Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Saffron Valley

Saffron Valley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

(Disclosure, I went to the Sugarhouse location but there wasn't a Zomato for that one.)

Google Maps is a lovely tool when it works. It gets us places and helps us find one of the two places you buy that thing that you need in the middle of the afternoon on a Wed when you totally forgot you needed the thing for the unrelated thing. A universal human experience I know.

But it also lets us find random spots we otherwise would overlook or forget about too quickly. Such is my experience with Saffron Valley Sugarhouse.

I am a fan of Indian Cuisine. A huge one in fact. Both in intensity of my fandom and in fandoms per cubic ounces. The mix of spices and combinations of flavors, the vibrant colors, I don’t know people can’t be willing to give it a try at least.

So anyway armed with a random craving and friend willing to give it the old college try we stumbled across this place. As we entered we were greet and immediately lead to our table. The decor was rather striking, to the point that I find it worth noting here. It had a hominess with wooden tables and decorations but was also sort of modern and stylish. They had stainless steel cups that I was tempted to ask where they had bought them.

But I digress. Amongst the Indian restaurants of this valley there is a pretty common take of doing a buffet for lunch. The general idea being that people come in, try a number of things, and then come back and have those same or similar things when you come for dinner. It’s practiced enough that I had assumed it to be some sort of industry standard.

However there is a different philosophy at play here at Saffron Valley which I found rather delightful.

The Thali.

Basically it’s a scope or a bunch of stuff. Each day they have a series of specials and you pick which Thali you want. Mine had a chicken, a lentil, a veggie thing, a paneer thing, a curry thing, some Nann, some rice, and a Gulab Jamun.

It. Was. Awesome. I was less then dilligent about getting all the names for the everything but it was astounding. Two of the dishes, (one a mushroom and pepper dish, the other a lentils one) are not things that I enjoy. In fact I may actively dislike them in most preparations.

But boy howdy. The lentils started tasting as I expect and then literally blossomed with flavor in my mouth. It was fragrant and lovely and deeply savory and so entirely unexpected. The mushrooms and peppers in the other dish were a delight. Earthy and rich and flavorful sort of everything a mushroom can be. I was on cloud nine there.

There was a also a Tikka Masala Paneer that was just perfectly on point and really just about everything was delicious. I was, if I’m honest, a little disappointed in the Pakora. The coating on the outside of the vegetables was a little cake like. It wasn’t as crispy as I like that to be. But once more the flavor was absolutely on point. So minor things.

This place is good. Go there. Eat there.

See you in the Chow Line,

-The Fat Kid

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fat Kid Reviews: Rice Garden

Rice Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I’m basically a garbage disposal with a refined pallet. This paradox of culinary character leads me to try many things that other people are more leery of. And that brings us to the Rice Garden, a place I have only exclusively found in Smith’s Grocery Stores.

As I was going to college up in a town northward of where I currently reside, one of my favorite treats was to take the bus down to Smiths and get a nice plate of the chinese food in the store in the front. For years I didn’t even know the name of it. I just knew that they had delicious food.
They have a pretty nice little menu. Over the years I’ve tried most of it. But as far my taste buds and stomach are concerned there’s really only three things there.

The Orange Chicken, the Barbeque Pork, and the Rice Noodles.

The Orange Chicken is crunchy fried chicken chunks in a sauce. Though honestly it turns out more like a glaze. It’s sweet but counterbalanced with this bright acidity that you don’t always see done well in low to midrange Chinese food. The crunch on it is what always sells it for me. The glaze never saturates the coating enough to make it soggy, so even if it’s been sitting for a little bit it’s not chewy or goopy. Just a nice crunch.

The Barbeque Pork is something of an experience in and of itself. It’s set in larger pieces in the tray and they will pull out and chop up the amount you want right as you order it. It does wonders for keeping it juicy and fresh. It’s something you don’t usually see in impulse buy food and does wonders to make it feel just a little like something special. The sauce you can ask for with it is a lovely rich sort of brown sugary, soy infused BBQ sauce that just brings everything to life. Make sure to ask for extra if they’ll let you.

My favorite part, and the part I find myself craving in the dark part of the uncaring darkness, is the Rice Noodles. They’re basically just an egg and vegetable fried Taiwanesse rice noodle. But boy oh boy. That texture, the light seasoning and the little chucks of scrambled egg. It’s just lovely. And if you mix in the leftover sauces from you entrees? Boy howdy. That’s all I want out of life some days.
That right there is my 2 item combo. The one driving way of the way and or waiting for almost an hour in a Smiths for. Is it a high class meal? Ha! Nope. But do I find it driving out to West Valley or up to Logan for? Yeah. Kinda.

Anyway. Like, share, comment as you so desire.

