Posts Tagged ‘UT’

Black Bear Diner, Salt Lake City, UT

24 March 2016

Black Bear Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had dinner here with work friends Monday evening. It was close to my hotel.

I had the roast beef dinner, with the standard sides. It was decent, mostly fork tender, and had decent flavor. It wasn’t the best roast beast I’ve had, but it was good for dinner that night. I had chicken soup instead of a salad.

The iced tea was OK. Service was really spotty. We didn’t get flatware until the meal was tabled, and getting drink refills was on the slow side.

My check was $17.88. I am on the fence here. I have been to a number of the Black Bear Diners in various parts of the West. I think that quality has been dropping, and I wonder if the BBD is falling to prepackaged food as a result of expansion. I hope not.

Robert’s Restaurant, Salt Lake City, UT

23 March 2016

Roberts Restaurant & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had dinner here this evening. It was very near my hotel, and pretty good.

I started off with a Caesar Salad. Good dressing, needed a bit less of the hard parts of the lettuce stalks.

I had a steak on my servers recommendation. I got the 10oz New York Strip, medium. It wasn’t fork tender, but on the other hand it was cooked a perfect medium, and had great flavor. The steak had a pile of very good mushrooms on it, and the sides were mixed steam veg and rice pilaf.

The iced tea was excellent, I am pretty sure it was Earl Grey. Service was just fast enough, and friendly. My check was $22.63. I would be glad to go back.

Blue Plate Diner, SLC, UT

8 March 2016

Blue Plate Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Since I’m on a theme of diners…

Back on 30 September, I was on a business trip to SLC, and had been hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I remembered that I had tried to have dinner at Blue Plate Diner back over the summer, but they had just closed when I got there. I was earlier this time.

I had a chicken fried steak, mashers, and green beans. Classic blue plate special. These guys claim country cooking. None of it was very good. That’s not to say it was bad, as in bad tasting. The problem was that none of the food had much of any flavor. The CFS was pretty tough. It had little flavor. The gravy was the right consistency, but again, little flavor. The iced tea was OK.

So, the meal was bland. I would not go back unless I somehow found out that they had upgraded their beef. The iced tea was OK, and service was friendly enough, although a touch on the slow side. My check was $15.54.

Canella’s, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

Cannella's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One evening, a group of us that were attending the same meeting had dinner at Cannella’s, near downtown. One thing I noted was that the menu seems fairly limited. I had Fettuccine al Fredo with chicken. I had asked to have the grilled chicken sauteed, and my server agreed, but the chicken came back not only grilled, but just a piece of grilled chicken on top of the noodles, and a miserly amount of al Fredo. The tea was a mint tea, and pretty weak.

Service was friendly enough. We had a group of 10. My check was $18.87. There wasn’t any extorted minimum tip, which I liked.

Apollo Burgers, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

Apollo Burgers, 143 N. Redwood, SLC

I had lunch at this location one day, and it was super busy, but looking at both the Zomato and Apollo Burgers websites, the location does not show.

Regardless, I had a double cheeseburger with fries and a drink. It wasn’t the best burger I’ve had, with minimum flavor and a burger with little texture. The burger was, however, far better than Sonic or Braum’s. The fries were OK.

Like I said, the place was packed at lunch. The staff was friendly. My check was $10.43. I would probably eat at another Apollo Burger, to see if this one was just a little below par.

B&D Burgers, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

B & D Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

First, let’s look at B&D Burgers. On my first day in town, I was looking at a couple outdoors places for a new pair of boots. I found B&D and liked it as it was on the way to the general area I was headed to, and it was a burger place.

I was not impressed. I ordered a double cheeseburger, onion rings, a milkshake, and a soda. The milkshake and soda were the best part of the meal. The rings were burned, and the burger just didn’t have any flavor at all. None. I can’t recommend it. My check was $10.00 for everything except the shake, and a couple extra bucks for that.

R&R BBQ, Salt Lake City, UT

16 July 2015

Click to add a blog post for R&R Barbeque on Zomato

This was pretty good! I picked the place for dinner based on Zomato reviews, and as a bonus, it was only three blocks from my hotel. We had a group of eight meet at 1920. The place was packed! We ended up snagging one of the outside tables and dining al fresco, which was nice as the temperature was perfect. One of our guys reported that the brisket had run out.

