Here it is, the most highly anticipated lunch time visit since I started Food Radar 7 months ago. Many people ask me for food recommendations in the downtown SLC area. While I can only recommend places I’ve been to, I always make sure to mention this place because it truly has been the talk of the town over the past year. I have a co-worker that always takes clients here and each time rants and raves over the quality of food. I really felt like I was “that guy” that had yet to visit Copper Onion. After today though hopefully my membership into the food critic community is complete.
The Copper Onion is located on 300 South just East of State Street right by the entrance to the Broadway Theatres. The decor is upscale contemporary. This place definitely has a lot of local flair and attitude. I enjoy eating at places I can’t eat at anywhere else. Not only is this locally owned and operated, but many of the ingredients of the delicious dishes come from Utah grown vegetables and meat.
I really felt like a little kid going to Disney Land for the first time. My co-worker and I shared a few laughs at our table as we were waiting to order. He had been talking this place up for months now, and he knew I was a food critic, so he admitted to me he felt a little pressure and hoped that I would like the food. My spider senses however were already tingling, and my inner Peter Parker already knew I was going to love this place.
Our waiter today had a pretty epic mustache so I knew immediately that this guy was going to bring his A-game and not steer us wrong. When I asked for Coke he asked if I wanted to try a Mexican Coke made with real sugar. Uhm okay …. yeah I guess. While I didn’t really taste any difference between an American Coke and a Mexican Coke, I guess I felt pretty cool about it. Si tome un Coca bien fria con hielo, y fue tan sabrosa. Se lo recomiendo. (That part I had to do in Spanish, because we were talking about Mexican Coke)
Also to cap off the beverage portion of our meal, our moustached waiter brought what appeared to be a glass milk jar, kinda like what you would see a 1960′s milk man bring to your door back in the day when my mother-in-law was less old. (I love you Carmen) I knew Copper Onion wasn’t fooling around with the service and presentation. I was taking notes. On with the food!
For our appetizer we went with Ricotta Dumplings which were made with lemon zest and thyme. Yes that is the same thyme that Art Garfunkel sings about in the song Scarborough Fair, so you know it must be awesome. There were three of them, so before my colleague Chad knew what hit him, I had already busted my dumpling out. Amazing! Before he could even sample his, he offered to let me have the third one, but I warned him, that before he gave me the third dumpling straight up, he might want to taste his in case he wanted to go halvsies. Yeah I should have just took that third dumpling, because we went halvsies on the last one. I felt like it might be in bad taste and etiquette to lick the dumpling dish clean so I exercised some self-control. After all, our main dishes were yet to come.
I went with the House Made Meatloaf. I would like to take this opportunity to file a formal complaint against Copper Onion for false advertising. They claim this meatloaf was made in a so-called “House”, but I know better. I actually now know they mugged Thor and stole the tesseract, and transported this meatloaf from Asgard, where it was food to the Gods. After my first bite, I had to look around. Sure enough this was my plate, and I was not in an out of body experience. This plate was the bomb! I know I’m accustomed to “ground beef” meatloaf at my own house, but this stuff was lamb, beef, AND pork. That is three different proteins. In my humble opinion, the more meat, the merrier. This dish was amazing!
Mr. Anderson had the pasta carbonara. Look how creamy that is? Look at it! Carbonara is pasta that comes with some type of bacon or pork on it and is traditionally in a cream sauce. Copper Onion uses applewood-smoked bacon. Luckily Chad gave me a bite with a nice piece of bacon on it. Bacon just makes anything better. I really think Sunshine Bear from the Care-bears should replace his rainbow with a picture of a bacon on his belly. That way when he does his Care-bear stares, he could probably vanquish his enemies 5 times as quickly. (How I went from pasta to Care-Bears I don’t know. Just know this plate was magic) (Also if you don’t know who the Care-Bears are, then get with the program!)
Last but not least, they also had steak fries with parmesan and herbs as a little side dish for my meatloaf. These were really tasty. I really wish I could come up with something else clever or witty to say about them, but I can’t. They were dang good steak fries.
You might be wondering why I have placed an image of Alexis Dziena here in this blog. Alexis was an actress from the movie Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I believe our hostess today was Alexis’ long lost twin. In fact when we first went into Copper Onion, I thought that she looked familiar and asked her if she worked at the movie theatre. She said that she did not but she had a twin sister that went to movies all the time. (cue Twilight Zone music) Chad and I spent a big portion of our lunch trying to figure out the name of the actress that our hostess resembled, and finally a few hours later back at the office, I found Alexis’ name.
There you have it. My fun in the hot Salt Lake City sun at the Copper Onion. I had waited so long, and my patience was finally rewarded. The food tasted even better knowing that it was a business lunch, and we got to charge the bill to “the man”. But even if your first visit to the Copper Onion is on your own dime, it will be a dime well spent my friends.
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