Utah, Day 1: Food Network

No matter how great a season is, I consider taking an out of state snowboarding trip at the end of March as somewhat of a gamble. Spring conditions are not unbearable, but when you spend that much money, you expect to get something better than slush. I didn’t really have a choice this time around since this was the only time Henry could take off – this trip was a belated birthday gift for his dirty 30! 😀

Day 1

The flight to SLC is pretty easy, about an hour and half flight time. We took a taxi from the airport to the Hertz downtown because non-airport locations usually cost less. We probably could have taken the bus, but with all our luggage, spending an extra $25 for a taxi was well worth it. While my reservation was being processed in the store, I was offered the option of dropping off the car at the airport with no extra charge. SWEET!!!! As for our car, we were given a newer SUV with lots of cool features, none of which I have in my own car so now I totally know what I’m missing.

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Since we had a few hours to kill before check in, we stopped by Les Madeleines to try their famous pastry. The Kouing-aman was featured by the Neelys on The Best Thing I Ever Ate and also on their own show, Road Tested. The outside of the pastry is caramelized and the inside is fluffy and flaky; it’s like… caramelized croissant bread pudding! To me, it’s too sweet when eaten alone, but perfect between sips of coffee. My only complaint is the price – $6+ is a bit steep for these little babies.

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Limit 6 (without 72 hour pre-order), about $6 each

So you can’t visit Salt Lake City and not check out Temple Square, right? I’m not a member of LDS, but I can appreciate the beautiful buildings and grounds.

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Right across from Temple Square is the City Creek shopping center. Apparently it was grand opening weekend and we were entertained with a performance of 2 Legit 2 Quit (no joke) followed up with a mash-up of current popular songs.

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I still don’t know who this group is…

Walking around for a couple of hours got us hungry so we headed to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I know, I know.. Mexican food in SLC?! But this place was highly rated on Yelp (currently 4.5 stars with 437 reviews), so we had to try it.

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Red Iguana is known for their various moles. I had a hard time choosing which to order so our server let me sample all 7.

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A: Amarillo
B: Coloradito
C: Poblano
D: Verde
E: Negro
F: Red Pipian
G: Lomo de Puerco en Mole de Almendras

The Mole Amarillo had the most kick, but I fell in love with the Mole Negro because of it’s smoky, nutty flavor. We always try to order a variety of dishes so instead of another mole, Henry ordered the Poblano Plate. Red Iguana serves legit Mexican food, but I think we both agree that the mole was the better dish.

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Mole Negro – The king of moles…dried chile mulato, negro pasilla, Mexican chocolate, raisins, peanuts, walnuts & bananas – tossed in chicken or turkey, $15.70

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Poblano Plate – One sour cream chicken enchilada, Taco a la Iguana, beef tostada and a side of guacamole, $12.45

I didn’t even realize it until we left, but we were on a mini Food Network food tour; Red Iguana was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!

After lunch, I was food coma status so good thing it was time to check in.

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I loved everything about our condo. The Energy Solutions Arena (Utah Jazz) and Temple Square are just a block away, good restaurants (like Red Iguana) are close by, and you can drive to the new Harmons grocery store in a matter of minutes. There is a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, washer/dryer in the unit and secured parking. At $95/night, WHAT A STEAL! The only negative, as other reviewers have noted, is that the unit is right next to a gas station so noise could be a problem. But overall, it was a great base for our snowboarding trip since the mountains (Snowbird, Solutide, Brighton, Park City, Canyons) were an easy 40 minute drive away. If anyone is interested, I found the condo through VRBO.

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I loved the big sink and big stainless steel fridge (not pictured)

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Huge jacuzzi tub and TWO shower heads!

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We finished our first day in SLC with Middle Eastern cuisine at Mazza. The food was delicious, but overpriced. Chicken, potatoes and rice for $18? Ouch.

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3 sides Sampler Plate: Baba Ganooj, Lamb Sfiha, Fried Kibbeh (not pictured), $11

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Lamb Skewer with Basmati Rice, $11.50

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Mazza’s Chicken and Potatoes Mutabbak

——–
SLC Eats (+our verdict):
Les Madeleines, 3.5/5
Red Iguana, 4/5
Mazza, 3/5

(to be continued…)

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