I got a three-meat, with brisket, ribs (2), and a smoked chicken breast. I have to say, that was some darn good BBQ. The brisket (I got it sorta wet) was tender, moist, and tasty. The ribs didn’t have a lot of bark, but they did have a good, smoky flavor, and there was a decent about of pig on the bone. The chicken was very good, only a touch dry way down deep. It was a decent amount of food. The hush puppies were loaded with jalapenos, which was too bad.

They only had Gold Peak tea (a depressingly common thing in SLC), but the DP was pretty good. Service was counter but friendly and fast. My check was $19.67, not too bad.

This was very good BBQ in SLC. Recommended.

Nico’s, Salt Lake City, UT

15 July 2015

Click to add a blog post for Nico's Restaurant & Lounge on Zomato

This place was GREAT! It’s close to where I was in meetings, fast, and great food.

I had lunch at Nico’s yesterday with a work friend. We got there just before noon and left about 45 min later. When we walked in, I saw a freshly served #3, the pork chili verde burrito. EXCELLENT! Flavorful and tender pork, the chili verde was the perfect heat, and the burrito was the right size for lunch.

The only slight downer was a lack of iced tea. Our server suggested “agua de Jamaica”, which was brewed hibiscus flower. It was super sweet. I also got a half liter Mexican Coke, strong and cold.

Service was super friendly and fast. My check was $12.91. This place was very good. Be warned, it’s small, only eight or so tables. Recommended.

Dick Clark’s Bandstand, Salt Lake City Airport, Salt Lake City, UT

25 October 2010

Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill on Urbanspoon

I had a 3.5 hour layover at SLC Sunday morning, and needed breakfast. My coworker Mark and I selected this place mainly because you could sit down for a while. We got there at 0815, and left about 0905. The Bandstand serves the full menu in addition to the breakfast items. There are a lot of photos on the walls from the Bandstand TV show (one of the best was the young Osmonds (except Marie, too bad!) in wild costumes).

Not a good start – the tea was concentrate, and was terrible. I switched to water.

I got a sirloin steak with eggs and potatoes. The steak was very small, about four oz. It was cooked a good medium, but it could have been more tender. The steak had good flavor, and wasn’t peppered up like a lot of places do to add “flavor”. The eggs were over easy as requested, and the potatoes were pretty standard. You also get a couple half slices of toast. All was good enough that I didn’t leave a scrap.

My check was $14.32. For the amount of food, and the quality, and the fact that it’s in an airport, not bad. Except for the (alleged) iced tea. Service was OK, could have been better.

Driving from Bryce Canyon to Grand Junction

6 June 2010

The original travel plan had to been to head out from Bryce Canyon mid-morning, then go through Capitol Reef and Arches National Parks, before arriving at Grand Junction in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, a really late departure from Las Vegas got us into Bryce near dinner, pushing back my desired hike to today, and so pushing back our departure to after lunch.

We left the Bryce area close to 1400 local. We drove east on UT 12, a truly beautiful drive. It starts out descending into Bryce Canyon, with hoodoos everywhere, along with soaring rock faces, and then runs through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The terrain runs from hoodoos to huge red rock bluffs and cliffs, to volcanic ash to a beige rock.

This is the large structure that we saw from west of Bryce Canyon on the way there yesterday.

This is looking west back towards Bryce Canyon.

There were still lots of hoodoos around.

And also some hoodoos in the making.

After the National Monument, you go through a series of steep climbs and steep descents, including one 10 degrees down.

Eventually, you end up at an overlook for a really pretty overlook for the Escalante River canyon. The road dives steeply down to a river crossing, at about 5200 ft elevation, then back up and up and up, along the canyons along Calf Creek. The views here are amazing, but…

As you go along north, Now, running along the spine of a set of mountains. As you get up to about the 6400 ft level, you are running along the spine of a ridge, with steep, 1000+ft dropoffs on both sides of the road. At a couple points, you have only a soft shoulder on either side of the road, then AIR.

After this, you go through the town of Boulder, and then some really pretty forests that are a combination of pine and aspen. As you drive up Boulder Mountain, the trees give way to mostly aspen. Since we drove through in early June, the leaves were bright green, and just beautiful. There are a couple overlooks along the way – stop at ALL of them.

We made our way around Boulder Mountain to Torrey (UT 24), then west through Capitol Reef National Park, and through a virtual moonscape of hoodoos and rock formations of every color.

