provides dinner service. The mistake has been amended.

Photo: Talyn Sherer

325 S. 400 W. Salt Lake City, UT
T: 801.990.6270 | theroseestb.com

Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Walking into The Rose Establishment, my dread for the workday would diminish the moment I placed my coffee order and made a sweet selection from the pastry case. It was a good place to start the day with friendly folks, good food and excellent coffee. I’d often return for lunch, enjoying a cup of veggie soup or a fresh sandwich.

Although I don’t work by The Rose Establishment anymore, the charming café remains a sacred space. The old brick building with pretty neon signs is welcoming. Whether you sit outside on the cozy patio or inside, surrounded by wood, white brick and simple light fixtures, this is a coffee shop you’ll enjoy spending time in.

Celebrating six years of business, The Rose Establishment has blossomed into what Salt Lake City needed: an excellent combined coffee shop and café that serves seasonal ingredients with a rotating menu. “We planned to just be a high-end cafe serving the insanely good Four Barrel Coffee and a variety of premium loose-leaf teas,” says Rose Manager and SLUG Senior Staff Writer Cody Kirkland. Over time, the menu evolved, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t take coffee seriously. “Either my assistant manager Brian Lord or I go to Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco once a year for in-depth training and to learn new methods so we can train our baristas in the ‘cutting edge’ of drink preparation.” You can enjoy this distinct coffee in everything from a simple pour-over to an artfully crafted latte.

Always a few steps ahead, fizzy, refreshing Nitro Coffee ($4.25) made its Utah debut at The Rose Establishment. Infused with nitrogen, the cold-brew coffee takes on a creamy, fizzy property similar to beer—there’s even a head of foam. Morning or night, it’s a tasty accompaniment to The Rose’s freshly baked pastries and light fare.

Kirkland’s affinity for cocktails influenced the drink menu furthering The Rose’s reputation for innovation. “I realized many of the methods, flavor combinations, concepts of balance and ingredients in cocktails could be applied to coffee, tea and soda beverages,” says Kirkland. “Cocktail bitters were one of my first crossover ingredients. They play nicely with the complex, strong and subtle flavors in coffee and tea.” This winter season, warm your bones with The Cozy Drink ($4), a soothing combination of brewed honeybush, spiced maple syrup, bay leaf, fresh ginger and steamed milk, topped with a dusting of nutmeg. Using the Apple Ginger Bitters from local gem Bitters Lab, The Cozy Drink is sweet and spicy—exactly what you want to curl up with on a blustery day.

Just as comforting, The London Fog ($4) is pretty with delicate lavender buds floating atop a layer of foam. Earl Grey tea offers citrus and black tea notes, paired with lavender bitters and creamy steamed milk. Opt for the cashew milk for $1 more for an extra treat. Made in-house, the cashew milk is decadent, thick and creamy with a silky-smooth texture.

While Kirkland curates the beverage menu, Chef Cori Norton takes care of the food. “Cori and I constantly bounce food and drink ideas off each other and swap ingredients,” says Kirkland. “She uses cocktail bitters, coffees and teas in her pastries and marinades. I’ll pick through the rooftop garden for fresh herbs and edible flowers for my drink garnishes.”

Frequenting the nearby farmer’s market as well as her rooftop garden, Norton offers interesting and wholesome dishes. According to Kirkland, “[Norton’s] main focus is cross-utilizing ingredients to minimize waste and maximize efficiency and using seasonal and locally produced ingredients.”

The Smashed Avocado Tartine ($6.50) is a thing of beauty. Simple and delectable, the Eva’s Bakery five-seed bread is thickly sliced, perfectly toasted and topped with avocado. A drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of flaky salt is all that’s needed to bring out the rich natural flavor. Served with greens dressed in a brightly flavored lemon vinaigrette, this is an exquisite small meal. For an extra $1.50, add tart, pickled red onions or coffee-marinated roasted beets. I’m a huge fan of their beets: They impart a sweet and earthy flavor that rounds out the dish.

The Cauliflower Sandwich ($9) is a new addition to the winter menu. The sweet carrot butter mingled well with the earthy kale pesto, but the roasted cauliflower was overpowered by the tart pickled tomato. The Mushroom Soup served alongside was hearty and flavorful. Norton’s soups change daily—each is intriguing, inspired by whatever’s in season.

