Category Archives: Utah

Best Road Trip Food & Drink of 2018

Sought and Found 4

Best Coffee: Caleb and Kitty Leung make exacting coffee in their gorgeous Sought and Found Coffee Roasters in Calgary, Alberta

Vancouver Island 4

Best coffee mugs: Katy Fogg’s sublime, hand-thrown mugs, at Tin Town Cafe in Courtenay, B.C.

East Calgary 13

Best brunch: Deane House, Calgary

La Baguette muffin

Best muffin: La Baguette, Revelstoke, B.C.

Edmonton coffee 21

Best doughnut: Made-to-order Portuguese-style doughnut at Edmonton’s Ohana Donuterie

Southeast Arizona 36

Best Bakery: Don Guerra’s Barrio Bread in Tucson, Arizona

Vancouver Island 17

Best bakery treat: Focaccia bread at Fol Epi in Victoria, B.C.

BreadMeat 3

Best sandwich: Meat balls on ciabatta at Meat & Bread in Calgary

Southeast Arizona 11

Biggest Feed. A tie: Sandwiches for three (three days!) at Salt Lake City’s Grove Market

B.C. West Coast July 2018 17

And the Oinker At Bubba’s Big Bites in Chilliwack, B.C.

Grande Prairie 1

Best Mexican: Owner James Nelson and his made-to-order corn tortillas at El Norteno in Grande Prairie, Alberta of all places

Southeast Arizona 231

Best hot dog: Can’t beat the Sonoran hot dogs in parking lot Ruiz in Tucson

Sunshine Coast 49

Best beer: Belgian-style Townsite Brewery in Powell River, B.C.

Vancouver Island 27

Best burger: Chucks Burger Bar, in Sydney, B.C.

Edmonton coffee 6

Best complimentary breakfast: The Le Creuset pots were the clincher at Hyatt Place Hotel in Edmonton

Atco Cafe 6

Best restaurant architecture: ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Cafe in Calgary

cspace market 1

Best farmers’ market: cSPACE in Calgary

Market Bistro Canmore 5

Best service: Brande at Market Bistro in Canmore, Alberta

Southeast Arizona 255

Best gas station experience: Maverick in Fillmore, Utah

Monkman iPhotos 17

Best foraged food: Wild huckleberries on Monkman Pass Trail near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

Southeast Arizona 272

Best dining experience: As always, incomparable Carmen making fresh tacos in Hamer, Idaho

Pictures From a November Road Trip to Southeast Arizona

 

Southeast Arizona 64

November is a perfect time for hiking in Tucson

Southeast Arizona 1

Hoar-frosted lines on the long, glorious drive down the I-15 in Montana

Southeast Arizona 7

Never too soon to promote Christmas: Willard Bay State Park north of Salt Lake City

Southeast Arizona 10

Sandwiches for three at Grove Market in Salt Lake City

Southeast Arizona 40

Trendy Welcome Diner in Tucson, Arizona

Southeast Arizona 59

Feathery cacti at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Southeast Arizona 106

Wild turkeys in southeast Arizona

Southeast Arizona 109

Hole in the U.S.-Mexico fence near Montezuma Pass in southeast Arizona

Southeast Arizona 117

Sign in Bisbee, Arizona around mid-term elections

Southeast Arizona 126

Wintering sandhill cranes at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, northeast of Bisbee, Arizona

Southeast Arizona 132

Majestic Gadsen Hotel in the border town of Douglas, Arizona

Southeast Arizona 143

Superb, eroded volcanic rock pinnacles in Chiricahua National Monument in southeast Arizona

Southeast Arizona 180

My first sighting of a coatimundi in Chiricahua National Monument: Three feet from the car window; never paid attention

Southeast Arizona 218

Razor-wire fence surrounding U.S. Border Patrol compound, near Willcox, Arizona

Southeast Arizona 231

Can’t visit Tucson without a trip to Ruiz’s for a Sonoran hot dog

Southeast Arizona 234

Early-morning red rock driving near Page, Arizona

Southeast Arizona 237

Power plant near Page, Arizona at dawn

Southeast Arizona 249

“Can I park your yacht for you, sir?”

Southeast Arizona 255

The Maverick gas station experience in Fillmore, Utah

Southeast Arizona 263

Swans along Highway 91 in southern Idaho

Southeast Arizona 270

Hoar frost above hot spring along Highway 91

Southeast Arizona 272

The incomparable Carmen making fresh tacos in Hamer, Idaho

Southeast Arizona 278

Dead great horned owl at a rest stop along the I-15 in central Montana

Spring Road Trip to Tucson, Arizona

Tucson 2017 149

Sonoran Desert landscape in Tucson, Arizona

With winter persisting well into April in Calgary, it was definitely time for a spring road trip to the U.S. southwest and its warming sun. The destination this time was all the way south to Tucson, Arizona—a trip involving plentiful hiking, eating and drinking.

But as they say, the journey is often as important as the destination. So before I delve more deeply into Tucson eats and drinks over the coming weeks, here’s a pictorial sampling of road life on the three-day route down and on the way back.

