Ah a New Year! Welcome 2013! Also a new job and a new geographic location in Sandy, Utah. I feel like I have this whole new playground to explore. My new co-workers have already been filling up my restaurant queue with their personal favorites. Us Salt Lake City folk all know that lately it has been flipping cold outside, almost as if we are being punished for having such a weak sauce winter last year, Mother Nature is surely taking her vengeance this year. Flick – If you are reading this, just stay inside. I guarantee you don’t want to go sticking your tongue on any metal flag poles this winter.
Some colleagues and I took off for lunch yesterday, knowing we needed something to warm and fill the belly. One of my best friends whose food knowledge has my respect and admiration, a fellow foodie like myself, suggested Saffron Valley in his coy, nonchalant way. I knew that when he tries to downplay a lunch suggestion like that, it could only mean, the place we were going was delicious. I admit the sign “Saffron Valley – Indian Street Foods” definitely intrigued me from the beginning, but I wasn’t quite ready to get all backseat Bradley with it yet. I have yet to review an Indian food restaurant on this site, and that is not due to lack of effort. I’ve been to a few Indian places, that I have deemed unworthy for pen and ink. I’ve yet to try the SLC famous Bombay House, so Saffron Valley I’m pleased to say is my inaugural Indian food post on FoodRadar. It was spectacular, and received rave reviews from every member of our Motley Crew of four weary travelers.
Half the fun from my first visit, was attempting to pronounce the many dish items on the menu. My friend suggested I go for the buffet, which I had to overcome my own personal reservations over buffets. As a rule of thumb, I don’t like rating a place on its buffet, but from a freshly prepared dish from the kitchen. I have found however, that at Saffron Valley, the buffet is watched over very carefully from the staff as if it were a small child. They did a remarkable job of making sure fresh food was always on hand, and the buffet stayed clean and presentable. Also due to time constraints, and the my initial “look over” test passed and cleared without any red flags, I went with the buffet.
The buffet was complete with all your Indian food favorites from the Chicken Marsala, to some veggie dish delights. They had some soft warm naan bread, along with some fantastic rice pudding. Also not pictured was this jalapeno corn chowder, that creaminess was too creamy to describe. It was a creamy little miracle, and dipping my naan into it made me giggle like a little school girl.
See how beautiful my first plate was? I combined several robust LTI components and sent over some create API for this final stage rendering. (just practicing on being a tech geek since I work at a software company now) On the bottom right you have your large pieces of naan, on the left warm coconut curry chicken over some fabulous rice, and in the upper right hand corner some cold (purposely cold) creamy salad, with little crunchy wafers mixed in. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was good. Finally, the naan was concealing somewhat some little fried things (bear with me as I get more familiar with the names of this stuff)
See that little nexus of green stuff in the middle? That quickly became a topic of discussion at our table. It was Saffron Valley’s jalapeno chutney sauce. My coworker made the comment, that he couldn’t recall the last time he has had a green sauce in SLC that he didn’t like. I agreed with him 100%. Moochies has the famous jalapeno mayo, and Andinita’s (see my arepas post) has some spectacular green salsa as well. I have a new rule now, that when I go out to eat, and they place offers green sauce of any kind, that I’m going to eat it. I mean if Popeye loves his spinach (green), and Doctor Seuss insists on eating green eggs and ham in a box and with a fox, I’m going to adapt to my eating lifestyle for 2013, that all green sauces are a go!
Finally we have a mango – yogurt – y drink that I just had to order. The gentleman who helped ring me up asked me if I wanted something to drink. None of the Coke products really interested me, so he told me about a concoction he could make that consisted of mango puree and yogurt. He seemed really excited in his explanation and really took the time to sell me on it, so I had to go with it. The cup was cold to the touch, and the drink inside, while not quite as frosty as the 15 degree weather outside, tasted like a mango smoothy and was awesome.
I really did fill up the belly as planned at Saffron Valley. The food was so good. I know I have a resolution this year to lose a few pounds, but perhaps 2013 doesn’t actually begin for a few weeks according to the Mayans or something. In your travels, if you do happen to meander down to the Sandy area for lunch, I would suggest putting this place on your personal map and radar. I’ll be going back very soon.