Eat the rainbow with the Vegan Brunch Bowl ($8). It’s a nourishing combination of heirloom black lentils, tart arugula, butternut squash and roasted carrot. Topped with pickled veggies, slices of ripe avocado and crunchy breadcrumbs and pepitas, this dish is gratifying to tuck into. Eating all my veggies makes me feel better about indulging with a treat from the pastry case. Whether it’s a vegan muffin or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, I can’t resist. Lately, I’ve been smitten with the chocolate chip cookie ($2). It’s thin, crisp and studded with melty chocolate chips.

Whether you simply need a cup of coffee or you’re looking for a new favorite brunch spot, The Rose Establishment is your answer. Follow The Rose Establishment on Instagram (@theroseestb) to keep up with drink and food specials and some extra insight into the unique menu.

Since Derek Belnap opened 3 Cups in Holladay, the coffee establishment has become a second home for many throughout the neighborhood.

Located in a swanky new development in the heart of Holladay among prominent restaurants and boutiques, 3 Cups has found a home. A welcoming coffee shop with a cool, modern design serving first-rate beverages and food, 3 Cups fits right in. “I’ve grown to love Holladay,” says Derek Belnap, owner and manager of 3 Cups. “The people have been awesome, and they’re really into what we do.”

Simplicity is woven through the architecture, design and menu. The minimalistic decor against the white-on-white color scheme creates a tranquil feeling, perfect for studying or visiting with friends over lunch. Large tables and communal spaces alongside cozy booths welcome students and others in need of a workspace. Tall ceilings and large windows featuring views of Mount Olympus create space and light. There’s also a spacious patio to enjoy, weather permitting. Belnap worked with local design firm Craft Architecture + Design‘s Tristan Shepherd to create a space that is as inviting as it is functional, and with 7D8 for the branding and menus. “We came up with something that would look clean and modern, but not cold,” says Belnap. “There’s rich, natural stuff going on with little pops of color.”

Like the decor, the menu is concise, with perfectly executed dishes and tempting baked goods. “Amber Billingsley was the brains behind the food menu,” says Belnap. Billingsley has since moved on, but her magic remains. Stunning pastries are displayed at the counter. Choosing is nearly impossible—everything from the savory scones to the decadent danishes beg to be eaten. There’s also gelato. Just looking at the beautiful colors and intriguing flavors can lift your mood. With unique flavors like Orange Saffron and special collaborations with other locals like High West Whiskey, 3 Cups’ gelato is a popular treat. Order it in a house-made pizzelle cone or drown a dollop of gelato in a shot of espresso for an affogato.

The savory food options are just as tempting. “The Morning Tarts or the Avocado Toast are both popular food options,” says Belnap. With vegetarian and meaty options, the Morning Tarts are the perfect portable breakfast with an egg, sunny-side up, nestled into the cheesy tart. The Avocado Toast is also delicious. Toasted bread from Vosen’s is smeared with an avocado spread and topped with extra virgin olive oil and a generous sprinkling of dukka, a Middle Eastern mixture of spices and nuts, adding flavor and a nice crunch. The food menu shifts with the seasons. “This winter, we will be rolling out new toast specials and different food items, along with seasonal offerings like gingerbread and Meyer lemon cakes,” says Belnap. “We like to switch things up.”

When the focus is on simplicity, quality is paramount. Belnap only uses locally roasted coffee. “We wanted to stay local,” he says. “We have some great local roasters like Blue Copper and La Barba. Their focus is in line with what I want my coffee and my coffee shop to represent. They’re good at what they do.” And 3 Cups baristas are good at what they do. They are well-trained and pay attention to detail. The coffee drinks at 3 Cups are superb. Picture-perfect lattes are served with a coin-sized shortbread cookie. The cortados, with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, are delicious. Americanos and pour-overs are also available if you’re in the mood for straightforward coffee. Whatever you chose, it’s going to be good. “We pay attention to detail,” says Belnap. “We care about doing it right.”

Like most good things, 3 Cups came together through a series of happy coincidences. It’s almost like it was meant to be. “I’ve been working in coffee for 13 or 14 years. Nine of those years were with the Coffee Garden,” says Belnap. “I wasn’t looking to open a coffee shop, but this opportunity conveniently came my way, and I jumped on it.” When the mayor of Holladay inquired about Coffee Garden opening a location in the city’s new development, they passed, but Belnap saw the potential, and we’re lucky he did. “I have a great team and good support from the city and the building’s owner,” says Belnap regarding whom he credits for his success.

