Top Eateries: Utah Valley vol. 1


I'm not a foodie. I like food & we eat out more than we should so that is about as far as my food-culture goes. Also, the word "foodie" makes me feel weird. Besides the favorites of most (cafe rio, tucanos, etc.) here are some of our favorites around town.

180 Tacos [university ave, provo. cheap- but not as cheap as del taco.]
For the very brief time that I worked with a different company this year, my co-workers raved about this place. For good reason too.  I'm not from Southern California so I don't know the beauty of an authentic street taco but I do know the absolute deliciousness that comes from 180 Tacos Buffalo Chicken taco. They have an array of different tacos with different ethnic backgrounds. I know, it sounds weird but they do it perfectly. Also, when you go, make sure you grab a few of their green mints because they taste like an island getaway.

Pizzeria 712 [state, orem. moderately expensive- appropriate for a nice dinner out or if you are feeling spendy.]
You might lose all respect for me & dismiss me as not a credible food source, but in most cases, I don't like pizza. Regardless, my husband does so we gave Pizzeria 712 after our friends recommended it. If you choose your restaurants with ambiance in mind, this place is perfectly decorated- low lighting, brick oven exposed- it really is a dream. The food is awesome too. Normally appetizers are sort of a waste of money, in my opinion but I am so glad that we decided to put that mentally aside to try their braised short rib. Absolutely phenomenal. Their pizza also stole my cold-pizza-avoiding heart. Thin crust, homemade sauce, fresh topping. It's definitely not a little ceasers pizza that has been sitting in the warmer for six days.  (The speck, soppressata, garlic tomato, mozzarella pizza had been our favorite.)

Wallabys Smokehouse [center street, orem. middle of the road pricing, comparable pricing to cafe rio- I assume we all know that menu by heart.]
If I could choose my food pyramid without any repercussions, my entire menu would entail mashed potatoes. With that said, I harshly judge BBQ joints on their potatoes. While in high school, the boy I was dating at the time introduced me to Walllaby's smashers. They are perfect. In fact, I shouldn't be admitting this to the world, but you bet when I have two sides I get two sides of their potatoes. On top of that, their pulled pork is delicious & they have an array of sauces to choose from. You can burn your face off with some or go my route with their sweeter BBQ sauces. It's my jam.

*Honorable BBQ mentions go to Bam Bams BBQ [state, orem] & 5 Star BBQ [geneva, orem] Both are awesome but you know, Wallaby's has superior mashed potatoes. The sauce is better at 5 Star & the pulled pork at Bam Bams is the best I've ever had.

Chubby's [state, pleasant grove. cheap burger joint.]
My palate is probably for a 6 year old but I'm all about that chicken nugget & french fry life. No burgers in my house. (I have a complex with bread, normally.) Chubby's is a one of my favorite local diners. Their chicken strips are on point but really the star of the show tend to be their beer-battered fries. They are wonderful.

Ernies [center street, orem. cheap, cheap breakfast.]
Get the middle weight. Just do it. Cheese, eggs, sausage. Their breakfast sandwiches are awesome & cheap. I like good service like the next girl but Ernie's service is awesome. The staff there is always laid back & pleasant. If I could buy each & every one of you a breakfast sandwich from Ernies, I would.

[state, provo. you know, regular pricing like cafe rio.]
This is a good place to take your man to get a fatty, steak sandwich. McKay is credible & he loves their sandwiches but I prefer their salad. Not because I am trying to deprive myself of actual human food but because their tri-tip salad is the bomb. It's sweet enough that it nearly tricks you into thinking it's not filled with greens & hardy enough with the steak pieces. Plus, their sweet potato fries are the best around.

I think there will need to be a part two & a dessert edition of this series. So until next time, tell me your favorites!


  1. Okay, love this post! I can totally relate. Steve and I like to call our selves "foodies" even though we really probably aren't. ha We just like eating out a ton. And food is the best. I feel like my life revolves around it sometimes! Not. good. If you need any collaboration on this, let me know ;)

  2. No, no, no. The champ, at Earnie's. Hands down. It will blow your mind.

  3. Diego's [Provo, around the corner from Smiths. (200 north, 100 west maybe?) cheapish] Family owned, cool hispanic guy. The carne-asada-ish style of meat isn't my go-to, but the veggie burrito will have my heart forever. I know it sounds much too vegetarian and boring, but that baby is packed with goodness. I've moved out of Utah and I dream about it sometimes. Blake's favorites teeter between the carne asada and California burritos, depending on if he's craving a more authentic feel or a "fake Mexican" feel. (California burritos have french fries in them. Surprisingly divine. And for Blake, reminiscent of his mission in San Diego.) Also the place I first tried tacos de lengua and where I fell in love with the hubster. Give her a shot sometime when you're feeling like branching out from the beloved Cafe Rio.

  4. You missed State Street Grill (AF) - and you don't wanna miss that one. All real ingredients - made fresh that day - nothing FROZEN - the owners are this little couple who moved here from Boston, and they make a mean Boston burger. Also, have a chocolate shake (double chocolate). You won't regret it. Also, if you're into Thai, PLEASE don't pass by Aiyara Thai (also AF). Whoa - it's a complete dive, but the food is some of the best Thai I've ever eaten. And finally, for those of us who DO love pizza, come on - Pizza Factory? (Lindon) Those breadsticks, that sauce. Oh my.

  5. If you like Pizzeria 712 another (non-pizza serving) restaurant in their "group" is Communal, which is pretty expensive but worth the splurge now and again. Black Sheep Cafe in Provo is also another favorite.

  6. El Mexsal in Provo has AMAZING pupusas! Eat it with their homemade vinegar-y coleslaw stuff. It's amazing and super cheap. And, El Mexiquense in American Fork has tacos al pastor that are to die for.


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