At Hanksville, we turned north, and went about 40 miles along a treeless landscape. I have to admit, I opened up the car along this stretch. You occasionally pass rock formations, and after a while there was a nice set of bluffs along the west side of the road.

This was a spectacular, if slow drive, with stunning scenery. There is little cell service, but there are enough little towns along the way for drinks and food. I’d recommend gassing up in the Bryce area.

We had dinner in Green River, and then headed into Grand Junction on I-70. The last thing we took a photo of was a small lenticular cloud.

This was the last photo we took for the day, but there was still amazing mountains and ridges and other views on the way to Grand Junction. Great drive, great views.

Ruby’s Inn Restaurant, Bryce Canyon, UT

6 June 2010

Ruby's Inn on Urbanspoon

Ruby’s is right outside the entrance of the National Park. It’s a large complex, a hotel, store, gas station, etc. One hint – today, the gas across the street (a Sinclar’s, IIRC) was $0.30 less a gallon. We got there around 1245. The place was immensely crowded with tourists. There was a babble of language around us – French, German, British, Spanish, and American. There were even some Asian languages, but I couldn’t pick any out easily.

The restaurant part has a buffet for lunch, or order from menu.

Ian and Raegan ordered from the menu. He got (surprise!) a cheeseburger. It was pretty good, even if he was horrified it came on a Kaiser Roll. Fries came with it. Raegan got a Chef’s Salad with ranch. It was huge. She ate about 50% of it, and I ate most of the rest.

Erin and I got the buffet. It had some fried fish, roasted chicken, some chicken nugget-looking things, some beef rib ends, and some veg and bread and stuff. At best, it was OK.

Service was OK in sptie of the fact it was super crowded. Our check was $47.91.

I would not recommend the buffet. I do not think it was a good value.

Bryce Canyon Lodge Restaurant, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

6 June 2010

Bryce Canyon Lodge on Urbanspoon

We got to Bryce Canyon towards dinner last evening, and although it was kind of early, the front desk advised that they were three tour buses inbound (nice of them!), and so we had an early dinner. We got there around 1700.

The restaurant is open and large. It is NOT air conditioned. The outside temp was around 85, but we were not uncomfortable.

I ordered iced tea. I went through two glasses very quickly, and our server brought us a medium carafe after that.

I started with the white chicken chili, and Ian got a Caesar salad with his. The chili was pretty tasty, but had almost no spicy flavor to it. It didn’t have much chicken either. The Caesar was nice, the dressing had just the right amount of bite to it.

Raegan ordered the salmon and said it was very good. It came with rice. Erin ordered the kids pasta alfredo and liked it. I tried it, and it was good. It had an unusual taste to it, kind of an aftertaste, that was not unpleasant, but not standard alfredo either.

Ian ordered prime rib on my recommendation (he had been on the Cheeseburger Diet, and we wanted him to vary). I ordered it medium, but it came well done. That’s really not that bad an idea for a kid (teenager), and it was still tasty and pretty tender. He got fries with it (sigh). I ordered a ribeye (12oz). It was cooked medium as I liked, and was pretty tender. I’ve had worse beef. Mine came with some very good rice.

Service ended up being fairly slow. I was doing a slow burn to begin with since we had left Las Vegas way too late, and were late getting to the park, and I wanted to drive out to the south end, so the delay in getting our check cleared was annoying. In fairness, our server had a couple other tables, including a party of about 10 that took a lot of her time, but…

Our check ended up at $99.31. About what I would expect for a fairly big ticket meal in a National Park. We left at 1820, and had a glorious drive to the end of the park.

Ray’s Tavern, Green River, UT

6 June 2010

Ray's Tavern on Urbanspoon

After a long drive from south central to central Utah, we connected with I-70 and headed towards Grand Junction. The next town was Green River, and since we were all hungry, we stopped there for dinner. We got there around 1730.

The place looks like a rathole from the outside. Inside there are a couple pool tables that are free.

I got iced tea, and it was excellent! Just what I needed.

I ordered a ribeye steak. I wanted it medium, and it came just shy of that. However, it was tender and very, very tasty, one of the better steaks I have had recently. It came with a baked potato with butter and sour cream.

Ian got a cheeseburger. It was 1/2 pound, and really good. The fries were pretty standard.

Raegan and Erin both got loaded baked potatoes, and both were good, they said.

We left about 1845. The service was not terribly attentive, but I only ran out of iced tea once. Our check was $42.73, and was good value, I suppose. You could do far worse for a steak in central Utah.

Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park

5 June 2010

This evening, the family went out for some stargazing. The sun set around 2045, and we waited until 2145. We walked about a quarter mile from the lodge, found a road, and stood there for a good hour and a quarter.

We ended up laying down on the road and staring straight up.

When we first went out, there was still a bit of sunlight to the west, but it got darker there quickly.

We immediately started seeing meteors. We saw about 20 while we were out. There seemed to be a radiant that was in the high NNE.

We also saw a number of satellites, about 10 total. There were a couple cool things. First, an exceptionally bright sat that moved south to north about 35deg above the easy horizon. It faded, then after going another 20deg or so, it brightened significantly again. I think it was an Iridium.

We also saw three sats in the sky at the same time. There was one that twinkled so much, it must have been tumbling or spinning very rapidly.

Saturn, Venus, and Mars were up.

A great way to spend an evening!

Some Cool Things From The Air, 04 April 2010

14 April 2010

I flew back home from Salt Lake City on 04 April 2010, via DFW. Saw some pretty neat things.

As we left SLC to the south, we flew back west, then north, then between Salt Lake City and Prov0, then turned back to the SE. I had an indistinct view of the copper mine southwest of SLC. The big copper smelter got a good look:

This is a pond used to hold tailings runoff. Note the distinct copper-blue color.

It’s hard to tell through the clouds, but that’s Hill Air Force Base in Provo, UT.

After we flew over the Wasatch, I saw this lake. It took some Googling, but this is East Canyon Reservoir and State Park, UT.

We flew over the Unitas Range in Utah. This mountain range is distinctive in that it is the only range in North America that runs west to east. I was astounded by the sheer amount of snow! These are some pretty tall and very rugged mountains, but they were almost completely obscured by huge snows.

This extremely rugged area features Mt Agassiz to the bottom of the picture.

I have not been able to find any names, but from a bit of Googling, these mountains are the home of Upper Ottoson Lake and Lower Ottoson Lake.

We flew for a while with clouds obsuring the gound. After a bit, I got a view of the ground, and saw this. It is Lake County Airport. The town of Leadville, CO is off to the upper left of the photo.

One thing that is cool about this airport. It is at roughly 9600ft. Off to the south end of the runway, the terrain drops off about 500ft. Hope you’ve got airspeed…

Just a bit farther on, we had a great view of Pikes Peak.

Just a bit farther on, we crossed the Front Range area. This is the Canon City, CO, looking east.

I saw this structure just a minute later. From a bit of map reading, it turns out that this is the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX), i.e. a “supermax” prison, in Florence, Colorado. Looks quite cheerless.

This is a nice view along the Arkansas River in the Colorado plain. The facilities are cement mines or manufacturers.

This is Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain again, from the south.

Again in the theme of cement, this facility is just south of Pueblo, CO. I did a lot of web scouring with no luck; Google shows the facility, but it is clearly under construction. I sent the photo to the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, and a very helpful reply came back a couple days later that it looked like the new Grupo Cementos cement plant. That led to an annual report, which included a photo of a facility that looked a lot like the shot I took. So, I call it a state-of-the-art cement plant that feeds on limestone. There is a pit to the NW that is on “Lime Road”.

We flew southwest for a while. I was on the left side of the airplane. Philmont and the Sangre de Cristos were off to the right.

We overflew the Oklahoma Panhandle, then into the Texas Panhandle. This is Boise City, OK.

Just southeast of Boise City, I saw these two groups of wind generators. I am utterly fascinated by these. My very cute and long-suffering roommate has been subjected to several episodes of driving to wind farms just to watch them. The little town in the distance is Texhoma, TX.

This is Shamrock, TX. I barely looked out the window in time to get the camera fired up.

This is Mangum, OK, in the southwestern part of the state.

The quality here isn’t really good, but this is Lake Altus and Quartz Mountain State Park in southwestern OK. I’ve been camping there, and hiked and rock climbed all over it.

This is Altus, OK, and then a closeup of Altus Air Force Base. I’ve been down here twice to see the Shuttle on a refueling stop.

After we landed at DFW, I got on another Super 80 for OKC. This is the Dolese crushed-limestone quarry that is on the northern edge of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma.

We also overflew the National Weather Center on the OU Norman campus.

This is the Native American Museum on the banks of the Oklahoma River southeast of downtown Oklahoma City.