Every neighborhood should be blessed with a coffee shop like this. It’s a place to gather, a makeshift office, and a quiet place get a bite to eat and catch up on your reading. Families visit on sleepy Sunday mornings, when kids tuck into bowls of oatmeal while their parents get a caffeine fix along with their newspaper. With friendly service and a comfortable and casual vibe, it’s a pleasure to spend time in 3 Cups.

From their “Egg Rolls” to the Ocean Love Noodle Salad, All Chay charms patrons with their vibrant, vegan Vietnamese fare.

1264 W. 500 N. Salt Lake City, Utah
T: 801.521.4789

Tuesday–Friday: Brunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m.–8 p.m.

Since All Chay opened last year, I’ve been a committed regular, spending my lunch breaks devouring banh mi and slurping pho. The hospitality, modest prices and excellent food have won my heart. And I’m not alone: All Chay has become one of the most popular vegan restaurants in Salt Lake.

Nestled in a small Rose Park strip mall, All Chay serves vegan versions of traditional Vietnamese food. Over the past year, this neighborhood restaurant has become a cozy refuge with a homey, bohemian vibe. Thrifted paintings, potted orchids on each table and a parking-lot garden are part of the charm.

The menu is smartly organized into appetizers, soups, banh mi, rice and noodle dishes. Mix and match your entrée with flavored tofu or mock meats made from soy and seitan, including “chickun,” “beef” and impressively realistic “shrimp.” Order at the counter and take a number. Collect your chopsticks, flatware and condiments from a station in the middle of the restaurant and take a seat. The concise menu means you never have to wait long for food.

All Chay's Pho ($7.25 - $8.25)
Photo: Talyn Sherer

To whet your appetite, order the All Chay “Egg Rolls” ($5.50). Seasoned tofu, soy protein and a medley of vegetables are wrapped in an eggless shell and then deep fried. Your tastebuds will be grooving once you dip the hot and crispy eggroll into the candy-sweet chili sauce. Four rolls come in an order, so it’s a perfect appetizer to share.

If you’re looking for something cool and crisp, opt for the Four Seasons Fresh Rolls ($5.95). Veggies, vermicelli noodles, mint and cucumber are wrapped in rice paper and served with a delish peanut sauce for dipping. Each roll is named after a season and includes a corresponding protein. The Spring Roll is filled with sweet and savory teriyaki “chickun.” The Summer Roll is stuffed with mellow fried tofu, allowing the mint and cucumber to steal the show. Tart kimchi and flavorful tofu seasoned with Chinese Five-Spice fill the Autumn Roll. The Winter Roll is the heartiest, stuffed with strips of BBQ “beef” and ginger. If you find a favorite, you can order them separately—two rolls are served for $2.95.

Vegans and omnivores alike are fans of All Chay’s Pho. The broth has a rich umami flavor and intoxicating aromatics. It’s also pretty, with vibrant green scallions and onions floating on the amber surface. Dive deeper to find vermicelli noodles and a generous helping of mock meats and fried tofu. Bean sprouts, sprigs of homegrown basil, jalapeño, lime and cilantro are served on the side. The small is $7.25, the large $8.25. Order the children’s size ($5) to leave room for banh mi or eggrolls. The same prices go for the satisfying and warming Golden Noodle Soup. It’s a hearty dish loaded with strips of mock meat, chunks of five-spice tofu, sliced vegan shrimp and a bounty of toothsome ramen noodles. Add a kick of zest with lime, jalapeño and a drizzle of Sriracha.

The Ocean Love Noodle Salad ($8.95) will satisfy your hunger. Each bite is brimming with vivid flavors. Lightly battered, deep-fried vegan shrimp are served in a large bowl with slippery rice vermicelli noodles, fresh greens, mint, bean sprouts, cucumber and a hot eggroll sliced into bite-size pieces. Slivers of tart, house-pickled carrots and daikon, crunchy roasted peanuts and scallions top the salad. A light sweet-and-sour dressing is served on the side.

