Running in SLC
Salt Lake is almost surrounded by mountains, so it felt like I was always running up into the mountains or down back from the mountains. I missed Atlanta’s rolling hills! The altitude also makes running tough if you’re not used to it (I was not).
My favorite place to run from downtown Salt Lake was along City Creek. City Creek Park is at the corner of S. Temple and State. From the park it’s a short run through a neighborhood to the City Creek trail, which is a wide paved trail that’s closed to motorized vehicles. It’s pretty well shaded for Salt Lake (which seems to be in the desert), and runs alongside a pretty creek with wildflowers and some mountain views. It’s a climb on the way in, and downhill on the return. I saw a few runners, more walkers, all of whom were incredibly friendly. It’s not abnormal to run past a couple of walkers and hear, “have a good run!”
Food & Drink
Salt Lake is no New York or even Atlanta, but I had some nice meals during my stay. The highlights were a couple of smaller spots that I would never have spotted without the assistance of Yelp.
Favorite lunch: Robin’s Nest
This small sandwich spot hits the mark in both price and quality. I got a lunch meal deal for $9 that included a delicious sandwich, chips or orzo pasta salad (vegan, yummy, made with toasted pine nuts), and a dessert (chocolate macaroon), and a drink (make an Arnold Palmer with their freshly prepared iced tea and lemonade!!). I got the Natural sandwich, which has portabellos, red peppers, artichokes, onions, spinach, provolone, and yummy garlic spread. Highly recommended!
Favorite dinner: From Scratch
This little restaurant is full of natural light, and has a charming ambiance to go with great food and helpful service. The risotto cakes are a signature appetizer, and did not disappoint. These cakes are made from risotto made from scratch in-house, fashioned into cakes and fried. The cakes are served with a red pepper sauce and topped with arugula. They are as good as they sound. We also had a caprese salad, which was made with chunks of tomatoes and mozzarella rather than slices, which was actually easier to eat than the typical slices. The tomatoes were locally grown small heirloom tomatoes and were so tasty.
The main course options are somewhat limited – pizzas, burgers, or you could make a meal of salads and small plates. I got the mushroom pizza, which was divine. I couldn’t stop eating it. It has arugula, caramelized onions, assorted mushrooms, goat cheese, and mozzarella. A colleague got the roasted beet salad, which would have made me jealous had my pizza not been so amazing. Especially considering how good the food is, it’s a great value – with appetizers and $12 beers, we still made it out under $30/person. I’ll go back on any future visit to Salt Lake.
Local beer pick: Epic Brewing Belgian IPA
I think Epic Brewing only distributes its beer in 22oz. bottles, which is kind of a cool touch. It’s the first brewery to brew exclusively high alcohol content beers in Utah since Prohibition. I tried a few of their beers while in Salt Lake, and the Belgian IPA was my favorite.
I wouldn’t say Salt Lake is a destination city, but I did check out the Salt Lake Temple. Non-members of the Mormon church don’t get to see much, but the square is pretty and is bustling with tourists, foreign missionaries, and church members.
Overall, it’s a clean city with all the amenities I needed for a work week. Also, if you ever find yourself on a eastbound flight leaving in the early afternoon and landing after dinner time, the Delta Tapas Box is not a bad in-flight option. It has hummus, pita chips, olives, crackers and bruschetta, apricots, almonds, cookies, and dark chocolate.