I have another shot of the museum from a previous trip, and you can see that some progress is being made in construction.

Finally, we flew a little farther north over Oklahoma City, and so we got a good view of the Zoo, part of Remington Park, and the National Softball Hall of Fame.

That’s it!

Chubby’s Mexican, Salt Lake City, UT

3 April 2010

Chubby's on Urbanspoon

This mexican restaurant was recommended by the staff of the facility I was visiting. Another guy and I drove over for lunch. We got there at about 1130. The place was about 10% filled.

The iced tea was really good, in big glasses. I ordered the enchaladas. There are three to an order. They come cheese filled by default. I asked for two chicken and one ground beef. They were pretty good. They came with a little shredded lettuce and some diced tomatoes, and were literally drenched in enchalada sauce. It had just a bit of a bite to it. The enchaladas were kind of small, but tasted just fine.

When we left about 1215, the place was about 80% filled. The check for the two of us was about $15.

The Green Pig Pub and Grill, Salt Lake City, UT

3 April 2010

Green Pig Pub on Urbanspoon

I picked this place pretty much randomly. I had a recommendation for an Italian place near downtown, but it was out of business. I saw another interesting place, so I parked and walked there, but even though it was supposed to be open, they had closed early. The Green Pig was just down the street, so I gave it a try.

It was not a good start. I sat down and was roundly ignored for about 15 min. Finally, a server came over and took my drink order, for iced tea, as usual. It was another 10 minutes to get it, and it was HORRIBLE. It was a nasty mix of tea and coffee flavor. After about another 10 minutes, I finally got a menu, and I asked the server for Coke instead. It’s worth noting that a half hour later, she was picking up that vile swill, and asked why. I told her, and she said that yes, the tea and coffee were made from the same equipment, was that a problem? I suggested that they bleach one set of equipment and just use it for tea. Somehow, I don’t think my advice will be followed.

I arrived at about 2000. The place was about 80% full. Little eating (except for some appetizers) was going on, mainly it was drinking. After a bit, the front door crew turned up the volume on the the TV right over me, since a Jazz game was on. It was right on the borderline of my asking to turn it down.

The dinner menu was limited. I got a sorta-Cuban sandwich. The sandwich was pretty good, it was pressed and hot. The ham was really good. The fries that came with the sandwich were excellent – hand cut, fried to just the right level of crispiness, and they had seasoning salt (a little much in a couple cases, I brushed encrusted salt off into a nice layer on the bottom of the basket).

I left about 2100 – the place was full. It seems that the main part of the crowd was in their 20s and early 30s. The door people were actively checking IDs of every person – except me (grrr…), I may have to shave the beard off. The place has wifi that is fairly good. My check was $11.50. The service was not very good, but one of the male servers picked up the slack for my designated server.

Big Moes Eatery and Bakery, Price, UT

2 April 2010

Big Moe's Eatery and Bakery on Urbanspoon

I took a little drive into the Utah mountains this afternoon. I ended up in Price, UT. Since it was near dinnertime, I was looking for chow. I saw a billboard on the way into town for Big Moes. Since I personally know a Big Moe, and he is an alright guy, I thought that boded well. The billboard also said they did Dutch Oven dinners – I just about drove off the road, drooling liberally.

I found Moes without any problem, and got in there about 1700. There was one table occupied (out of about 15). I ordered iced tea. It was good, but unfortunately it was tainted with coffee flavor. I switched to Dr. Pepper, which was good.

I asked my server about the Dutch Oven dinners, since they were not on the menu, and she informed me they didn’t do those any more. Crap, I thought to myself.

Instead, I ordered from their extensive list of burgers. I got a half pounder with cheese, mayo, lettuce, and pickles. The burger got there pretty quickly. It was cooed medium (I prefer burgers to be medium well, but I didn’t specify this time). The burger was outstanding! It had a wonderful beef taste, and a great texture to it as well. The burger began to disintegrate as I ate it, but I managed to get it all down before I had to use a fork to finish it. That was a great cheeseburger.

I got fries with it. They were handcut, and really good. For the second time today, I got asked if I would rather have catsup or fry sauce! I got the fry sauce again, and this was just a touch more spicy, and was really, really good with the burger.

I left at 1735. My check was $9.00. I would eat here again.

Iggy’s Sports Grill, Salt Lake City, UT

2 April 2010

Iggy's Sports Grill on Urbanspoon

I was driving around in the SLC area today, and picked this place mainly because I drove past it.

