"A lot of our recipes come from family," explains owner Adam Wheaton. "Alicia's cheesecake is my wife's sister's, our italian stuffed mushrooms come from an aunt, my wife's mom…has probably put her hands or ideas into everything we serve." Working from these recipes and others, the chefs grill up steaks, broil lobster tails, and make tortilla chips, crab cakes, and barbecue sauces in-house. Additionally, they help to accommodate restricted diets by forging a number of dishes devoid of gluten and chicken thighs that show too much skin.
This commitment to family is a recurring theme for the steak house. When the Wheaton family's daughter, Madeline, was diagnosed with severe epilepsy at age 3, doctors said the condition would steadily worsen over time and would likely claim her life in her teens. To say she proved medical professionals wrong is an understatement—she has only demonstrated improvement since then and continues to exceed expectations. The Wheatons, of course, wholeheartedly rallied behind their daughter, naming the family's restaurant after her and partnering with local charities to help raise awareness of and fight against epilepsy.
Culinary techniques from northern Thailand shepherd the chefs at Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine as they infuse fish, chicken, and beef with the authentic flavors of creamy curries, fresh ginger, and oyster sauce. They also weave soft glass noodles around pieces of shrimp and nestle tender morsels of pork within mounds of fried rice. Beneath decorative wooden latticework adorned with hanging foliage, they assemble a daily lunch buffet, where hot chafing dishes overflow with everything from spring rolls to curried veggies.
Chef and owner Amrik Singh prepares traditional and authentic Indian cuisine for his guests at India Palace. Singh’s dishes, from basmati rice to fish coconut korma, add spice to a menu lined with a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meal options, plus sweet desserts such as mango ice cream and cardamom-flavored rice pudding.
The owners' menu of traditional Polynesian dishes hearkens back to their upbringing on Hawaii. Within an open-air kitchen, the staff grills and fries fresh ingredients and assemble them into lunch plates inspired by Hawaii's diverse immigrant population. Techniques and flavors borrowed from Japanese, Korean, and Indian cuisines are woven into Polynesian favorites, such as frybread, barbecue pork, and chicken-curry rice bowls. Through the tall windows of the exhibition storefront, sunshine spills in to bathe the eatery's goldenrod walls in natural light and allow diners to wear their mining helmets solely as fashion statements.
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.
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.