The cooks at Sammy’s reinvent American diner classics by piling 1/3-pound beef patties with unusual ingredients and blending numerous varieties of pie into gourmet milk shakes. Burger behemoths include Ben's Big Belly Burger, with a meaty base that hides beneath swiss cheese, grilled onions, grilled pineapple, guacamole, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. Other treats include the Hey Nikki You're So Fine grilled-chicken sandwich and the Something About Mary, a black-bean patty caught in a farcical love hexagon of sautéed onions, pepper jack, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
In addition to concocting signature pie shakes in flavors such as mint Oreo and four different types of cheesecake, the team at Sammy's blends smoothies, regular shakes and malts, and cupcake shakes in flavors such as spiced carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting. Alongside the reformed diner fare, Sammy's regularly serves up live music events and a hip, relaxed atmosphere.
Spark's lunch menu offers an inspired selection of modern culinary treats to enjoy among the eatery's modern décor and soaring ceilings. Commence the meal by revisiting the meaty candy shops of yore with fried pork lollipops—juicy pork cuts coated with jalapeño tartar and orange sweet chili and served with lemon soy vinegar dipping sauces ($8). For a main bite, grab a gourmet grilled white-cheddar-cheese sandwich served on sourdough bread, lightly smothered in onion-sherry marmalade, and begging to be dipped into its side of tomato-parmesan soup. For dessert, climb up to the rafters and swan dive into a mound of refreshing sorbet ($5).
Somewhere deep in the Australian smokehouse's kitchen, the ethereal Wallaby brews up batches of a mystical elixir known as barbecue sauce made from scratch. This tongue-pleasing sauce produces a gravitational pull that attracts patrons toward slow-smoked meats available in small orders (5-ounce meat, one side) and larger orders (7-ounce meat, two sides). Meats include hand-pulled pork ($7.99–$9.99), beef brisket ($8.49–$10.49), and smoked turkey ($8.49–$10.49). Saddle up some sides on that mountain of meat with the popular smashers (potatoes), baked beans, coleslaw, fresh veggies, and more. There are also combo platters for the indecisive or those who want a multi-meat explosion. Wallaby's also serves many salads ($6.99–$9.49), salmon ($12.99), and shrimp on the barbie ($11.99).
With its traditional Hawaiian plate lunches, sandwiches, and salads, Hawaiian-owned Pounder's brings a delicious whiff of the Pacific to mostly landlocked north-central Utah. Its simple menu features a carnivorous cornucopia of grilled meaty treats made fresh daily. Pundits of porcine and poultry products can savor the kalua pork, a pile of pulled pork slow-cooked to luau-worthy perfection, and four different chickeny preparations, including chicken katsu, a chicken breast lightly breaded with Japanese panko and served with delectable katsu sauce for dipping. Beefy fare includes the kalbi marinated beef short ribs and the protein-packing Loco Moco, a seasoned hamburger patty smothered in a bedlam of eggs and brown gravy, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Long before their doors open, chefs at The Awful Waffle start preparing another day’s worth of fresh batter and dough to fry in the kitchen’s hot griddles. They pile their waffles with fresh, not frozen, toppings, including fresh fruit, ice cream, and elegant puffs of handmade vanilla whipped cream. They can also craft crepe bases from circles of warm, flaky dough, and sprinkle specialty waffles in crushed graham crackers and Oreos. A savory menu of waffles and fries accommodates clients who never got their sweet teeth back from the tooth fairy, despite all their calls and letters.
Dave & Cranky's has only been open since 2011, but its folder of press clippings is already overflowing with positive reviews for its accessibly upscale twist on classics. The Provo Daily Herald praised the “cool ambiance and some offbeat American bistro choices, served with a dash of attitude,” and the Salt Lake City Weekly called the eatery "one of the best-kept secrets in Utah County dining," describing Dave and Cranky’s chocolate lava cake as "to die for."
While diners can sit anywhere in the hip dining room, the best seats in the house are at the bar, where they can chat with owner Dave, crack a few jokes with front-of-house maven Lindsey, and watch their food be prepared in the open kitchen. Here, head chef Kathy, balances decidedly flavorful accents—such as the sauces that swathe cuts of chicken and pork and always let you know if you’ve got something stuck on your chin—with the occasional celebration of excess. That tendency shows up in a massive plate of triple-layered cheese fries, bacon-topped meatloaf, and seasonal cheesecake.