Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #77857 posted on 06/10/2014 12:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm the first girl in my family (and only one of my siblings) to graduate from college. So all of my family are flying out to Utah in August to celebrate. I want to do a fun dinner, but am having trouble deciding on places. Can you give me recommendations? Here are my stipulations:
1. Not in Provo/Orem
2. Not too much of a niche cuisine, so that it appeals to more people
3. Not ridiculously expensive (I would like not to have to pay more than $15-18 a plate at absolute most).
4. I would like it to be a nicer, sit-down place.
5. Preferably not a chain (this isn't required, though)

If it helps, I have had suggested to me places like the Cheesecake Factory or some kind of steakhouse. Either of those are fine. My tastes are pretty broad, so fire away.

What do you think?

-grad girl

A:

Dear grad girl,

I had a nice tidy list of perfect restaurants for you until I realized you had specified NOT in Provo or Orem. I'm sorry for my reading comprehension failure. I think two good choices for your purposes would be a Brazilian barbecue or some good, authentic Italian pizza. Tucanos is a good place to go for the former, although I know some people prefer the very similar Rodizios. As for the latter cuisine, Settebello and Pizza Limone are two good options. Some quick googling will reveal all the various locations of these restaurants--I know that they all have multiple locations. They're good enough to forgive for being part of a chain, though!

-Divya

A:

Dear Grad Girl,

Recently I had the opportunity of being treated to a meal at HuHot Mongolian Grill. It was actually really cool. All of the food is cold and the meat is raw until you put it into a bowl with any number of combinations of different sauces. The whole thing is dumped onto a huge circular grill and cooked before your very eyes. Then they put it on a plate and you eat it off that plate. It was really good food though, and there is as much variation as you want, because you choose exactly what you eat. They have tons of vegetables and meats, and it's a buffet so go crazy! For lunch (pre-4:00) it's like $8.99 and I think dinner jumps to $14.99. Anyway I really liked how they streamlined the process. I think Spanish Fork is the nearest location. That's my two cents.

Hobo

A:

Dear Basil,

Some of my favorite dinner options are:

Mandarin - It's Chinese and in Bountiful. Everything I've tried there has been delicious.

Sampan - I usually go to the one in Sugarhouse. Also Chinese food. My favorites are the Sampan beef and chicken lo mein. Plus I love the wonton chips with sweet and sour sauce they serve you while you're waiting.

Settebello - Divya already mentioned it, but it's seriously very good. It's in downtown Salt Lake and they cook their pizza in a wood-burning oven. There's a gelato shop attached, but I've always been to full to visit it.

La Jolla Groves - This is in the Gateway and has a ton of healthy food. I liked the apple-glazed pork loin and lemon roasted chicken.

Maddox - In Brigham City. I think it's worth the drive, though. I've only gotten the petite filet mignon, and I love it. Also the rolls are fantastic as is the chocolate cream pie (all the pies are good, that one is just my favorite).

Dragon Isle - This one is in Sandy and has been a favorite of my family. We are all very addicted to their lemon chicken.

Normandie Cafe - It's in Holladay and I've admittedly only been there for breakfast and dessert, but their butterdream cookies are to die for!

California Pizza Kitchen - Always a very safe option. There's one in Gateway and one at Fashion Place.

Little America Coffee Shop - They've recently had a remodel and redone their menu. It's traditional American food.

PF Changs - Who doesn't love PF Changs, right? It's downtown in Salt Lake.

Porcupine Grill - I LOVE the food here, but it's always very crowded and very loud if you go during peak hours, so if you don't want to talk to each other, this could be ideal.

Wild Grape - This one is a little pricier, but they're frequently changing their menu and often have very interesting food combinations to try.

-Marguerite St. Just