The crafty cooks at Pistol Pete’s infuse lives and entrees with the spice and flair of Mexico and the American Southwest. Diners prime peaked taste buds for main events with chips mingled in freshly made salsa ($2.98) before diving into an entree from the menu of Tex-Mex staples. Sizzling chicken or steak fajitas issue tableside pops and crackles reminiscent of fireside cooking or tap-dance recitals in active volcanoes ($9.99), and enchiladas ($7.48–$7.98) and tacos ($7.28–$7.58) combine toothsome meats and cheeses in styles including Nogales (traditional Mexican) and Arizona (southwestern). High-flying meals come in for a safely delicious landing on runways of homemade caramel flan ($2.87). The chefs at Pistol Pete’s prepare their own signature corn tortillas, made fresh on-site each day with the dough-clapping skills of a team of former professional applauders. Fare is complemented by the verdant offerings of a salsa bar stocked with a host of dressings all made from original recipes unique to Pistol Pete’s.
The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
After 30 years in business, Dasks Greek Grill may have changed its location, but its pledge remains intact: handcraft traditional Greek dishes with an American flair and the freshest ingredients possible. The Salt Lake Tribune honored the family-owned-and-operated eatery with an award for serving the area's best gyro, whose warm pita bread cradles morsels of lamb and beef or falafel like a mother cradling her voucher for "alone time." To pair with a charbroiled burgers or a traditional souvlaki platter, patrons can also take a peek into a Spartan's war helmet for zesty sides of hummus and cool yogurt sauce.
Ever since Barbacoa Mexican Grill opened in 1998, ordering a meal has turned into a creative pursuit. At the fingertips of everyone who walks in the door is an edible artist's palette that they draw upon as they orchestrate the creation of their dream burrito, burrito bowl, or tacos. Inspiration begins with a foundation: hand-trimmed barbacoa beef slow cooked in a chipotle paste, shredded pork with roasted pineapple and a honey glaze, or even steamed vegetables. Then a rainbow of salsas, a choice of beans, and individually monogrammed grains of rice combine to create a fully personalized meal.
Now spread throughout Utah, Barbacoa Mexican Grill has also branched out beyond its inimitable meals. It strives to establish and strengthen communities by working with local nonprofit and charitable organizations. The primary focus of the restaurants' grassroots endeavors falls on the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles and the support of underserved children—evidenced by their cooperation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah.
Just above the gelato-and-coffee counter in Paula’s Eatery hovers what looks to be an enormous wire bird’s nest. The hyper-modern chandelier kind of sums up the whole feel of the café: disarmingly stylish, but comfortable and family-friendly.
The tone is fitting for a shop that has made a name for itself based on its unorthodox take on comfort food. The bakery whips up plates of homespun classics with a gourmet twist. The banana bread is roasted, zucchini cake is made with Tuscan olive oil, and the improbably enormous Rice Crispy treats are shot through with marshmallow chunks. Their signature Belgian waffles get a similar upgrade, served with pure maple syrup or the shop’s homemade gelato. For midday meals, cooks press fresh paninis, such as the Hawaiian Hula Ham, smothered in provolone, honey cured ham, and zesty pepper spiced apricot relish. At the coffee bar, baristas tamp out a slew of espresso drinks, from classic drip coffees to exotic affogatos—a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso and served with an improvised sea shanty.