Tucson 2017 12

Road trip breakfast of chilaquiles at MartAnne’s Burrito Palace in Flagstaff, Arizona

Tucson 2017 14

Early April snowstorm in Flagstaff (elevation 7,000 feet), 2 hours north of Phoenix

Tucson 2017 18

Hanging out with the cool coffee crowd at Lux Central in Phoenix

Tucson 2017 48

Two jumpers in the Wave Cave near Apache Junction, east of Phoenix

Tucson 2017 54

Peeking into the kitchen at Porter’s Cafe in Superior, Arizona

Tucson 2017 58

Open-pit mine south of Superior, Arizona

Tucson 2017 59

Outside Oracle Patio Cafe in Oracle, Arizona

Tucson 2017 65

Chalet Village Motel in Oracle, Arizona

Tucson 2017 86

Aquarium fish at the Desert Museum in Tucson

Tucson 2017 89

Sculpture in Metal Arts Village, Tucson

Tucson 2017 252

Homeward bound: Lunch line at colourful Lone Star Taqueria in Salt Lake City

Tucson 2017 258

Tacos Antojitos Naucalpan in tiny Hamer, Idaho: There’s no place like it

Tucson 2017 254

Run by the incomparable Carmen

Tucson 2017 261

Tesla super charging station in whistlestop Lima, Montana on the I-15

Tucson 2017 267

Hills outside one of my favourite U.S. towns, Dillon, Montana

Tucson 2017 271

Hitchin Post, Melrose, Montana

Old-School Diner in Snowville, Utah

Mollie's Cafe is a classic diner just off the interstate in tiny Snowville, Utah

Mollie’s Cafe is a classic diner just off the interstate in tiny Snowville, Utah

A woman peers over the high counter as I enter Mollie’s Cafe in Snowville, the last Utah outpost on the I-84 west before it enters Idaho.

“Are you a salesman?” she asks, perhaps noticing the nylon briefcase slung over my shoulder. “Because if you are, I’m not buying.”

“But, hey,” I counter, “aren’t you selling something? Like, maybe, food?”

“I’m just the cook,” she laughs.

Lots of barstools and red vinyl booths. What's not to like?

Lots of barstools and red vinyl booths. What’s not to like?

Mollie’s is the kind of place you enter as much for the colour, the character and the conversation as the food—and the food’s pretty damn good for a classic country kitchen.

I go for a classic BLT on sourdough, lots of crunchy bacon to offset the tomatoes. Nicely done, with a side of chunky vegetable and beef soup. There’s nearly a dozen fresh fruit and cream pies to tempt, but with hours still to drive, I don’t want to fall into a food coma.

The classic diner fare is bountiful and affordable

The classic diner fare is bountiful and affordable

Of course, the soup comes with crackers

Of course, the soup comes with crackers

Mollie’s Café
15 Main Street, Snowville, Utah
Daily 6 am-10 pm
435-872-8295

A Classic Small-Town Utah Diner

The Parowan Cafe is a classic small-town Utah diner

The Parowan Cafe is a classic small-town Utah diner

I once, in younger years, literally jogged up Brian Head Peak, an 11,300-foot mountain near Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah. If I’d been better informed, I would have first headed to nearby Parowan Cafe to carbo load for the wheezing run.

It’s a classic small-town diner, in business for some 80 years in well-kept, wide-street Parowan (hey, it’s Utah). The menu covers breakfast and lunch classics such as a hot sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.

My steaming, three-egg omelette arrives stuffed with crumbled bacon and melted cheddar and a generous helping of hash browns to fill out the platter. Then there’s my “side” of two pancakes, each covering a dinner plate. I could have run a marathon on these cakes alone.

Breakfast for one: Carbo loading for a major run

Breakfast for one: Carbo loading for a major run

It’s a slow morning, with many of the regulars off for the opening of a deer hunt with black-powder rifles. So the cook and waitress come out to chat for a while, no doubt eying my pathetic attempt to make a dent in the hotcakes. They’re just too damn big to hide under a napkin.

“May all who enter as guests leave as friends,” a sign at the back reads. I think we’ve got that covered.

Could have used a car wash after this muddy run up Brian Head Peak

Could have used a car wash after this muddy run up Brian Head Peak

Parowan Cafe
33 North Main Street, Parowan, Utah
Daily 7 am-9 pm, except 8 pm closing Sunday

Great Thin-Crust Pizza With an Extra Topping of Friendliness

Nicely blistered pie at Centro Woodfired Pizza in Cedar City, Utah

Nicely blistered pie at Centro Woodfired Pizza in Cedar City, Utah

I’m not sure if there’s something in the rarified air of Cedar City, Utah (elevation 5,846 feet), but the folks at Centro Woodfired Pizzeria are just so darned friendly. The staff all smile broadly each time they walk by my table.

They welcome a group of youth volunteers on a fundraiser; no surprise, these beaming teenagers are soon helping bus tables. The server even apologizes when my pizza takes all of 10 minutes to reach the table.

The nice thing about Centro’s pizzas is they don’t gild the lily. My $12 pie has but three ingredients: roasted crimini mushrooms, creme fraiche and thyme, atop a thin, blistered crust. Good stuff.

Pizza isn't the only bread product pulled from the wood-fired oven

Pizza isn’t the only bread product pulled from the wood-fired oven

And if that’s a bit charred for my liking, they’ll happily undercook it a bit. Enough!

P.S. The woman in charge of the youth volunteers says she used to oversee similar volunteer projects in Southern California. These often involved helping the homeless or picking up litter. In Cedar City, she says with some astonishment, “they don’t have either.”

Centro Woodfired Pizzeria
50 West University Boulevard (Center Street), Cedar City, Utah
Monday to Saturday 11 am-10 pm. Closed Sunday, of course (it’s Utah!)