The Teriyaki Chickun Rice Dish ($8.95) isn’t as showy as the other dishes, but it’s just as craveable. Tuck into the succulent, tender “chickun”—savory notes mingle with subtle sweetness, accented by sautéed onion. Served with perfectly steamed rice, this is the comfort food you crave. A garnish of fresh broccoli, cucumbers and carrots adds a flourish of color and fresh crunch. Another delicious rice dish is the spicy Ocean Love ($8.95), with battered, fried vegan shrimp sautéed in a fragrant mixture of onion, basil, jalapeño, red pepper and tomatoes.

The Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi ($5.50) is a delectable sandwich comprising a crunchy baguette drizzled with soy sauce, slathered with vegan mayonnaise and filled with brightly flavored lemongrass tofu, cool cucumber and cilantro. On the other end of the spectrum is the Five Spice Bean Curd Banh Mi ($5.50), which is savory and pungent. The bean curd is richly flavored with cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns.

Try the refreshing Vegan Thai Iced Tea ($2.95)—a decadent, creamy drink. The Vegan Flan ($1.50), a cup of jiggly, syrupy, coffee-flavored pudding, is just sweet enough to satisfy. Both act as a palate cleanser, pairing beautifully with any entrée.

With friendly service and flavorful cuisine, All Chay is a hidden treasure worth seeking out. Located about 10 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, it’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, or call ahead for takeout.

(L–R) Jordan Halliday, Amy Meyer, Dave Morris, Jeremy Beckham and Lidya Hardy are part of the SLC VegFest team working toward a more compassionate, sustainable and healthful Salt Lake City. Photo: Talyn Sherer

“If you stop eating animal products, you can save about 100 animals per year,” says Amy Meyer, the director of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC). “Changing the heart and mind of one person can do a lot for animals.” Demonstrating how easy it is to be vegan is the focus of UARC’s first annual SLC VegFest, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Library Square.

With the help of dedicated volunteers and generous donations, SLC VegFest is a labor of love. The members of UARC have been hard at work planning an event that will be both fun and educational. “We wanted to create a free event with a positive atmosphere, where it will be easy to learn and ask questions about a vegan lifestyle, and most importantly, taste the amazing vegan food we have in our community,” says Meyer.

The biggest challenge at SLC VegFest will be deciding what to eat. Free samples of vegan fare will be available like cookies and cheese, as well as Laziz hummus and goodies from The Rose Establishment, Follow Your Heart and Beanfields. “One thing we’re really excited about is an Oktoberfest-themed beer garden hosted by Ice Haus,” says Meyer. “They’ll be serving beer and brats.” Other options sound just as delicious. Piper Down will be offering a satisfying shepherd’s pie. Soul Food Travelers, a plant-based catering company, will have an array of dishes available, including braised mushroom tacos with guacamole and a creamy poblano sauce, velvety macaroni and cheese made with coconut cashew cream and authentic caprese made with pesto, ripe tomatoes and mozzarella made from tofu. Passion Flour Patisserie will offer elegant French pastries. Sage’s Cafe and Vertical Diner, pioneers in the Salt Lake City vegan movement, will also be selling food. Other treats run the gamut from doughnuts to meatless jerky—everything you think you’d miss when switching to a plant-based diet.

The first annual SLC VegFest takes place on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Library Square.
Photo: Talyn Sherer

While the food options are awesome, there’s more to the festival. “We’re going to have some really informative guest speakers,” says Meyer. “Our keynote speaker is Matt Ruscigno. He’s a registered dietitian and athlete with a masters degree in Public Health. He’ll be talking about how vegan food doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. We’ll also have Stephanie Nicora, a third-generation shoemaker behind the vegan, eco-friendly brand Nicora Shoes. Her talk focuses on ethical fashion and why it matters.” Local speakers include Tiffany Young, the director of Ducks and Clucks Rescue Sanctuary, who will be discussing problems with the humane meat movement and issues with backyard chickens. Veganism 101 will be covered by Lauren Lockey, the co-founder of Sage Mountain, an animal sanctuary based in Park City, and their Director of Communications, Natalie Blanton.

