Archibald’s located at Gardner Village is located in South Jordan, Utah. Let me see if I can take this opening paragraph to describe Gardner Village for you. It is arts and crafty type place located on several acres filled with little shops, and always decorated well during the holiday seasons. Guys – You won’t find any manly stores here like Best Buy or Home Depot, but you will find a Quilt Store and a few doll stores. Rule of thumb is, if you come here with your wife and her friends, plan on making your way over to Alton’s candy store. (The only thing that keeps me sane at Gardner Village) Now I am being a little harsh with this description, Gardner Village isn’t that bad of a place, and I guess we all have our inner Martha Stewart. Kids seem to like the little stream that runs through it with all the geese, and there is also some farm animals that you can have them ride on. Gardner Village is also a popular place for photographers as there are some nice backdrops spread throughout the property. Located at the entrance to the village is a restaurant known as Archibald’s that was built as an old mill. Archibald Gardner was the original owner of the property, in one section of the restaurant is a room with pictures of each of his 8 wives above each table. This place certainly captures a lot of Utah history.
The closest thing ambience wise I can compare Archibald’s to would be like a Cracker Barrel. The food, however, while similar in selection, I found to be much better in quality and taste. We ordered an appetizer to the table and went with their signature Fried Green Tomatoes. This appetizer was awesome. One thing I certainly appreciated was the fact they give you plenty of dipping sauce for the tomatoes. I can’t stand when you order something that comes with a tiny sauce cup, and you run out. (Think about the nachos you get at the movie theatre.) The tomatoes were breaded and deep-fried to perfection. If you come here for the first time, be sure to try this plate.
I love me some free bread, and these loaves came with some spreadable cinnamon butter. Free bread can be tricky for me. My mind always says “Take it easy Hyrum, you don’t want to ruin your appetite with bread”, but my mouth says “Feed me, Feed me, this stuff is so good!” I guess you can decide how much to eat. :)
The menu had the words “Archibald’s Original” next to this yummy dish. There was plenty of food here. When you order pasta, you want to be sure you order some tasty stuff, because too much of something can get old quick. I wondered if this would be too lemony for my tastes, but it turned out to be just right. There was a good creamy sauce with a hint of lemon to it, and the grilled chicken added just the right amount of savory taste to make this dish work nicely. If Flavor + Aroma = Taste, then this dish was excellent.
My wife went with the Santa Fe chicken salad for her meal. She loved it. What I liked about this salad, is it is very easily converted over into a wrap if you want. You can kind of choose how many calories you want to eat. Throw the tortilla in, then you have a few more, dump the dressing cup over everything, then you have a whole lot more. hahaha. She gave me a few bites, and I gave her a thumbs up in approval.
I’m notorious for not ordering desert when I go out to restaurants. By the time I’m finished with the appetizers and entrée there is just no more room in the belly for anything else, besides the fact I’m trying to keep the bill down and save some money. I guess the only exception to this rule is when I go somewhere with famous deserts you just can’t pass up like a Cheesecake Factory for example. Archibald’s ladies and gentleman, has a desert that makes absolutely no sense to pass up. Let me explain why. The cake only costs $4 bucks. And that does NOT mean that the serving size is small for one person. When I first ordered this desert, that is what I had in mind, that each one of the 5 people in my party who were already full could maybe get a spoonful of the cake and be done with it. No. This cake was BIG and it was HEAVY, and it was MOIST! We each took like 5-6 good size bites, and we were still going at it. If you feel like you have lots of extra room left in the tank, then by all means order your own slice, hell, I might even order my own slice next time, because that means I could take what I don’t finish home with me. This carrot cake is the best I’ve ever tasted anywhere. For the price of one slice of Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake, you can get two huge slices of this yummy godliness. No question a great value!
I loved going to Archibald’s. If you are going to Gardner Village, you might as well plan an extra hour in for this place. They have some great food, and a lot of interesting things to see. Next time I go, even if we don’t have time for dinner, I’m going to be sure to stop by for some of that carrot cake!