"Once upon a time a bearded man had a dream, a dream to make the best chicken wings on the planet," begins the Wing Nutz story. That man spent years experimenting with sauces and techniques, and many would agree that he achieved that dream with his wings—which are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and coated in sauces such as apricot teriyaki and southern honey barbecue.
At various Wing Nutz franchises, chefs follow his same wing recipe, using cage- and hormone-free meat that is never frozen, and then baking, never frying, the wings. They also whip up fall-off-the-bone hog wings (better known as pork ribs, eaten wing-style) and lighter options, such as smoked salmon wraps and salads. The restaurant's own line of brews, Nut Job Beers, stands ready cool mouths set aflame by one of the spicier sauces.
Voted Best Bar Grub by City Weekly, the Lumpys menu provides hearty entrees alongside appetizing, phalange-friendly fare. Grab a signature 3/4 lb. Lumpy burger layered in bacon and cheddar with a choice of side ($9) or a 12 oz. NY strip steak in a shroomy sauce served with garlicky mashy potatoes and veggies ($15). Or snack sparingly on marinara-friendly mozzarella logs with fries ($8) or saucy chipotle jalapeño poppers ($7). Those who dare can enter the garden of eating through a veggie platter piled high with broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, temptations, carrots, and cauliflower ($7).
For more than 30 years, Green Street has been dishing out a full menu of beer-hall staples while invigorating ears with live entertainment five nights a week. During warm months, customers can lounge on Green Street's palatial garden patio while noshing on palate-pleasing appetizers such as sweet potato fries ($4.99), artichoke dip ($7.29), or the Combo Mombo—a platter of chicken wings, potato skins, southwestern egg rolls, and battered fried mushrooms ($9.99) easily shared among friends or devoured by one huge toddler. An onslaught of entrees includes the blackened-salmon caesar salad, which parades across the palate led by an 8-ounce filet ($9.49), or the chili verde burrito ($7.99) served as a special on Tuesdays, sating beginning of the week tortilla-entrapped cravings. An Angus bacon cheeseburger ($7.99) and a half-rack of grilled, barbecued baby-back ribs ($12.99) round out meat-centric menu options.
The downtown gastropub boasts an extensive menu of reimagined pub fare. Start with a Scotch egg ($4), hard-boiled then wrapped in a garlic sausage before being doused with breading and fried. Or opt for an order of the pub poppers ($3), almond-stuffed medjool dates swaddled in strips of delicious bacon. Unstoppable appetites pause at the prosciutto burger ($12), and herbivorous eaters nosh the black-bean chipotle veggie burger ($11) with a side of fresh-cut-daily fries coated with garlic (add $2). Large plates, such as the slow-simmered chili verde with braised pork and green chilies ($8) or the Alaskan halibut and chips ($16) make gastro-pub elitists grovel. Hand-tossed pizzas (starting at $10) and fresh salads (starting at $5) complete the eclectic menu.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air inside both locations of BlueStar Juice Bar and Coffee Café, where staffers eschew corporate cups to roast their own beans into three artful coffee blends. Blenders also churn fresh fruit and veggies into juices such as the Cobra, which gives apple and carrot a mild gingery bite, or the Fruit Fusion, which combines fresh, seasonal picks.
BlueStar staff strives to create a genial atmosphere. At the café location on 2795 South 2300 East, customers can submit juice blends or sandwich recipes to add to the menu, and canine companions are welcome indoors or on the patio. Alternately, the downtown drive-thru makes for a quick refueling stop for drowsy commuters and cars that run on eco-friendly caffeine.
Just beneath the ceiling, a psychedelic mural by artist Dave Doman stretches along the wall opposite the bar. Sheet metal wraps along the wall, an industrial touch that balances Spedelli's antique-looking hardwood floors and bright blue chairs. This mashup of styles creates a relaxed vibe, which is in keeping with the ownership's vision of turning Spedelli's into "Salt Lake's new favorite hangout." Beyond the mellow environs and a menu crowned by humorously named pizzas, Spedelli's crew encourages patrons to linger with three flat-screen televisions, a pool table, and occasional live performances, such as rock covers performed by pizza-box puppets.