If you need one-on-one advice on adopting a vegan lifestyle, there will be plenty of volunteers happy to help. “In addition to the speakers, we’ll have ‘Ask a Vegan Expert’ stations throughout the event,” says Meyer. “In the kids area, we’ll have vegan parents answering questions about raising vegan kids and vegan pregnancy. In the Athlete Expo, there will be a nutritionist available for questions. We’ll also have a station where people can ask everyday questions like, ‘What’s wrong with eating fish?’ We want to make it really approachable.”

For those with nutritional concerns, The Athlete Expo will answer your questions and provide inspiration to get fit. “Kelly Colobella, who owns Cakewalk Vegan Baking Company, will be organizing the Athlete Expo. She’s a football player and a powerlifter,” says Meyer. “We’ll be showcasing local vegan athletes, some of whom have been vegan 20 to 30 years. A nutritionist will be on hand answering questions. There will be a free yoga class as well as other free fitness classes.”

Face-painting, a bounce house and a vegan-themed coloring book will keep the kiddos entertained. Local bands and DJs, including Dapper, Josaleigh Pollet and more, will play music. Exhibitors will include local and national nonprofits and commercial booths selling animal-friendly goods. The local vegan and political podcast, Which Side Podcast, will be selling T-shirts. “It’s a good selection of different aspects of veganism,” says Meyer. If you’re moved by what you learn at SLC VegFest, be sure to stop by UARC’s booth, where they’ll have a vegan dining guide for Salt Lake and a handy brochure filled with vegan recipes to continue your vegan adventure. A UARC membership fee of $20 will help support the nonprofit and also give you generous discounts to Salt Lake’s finest vegan establishments, such as Zest Kitchen & Bar, Frisch Compassionate Eatery and many more.

When UARC isn’t planning SLC Vegfest, their time is spent educating people about local issues affecting animals, like animal experiments taking place at the University of Utah and the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars during the summer. Their website, utahanimalrights.com, is a valuable resource to learn about animal issues in Utah. Follow UARC on Facebook and Instagram for more vegan inspiration, calls to action and more.

Per Noi Trattoria's Arancini. Photo: Talyn Sherer

The Italian American Civic League offers Italian hospitality at its best at the second annual Festa Italiana, Sept. 17 and 18 at The Gateway. As with most things Italian, the main attraction will be the food and drink—every social gathering, whether it’s a casual visit with neighbors or an elaborate holiday dinner, takes place over a table brimming with food. To pair with Italian beer and wine available at the festival, there will be an array of favorites from popular local Italian restaurants at Festa Italiana. Expect pasta as well as lesser-known dishes that Italians have grown up eating.


PER NOI TRATTORIA 

1588 E. Stratford Ave., SLC, Utah
801.486.3333     doginmind.com
Arancini – Appetizer

Per Noi Trattoria - Arancini - Appetizer
Photo: Talyn Sherer

SLUG: Why are you participating in Festa Italiana?
Per Noi Trattoria: I think it was just time for [Co-Owner] Tony [Casella] and [Co-Owner/Chef] Francesco [Montino] to show that we’re a very well-kept secret here. A lot of people won’t tell friends because we’re a great restaurant. But they wanted to get the word out. We’re just a very well-kept secret, but we wanted to let more than just the local community know that we’re here, and what better way to showcase that than the Festa Italiana?

SLUG: How does your arancini introduce diners to lesser-known Italian fare?
Per Noi Trattoria: Arancini is like a big softball-sized rice ball, and it’s golden brown, and it’s put out onto this dish in the dining area. … It’s a real eye-catcher. When it’s brought out on the plate, everyone turns to look at it. A lot of people haven’t heard of arancini before. Once explained, it becomes one of our most popular appetizers.

SLUG: What is an element of this dish that makes it unique?
Per Noi Trattoria: Our rice that we use with it is slowly cooked before we make the rice ball itself. The rice has a long time to envelop the flavors of all the fresh herbs and spices that we use. –Darin Paulus


SICILIA MIA

4536 S. Highland Dr., SLC, Utah
801.274.0223
Cannelloni – Entrée

Sicilia Mia - Cannelloni - Entrée
Photo: Talyn Sherer

SLUG: What makes your restaurant special?
Sicilia Mia: The authentic cuisine, which is made by master chef Franco Mirenda. That is my dad, and he is amazingly special like my grandpa and my grandma, whom we still use recipes from. [He] combines the old with a new cuisine. The family makes the restaurant special—and when I say the family, that means that each person who comes to us becomes family!