I got there around 1215. The place was only about 25% full.

Being that it is a sports bar, the menu leans towards sandwiches. I ordered iced tea. It was good, and while it ran out a couple times, I didn’t have to wait long for refills.

The meal starts with a load of sourdough type bread and a sweet-and-spicy sauce to dip it in. The spice was not too hot.

I ordered a “Philly With”, which is a play on the true cheesesteak “wit”. The sandwich arrived quickly. It was not bad, which is not to say it was good. The sandwich was medium-thick roast beef, with some sauteed onion as a layer, and some cheese on top (Amereican on half, provolone on half). Now, if you presented this sandwich as a cheesesteak in Philadelphia, you might get shot for your trouble. It was not a true cheesesteak. The onions should have been chopped up and cooked with the meat to begin with. I can understand not using Cheeze Whiz, but the cheese should have been melted/integrated in with the steak part of the putative cheesesteak. The sandwich came with au jus for dipping – again, a sign of a French Dip instead of a cheesesteak.

The default side is fries. I asked for onion rings instead. They were GREAT. Needed more than the limited number that came with the meal. The rings were the best part of the meal.

I learned something about Utah today – I was asked if I wanted catsup or “fry sauce”. I looked at the server and the expression apparently on my face made her ask “you’re not from around here, are you?”. Fry sauce is a mix: ([catsup | BBQ sauce] + mayo). This is essentially what Red Robin serves with onion rings. The stuff at Iggy’s was more mayo than red stuff, but it was good.

I was at the Jordan Landing location of Iggy’s – there are several over the SLC area.

I left around 1315. The place had maybe ten tables filled. My check was $13.37. The service was pretty decent. If I ever go back, I will get something else, just because I have a very high standard for cheesesteaks after having one from each of the Big 3 in Philly.

Hiking Mount Olympus, Salt Lake City, UT

1 April 2010

I flew into SLC Tuesday, and had enough time to go for a hike. I had done some research, and found out about Mount Olympus, which overlooks the city. After I checked into the hotel and packed my pack, I headed out.

The trailhead is on Wasatch Boulevard off of I-215. There is a parking lot with room for maybe 20 cars, and there isn’t any gate (I note this, since in a lot of places in California, they close the gates to the parking lots at ridiculous early times like 1730).

I started hiking about 1250.

First, of all, a common theme: this trail is steep! There was one place where the trail swooped down and then back up to the same starting altitude, but otherwise it was pretty much relentlessly up!

There are some big boulders on the lower parts.

This is looking back down the trail from the boulder above. You can see how steep it is, and how much loose stuff is on the trail.

This is looking towards downtown Salt Lake City. The white cloud is the dust plume that I saw from the air flying in.

There are a couple places where there are trail branches. I followed one (it was FLAT), and found this little hollow. The wind was blowing fiercely out of the SW; the news reported that the winds were 35 mph gusting to 50+. I would believe it. This hollow was out of the wind, and was a great resting place.

After a while, you get up into an area where it’s not quite so barren. These scrub trees went up quite a ways, and also protected from the relentless wind.

This was from a nice resting place. The snowy area across the way has part of the trail. I ended up near the top of it before I headed back down. Note the trail on the lower left, this is the only downhill part of the hike up; the trail dips down, then back up.

There is a small stream on the trail. The sign at the trailhead says it is 1.5 miles up, but my GPS said it was 1.9.

This was at the bottom of the snowfield. The going got pretty slow here due to the snow, and the fact that a lot of the trail had sand and dust, and was steep and wet.

Along here, my camera batteries started to expire, so I have a couple Blackberry photos also.

This is over at the snowfield you see in the previous photo. Every other switchback was progressively more snow covered. A couple guys I met around here (they were coming down) were carrying crampons, but had not used them.

Topwards the top of the snowfield I noticed these clouds moving in over the valley. The wind had been screaming in from the southwest, but these clouds were moving along the surface to from North to South.

At this point I decided to head down. As the cloud swept over me, it turned out to be just a fog, and the wind largely died off. But it started to get really cold, and the light was starting to fade. I added my sweatshirt, and I put on a pair of cotton gloves since my hands were getting cold.

The following pictures didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. There is an amazing amount of variety of rocks here, color and texture is amazingly variable.

I really like the veining in this one.

