Utah Progress Report: Month 1

We’ve been in Utah for a month now! Since neither of us had been to Utah before, we didn’t know what to expect and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much we’re enjoying it here.

The thing we love the most is the outdoors and how accessible the mountains are. Our biggest gripe with Denver was that we had to drive a good 30-45 minutes to get to any trails in the foothills, but here they’re basically our “backyard.” We can’t help but be awestruck when we’re walking down the street and see the snow-capped peaks looming in the distance. And we’re only 2 miles away from the closest trail! Another thing that we can’t get over is how many rose bushes there are. We thought Portland had a lot, but SLC is giving them a run for their money. It seems like every yard is littered with giant bushes in a myriad of colors from yellow to red to coral and lavender. The city sure is beautiful in the spring.

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The weather has been nothing short of amazing. Sure, there have been some cool, rainy days, but for the most part we’ve had sunny skies and warm temperatures. It’s been great for getting out on hikes or just lounging around the pool after work. When the storm clouds do roll in, the skies get all moody and some really neat cloud formations hang over the mountain tops.

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Storm clouds over the foothills
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Afternoon work from the pool

We spend a lot of time just walking around and getting to know the neighborhood. A typical evening for us usually involves walking up to the Capitol and letting Snickers play in the grass or just checking out all of the interesting houses in the Marmalade District. We found out that many of the homes were built before the housing laws were enacted, so there are vastly different styles (we’re talking log cabin, Victorian, 50s style ranch) nestled next to each other. It’s been fun learning some of the history of the area.

Our apartment is just north of downtown right at the base of Capitol Hill. The views of the city from the rooftop are pretty spectacular. We chose this particular building because it has great amenities – we have a state of the art gym and a fantastic rooftop pool – but the drawback is there aren’t many food options around. We’re about a mile from the nearest coffee shop and restaurant, so grabbing a quick lunch or latte while we’re working isn’t much of an option. On the plus side we’re cooking a lot more at home than we have in a while!

Speaking of restaurants, we’ve hit up our fair share in the time we’ve been here. We’ve found a plethora of Mexican food and some really delicious Asian fare. Some places we’ve tried and liked:

  • Mexican food: Red Iguana 2
  • Asian: All Chay (Vietnamese), Hong Kong Tea House (Chinese and Dim Sum), Laan Na Thai, Korea House
  • Lunch fare: Spitz (Mediterranean style)
  • Sweets: Banbury Cross Donuts, Normal (soft serve ice cream), Fresh Donut and Deli
  • Pizza: The Pie (greasy and loaded – perfect after a hike)
  • Dinner fare: Pallet (good cocktails and charcuterie board)

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While there are some crazy liquor laws in this state (have you ever heard of brandy in a margarita??) there’s no shortage of breweries serving up tasty brews. The downside is that they can only serve 4% beer in the breweries, but the plus side is they’re pretty cheap. All of the breweries do make high gravity beers, you just have to buy them in bottles or cans and take them home – can’t drink them in house. Epic is the exception to this rule because of a loophole they use: it’s a “tapless” tap house (i.e. they pour from the bottles). They only have 6 seats, you have to be seated to taste, and also have to order food, but it’s a really cool space and concept.

  • Kiito’s: nestled in an old, industrial area of town it’s serving up tasty sours and ales. The row of pinball machines and a pizza food truck outside made it so we could’ve stayed for hours.
  • Fisher: great outdoor patio, and very dog-friendly. Decent beers on tap.
  • Mountain West: this is actually a cider house! We’re not the biggest cider fans, but they have some crisp brews that are nice on a hot summer day. They also have a large patio and serve beer from Red Rock if you’re not into cider.
  • Red Rock: not a tasting room, but right down the street and good place to get bottles to go.
  • Proper: huge area with a tasting room and restaurant. We just picked up a couple of bottles here, but would love to go back and stay a while.
  • Epic: It’s a very small tasting room, but worth it if you can snag a seat. The tasters are super cheap – ranging from 50 cents to $1 for a 2oz pour. We tried just about everything on the menu and it was all superb.

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All-in-all we’re thoroughly enjoying ourselves here and can’t wait to see what we get into the next few months!

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Utah is Snickers approved

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