SLUG: Tell us about the cannelloni you’ll be serving at Festa Italiana.
Sicilia Mia: Our cannelloni is an amazing combination of homemade pasta filled with a cheese cream sauce and spinach—we’ll have the bolognese version of it as well, which is amazing, too. It’s like a homemade sheet of pasta filled with a cheese and spinach cream sauce and then rolled, topped again with cheese cream.

SLUG: What childhood memory does cannelloni invoke?
Sicilia Mia: It reminds me of Sunday, our big Sunday lunch/dinner—all day long! It would be all family members and friends, and it would start at 1 p.m. There would be no phone, no TV, just the beautiful company of people around you. There would be lunch that would never stop, playing cards and talking, then going through dinner—an amazing day with family.

Giuseppe Mirenda, Co-owner


CANNELLA’S

204 E. 500 S., SLC, Utah • 801.355.8518
cannellasrestaurant.com
Scallile – Dessert

Cannella's - Scallile - Dessert
Photo: Talyn Sherer

SLUG: What unique dishes do you serve?
Cannella: In 1978, Cannella’s was founded on my dad’s Italian Salad (still No. 1).  People rave about our house-made Gnocchi and Chef Alberto’s Meat Lasagne. … One feature dish [at Festa Italiana] will be scallile (an Italian honey cookie).

SLUG: What does scallile mean to you with regard to Italian heritage?
Cannella’s: For me, it goes back to childhood: prepping with my grandma, who instilled the passion for great food at a very young age; spending hours every Christmas with my grandma and brother making scallile, pizzelles and fig cookies; and enjoying the good life of having Italian grandparents who loved food as much as family!

SLUG: How does your scallile introduce diners to lesser-known Italian fare?
Cannella’s: I can’t say that I’ve seen scallili served many places. We’ve been serving them for years to our guests every Christmas since 1981. It will be great to share them at the Festa.

SLUG: What do you hope to share with guests of Festa Italiana?
Cannella: A beautiful representation of family business in SLC. We’ve moved into a new generation, and with my daughter and wife by my side, I hope to share with the community and delicious Italian food.

Joe Cannella, Owner/Operator

Aimee's Home Cookin'

Aimee’s Home Cookin’

aimeeshomecookin.com

Aimee'sHomeCookin'-BARKIPLE_0583Growing up in a Vermont country inn, Aimee Toner spent a lot of time in the kitchen. After stepping up to help when her mother got sick when she was 15, Toner developed skills and a passion for cooking. “The kitchen was a playground for me,” she says. Once she was settled in Utah, her classic New England cooking caught the attention of friends and neighbors. Soon, she was selling her pre-made, home-cooked meals using her own spice blends, before realizing that she could sell her unique handmade spice blends instead.

Soaking up the local flavor, Aimee’s Home Cookin’ spice blends are inspired by people she’s met—the new cuisines and cultures she’s experienced in Utah. There are 15 different spice blends with eye-catching, colorful and funky labels to choose from. Toner even named some after her favorite ski spots at Alta. Flavors run the gamut, from Snakepit Shawarma, a Middle Eastern blend featuring clove, cardamon and sumac, to Key West, a citrusy savory rub. Toner also offers a dry Bloody Mary mix and rimming salts for cocktails.

“My spice blends are an easy way to go from beginner to gourmet,” she says. Priced around $10 a bottle, Toner’s spice blends are an inexpensive way to amp up your own home cooking. They’re also simple to use. Each blend touts around 13 different spices and can be used to flavor meat, vegetables and whatever else strikes your fancy. There are plenty of tasty recipes on her website, and if you visit with Toner at the Craft Lake City DIY Festival or local farmers markets, she’s happy to offer suggestions on how to use her spice blends.

Stop by Toner’s booth at the DIY Fest to spice up your cooking and drinking. She’s thrilled to meet new customers and share her excitement about her spice blends. Pick her brain for fun ways to incorporate more flavor in your life—she’s full of information and ideas. You can also find Aimee’s Home Cookin’ at the Sugarhouse Farmer’s Market, the Wasatch Front Farmers Market and the Bountiful Farmers Market. Check out her store on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/AimeesHomeCookin), too.


For more information about CLC DIY Festival programming, click here.