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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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

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.


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!


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

Lamb Skewer with Basmati Rice, $11.50

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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