See you in the Chow Line,
-The Fat Kid

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fat Kid Reviews: Red Rock Brewery

Red Rock Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As I am a bit of a geek I have somehow stumbled backwards into tickets to Salt Lake Comic Con and Fan-x every time they’ve had on. I know right? It’s completely unfair. However as a consequence of this I have developed some little rituals based around the con.

The one that is relevant here is the “Post Con Decompression Dinner That Happens At Red Rock Because It’s Really Convenient Even With That Stupid Sidewalk Closure”. It is a most ancient ritual and most important. As we’ve done it like three times.

But anyway. This year the staff was entirely unbalked by the Ursala and Wizard being seated. Drinks were ordered. A beer and cider that smelled delicious but I am otherwise unable to comment upon.

For appetizers I got the Mexican Street Corn (a personal favorite dish) and the fried pickles. The aioli they used for the corn and as a sauce for the pickles was delightful. Fatty and spicy with just a hint of other spices floating beneath the surface. It was quite good. My corn itself was a little cold, but honestly I didn’t mind all that much. It still tasted delicious though in retrospect I should have brought it up.

But such is life.

The pickles were very nice. Crispy breading and a slightly spicy pickle that hovered between that crunchy and soggy point. You know that perfect pickle point? Right there. Only with breading. Crispy breading.

My entree was a special that they had up for Octoberfest (a varient of which seems to live on the menu).

The Pork Schnitzel ala Holstien.

A golden fried piece of pork, with a demiglace and capers. Served topped with a fried egg. On the side there was some buttered spaetzel, some braised apples and cabbage, and a warm potato salad.

I know right? That’s why I ordered it.

The pork was beautifully fried and the sauce was quite tasty. It came off as a hair underseasoned, until I made sure I got a caper or some of the potato salad and then it was perfect.

The cabbage was… well… cabbage. I couldn’t tell if there were apples in it and by itself they were… cabbage. The spaetzel was delightfully buttery but a little one note.

That potato salad though. By the gods of food and hearth it was wonderful. It was mustardy but not aggressive. It was aromatic. It was like mustardy flowers of heaven opening in your head.

It was tasty is what I think I mean. But all of them apart, even the bad poetry salad, paled for how fantastic they all were as a composed bite.

Just delightful. The kind of mouthful that makes you reconsider your feelings for “german food”.

But yeah.

Like, Comment, Share, if that’s your game.

And I’ll see you in the Chow Line.

-The Fat Kid

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fat Kid Reviews: Bumblebee

Bumblebee's BBQ & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato (Full Disclosure I went to the location in West Valley City but it did not have a Zomato page at the time of this being posted.)

The surge in food trucks of a few years ago has started to live out its life cycle. Though (thankfully) our food trucks seem to be going nowhere, there is a number of successful food trucks who have made the move to brick and mortar. Bumblebee Korean American Fusion just happened to be the one in closest proximity to me.

Of all the types of food I’ve had Korean is the one I have the least experience with. It’s mostly due to proximity. However, this place made it more of a priority for me.

When seeing the decor and general vibe of the place is fun. They have sort but legally distinct from videogame characters on the walls and a friendly atmosphere. Before I did this review I actually ended up going here three times, and the experience was pretty consistent. Which honestly, is a mark in the pro-column.

But anyway, on to the food.

They have a mix of Korean and American played well together over all. They’re Bulgolgi (stewed beef) was generally the hit and regardless of vehicle. Sandwich, taco, fries, bun, or piled on top of more Bulgolgi. It was properly delicious. Their chicken and pork are tasty but pale when compared to the beef. Most of their sandwiches and K-Pop fries came slathered in a mix of sauces. They hit all the right notes though a bit more acid would have moved it from “delcious but a hair sweet” to that move where you through your head back and mouth “oh my God” to the ceiling.

We had two main dishes (that weren’t just the korean meats wrapped in something). The Kalbi Burger, and the Katsu Burger.

The Kalbi was a burger made from Korean short ribs. It was simple but tasty.

I’m a bit fan of Katsu which is a pounded and fried piece of pork served with sauces or over rice. They had a Katsu burger that I very much enjoyed but it had the same issue of being just a little too sweet and needing just a little bit of acid. It wasn’t until after I had finished that I notice the pickles on the condiment bar and realized that that would have fixed my problem wholesale.

They had a “snack” (little appetizer sized portions) called “Noodle Poppers”. I purchased an order out of morbid curiosity.

They were weird. Little fried balls of rice noodles topped with cheese and some of their tasty sauces. It was arguably one of the strangest legitimately food items I’ve put into my face, but there was something strangely delicious about it. The texture was just lovely. Crunch followed by that lovely chewy smoothness that only a really good rice noodle can give you. I suggest giving them a shot.

So I guess the lesson for todays review is… always look at the condiments.

And also check this place out.

Like, Comment, and Share if that's your thing.