This is a shale rock. I saw shale jutting out at several points along the trail.

These two rocks were in close proximity, and had such different colors.

I got off the trail about 1700. The GPS round trip mileage was 4.77 miles. The altitude gain was about 2400 feet. I was absolutely beat. This was a very hard hike. It was beautiful both directions. I ended up getting about one mile from the peak. If I had another hour (and stronger thighs!) I would have made the summit.

I saw four people coming down as I was going up. There was at least one person who stopped at the creek and headed back. I also say another three people going up as I was headed down. A lot of the people had dogs, very cool.

This was a really nice hike, and fairly strenuous. Very enjoyable.

One thing I was surprised at – the lack of wildlife. I saw not a single squirrel. I heard a couple birds on the way up. On the way down, I saw several jays (they would almost have to be Stellar’s Jays), a couple small perching birds, and two – quail. These last two were about 30 feet off the trail.

23 May 2010 Update

I downloaded my GPS yesterday and figured out how to get the track exported onto Google Earth. It is presented here. You can see where I stopped on the way up, and how much farther it was to the peak of Mt. Olympus.

Midvale Mining Cafe, Midvale (Salt Lake City), UT

1 April 2010

Midvale Mining on Urbanspoon

I drove past this place last night when I was headed back to my hotel, and thought it would be a good place to try. This afternoon after I visited the Utah Natural History Museum, I headed that way.

I got there about 1745. They place was about 15% full.

I ordered immediately. I asked if the CFS was breaded there, and my server said it was not, but it was very good. I opted for a New York Strip.

I got the soup of the day (vegetable beef). It was hotter than heck, but very tasty. With the snow coming down outside, the soup was psychologically excellent.

The iced tea was good as well. It was kept refilled.

My steak was very good. It was closer to medium well rather then the medium which I ordered, but not too bad. It had good flavor, no gristle, and little embedded fat. I ate every scrap.

The meal came with a bunch of green and wax beans. I ordered rice pilaf for my starch (I find myself liking french fries significantly less over the past year or so). I also got sauteed mushrooms, and they were a perfect complement.

One thing about this place – they serve a “scone” with the meal. I think it’s not an English scone, it’s more like a flattened dinner roll.

I left around 1900. The place was still about 15% full. My check was $20.76. The service was pretty good. Overall, this was a very good meal.

Mo’s Neighborhood Grill, Salt Lake City, UT

31 March 2010

Mo's Neighborhood Grill on Urbanspoon

I picked this place using Google Maps on my Blackberry. It was only a couple blocks away from the hotel I am staying at, so I walked there though a light snow.

I got there about 1115. There was one table occupied. I got iced tea as usual – it was GREAT! In a big glass no less. I knocked back three of those glasses over lunch.

The meal came with a plain salad. The ranch dressing was really good. You also get a couple slices of wheat bread and butter (yes, wheat!).

I ordered the house speciality, chicken pie. It got there about 15 min later, and it was steaming hot, with a side of chicken gravy. This was a really good pie, tons of chicken, and with some carrots and peas in it. Mostly chicken, though. The pie crust was really good also. The pie was about eight inches across, a very filling meal.

Mo’s has wifi. They were playing ESPN on a big screen, and had a really good rock station (103.5 FM) playing on an overhead speaker, not too loud.

So overall, this was a great lunch. When I left around 1230, there were only about four tables occupied. My check was $9.68.

Porcupine Pub and Grille, Salt Lake City, UT

31 March 2010

Porcupine Pub & Grille on Urbanspoon

After a punishing hike, I wanted some dinner that was close to the mountains. The Porcupine filled that bill.

I got there around 1730, and had about a ten-minute wait. The place was pretty much full. Some reviews I read before I went there talked about how it was a favorite of skiers, and it is just outside the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

I got iced tea (very good) and gunned the first glass down. The glass was refilled promptly and often.

The selections on the menu were kind of limited. There were a number of genres represented, but just not that many items to choose from. I really wanted a steak, but they only had filets, which I am not particularly enamored of.

I ordered a cup of chicken curry and rice soup to start. It was good, but didn’t have much chicken in it. It was mostly rice and curry sauce, and while the curry was good, it was not spicy in the slightest.

My entree arrived before I finished the cup of soup. I got a cheesesteak without the red and green peppers. It was pretty good. It came with fries.

I ended up the meal with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

The service was very good. I left at 1920. My check was $21.31.