See you in the Chow Line,
-The Fat Kid

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hospital Food

So there was a lack of an update for mid August. This was partially due to mismanagement but mostly due to an extended stay at a local hospital. I’m (mostly) fine afterwards but as I owe the internet a new article I decided to do a simple review of LDS Hospital inpatient kichen.

Now admittedly I was there for far longer than I actually got to eat. Part of my treatment was full gastric rest. Which by the way, if you can in any way avoid I suggest it. It’s…. Not fun.

But anyway, eventually I got to eat something. After four days of nothing but IV fluids I got to have a little italian ice. It was hard frozen and very difficult to eat…

But by the jiggling belly of the Gourmand it was delicious. Bright and sweet.

I mean it was basically sugar water. But man. That and a diet Coke? Heavenly.

The next day was basically just ice cream and the like. And drinking my water, through my mouth. Like a sucker.

Finally after what seemed an age of man I was allowed solid foods. Graham crackers taste amazing when you’re starving by the way. But my first real meal.

I had a salmon lunch with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I mean I could have gone exciting but decided to play it safe.

The salmon was a little dry and would have been bland if it hadn’t had a nice little tartar sauce to go with it. Not the best I’ve had but pretty tasty. The broccoli was… well… steam and generally inoffensive. The potatoes needed some butter and cream but given the source it was what it was.

Time passed and the next day I was up for food again. Due to a misunderstanding about an “allergy” of mine my dinner ended up being Ice cream and steak.

I know right? Break my heart.

But here’s where something entirely unexpected happened.

That was a damn fine steak. Now it was small, it was well done, but it was a truly fantastic little bite of food. Juicy, good texture, perfectly seasoned and a truly memorable dinner. I was (and still am frankly) entirely blown away by it.

But hey, sometimes you see greatness in the strangest places.

See you in the Chow Line,
-The Fat Kid

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fat Kid Reviews: Express Thailao

Express Thailao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I love strange little places. The kind of out in the middle of nowhere that make you for just a moment doubt the life choices that lead you to this series of events.

I jokingly start this entry off because that was my first reaction as my friend and I pulled into the out of the way strip mall in which Thailao sat. I can say that I was quite happily wrong.

There are many words you could use for the inside of the establishment, but I find humble is perhaps the most accurate. The decor was equal parts trying to hard and a little worn down. It wasn’t impressive.

But the moment we walked in, even before I could register the room or anything else, we were greeted warmly. The service was just amazing. All that were in the shop was the jovial and ernest man out front and the lady in the back. He hovered and took care of us like we were family coming in. It was just lovely.

We ordered the Chicken Satay, Chicken Noodle, and Massaman Curry.

He asked me if I wanted to make it spicy. “Medium spicy or Spicy” he said with knowing nod. I being a fool said “Spicy my good man!” (I didn’t actually say this but it makes for a better story.)

They serve their soda in the can which isn’t a mark against it, it’s just more of a personal pet peeve.

But the food. The Chicken Satay was delightful. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The peanut sauce was delectable and earthy. They also served it with this mixture of fresh vegetables in a spicy, sweet, vinegar sauce. Of eveything we had this was perhaps my favorite. There was this almost faint alkaline taste from the cucumbers that was just striking.

The mains were like the appetizer delicious. Unlike the appetizer they were spicy. The curry for me was the stand out of the two however. It had a nice burn to it but so many flavors dancing around it, with the coconut milk rolling in ease each bite.

Then there were the Chicken Noodles. Now first I must say that they were delicious. They were sweet, sour, savory, salty, all layered on top of each other. I almost couldn’t stop eating.


Because I’d ordered it spicy. And so now I know what it’s like to french kiss the heart of the Sun.

It was hot. I’m even sweating a bit remembering it.

However, if you aren’t as impulsive as I am, or think that our closest star is giving you the come hithers, then go here. Go to Express Thailao. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Like, Comment, and Share if that's your thing.

See you in the Chow Line,

Monday, July 17, 2017

Long time no see

I started this blog with the intent of doing pretty much what we've done. Review things. Talk about food. Throw down the occasion recipe.

And then it stopped.

I frankly got burned out. Trying to work full time in a very stressful education situation is like that. I didn't have the money to go out, and then I didn't have the time, and then I didn't have the energy.

So I just sort of... stopped.

I thought about reviving it, just about any time I ate something delicious. And occasionally when I didn't.

But things have changed again for me. And I'm gonna be giving this an even bigger shot.

I've started a Patreon! One that is not just devoted to my writings culinary but also other things. You are entirely welcome to support or not. It's been a long time so I totally get if you've lost interest. But I'm gonna be getting stuff on here. A minimum of once a month, two if I hit the goal.

SO I guess what I really wanted to say ultimately is...

See you in the Chow Line,

-The Fat Kid