Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eliane French Bakery in Orem, Utah


This is one of those places--not much to look at on the outside, in fact, it's sort of a bad location, BUT.....

....delicious goodies on the inside.

Left: Napoleon Right: Lemon Cheesecake

Butter Croissant

Raspberry Mousse

Left: Strawberry Pie pocket Right: Case of desserts.
Flavors of pie: strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, cream cheese, and almond. You heard me.

Chocolate Eclair
The chocolate eclair was soft with a delicate texture and the chocolate was perfect. The whole thing was not too sweet--just right.

Top Left: Meringue topped w/ Chocolate & Heart-Shaped Sprinkles (my son's choice)
Bottom Right: Fruit Tart

Fruit tarts practically top my list of "favorite desserts." Sometimes the crust is too crispy or the custard is too waxy, but this one I fell in love with. Now I know where to go for my favorite fruit tart. Hooray!

When you need a little something sweet, do stop by. The owner is very friendly. Staying true to French custom, remember to greet with a "bonjour" and leave with a "au revoir!"

Eliane French Bakery on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pizzeria 712 in Orem, Utah


"The funny thing is we don’t need to be hip foodies or cool cats to eat well. 
All we need is a little time and a good place to sit." -Heirloom Restaurant Group

I'll tell you right now that when we found this place in 2008--about six months after they opened--we finally settled ourselves in Utah County. 

Yes, Pizzeria 712, you made that big of an impression on us. 

Lemme explain......

complimentary pita & hummus

When we moved to Orem we found out it wasn't as easy in Utah County--as opposed to Salt Lake County--to find good, local places to eat.... 

We followed the crowds. 

We stood in those fifty-minute-standing-room-only waiting areas *coughcoughChili's coughLosHermanos coughcoughBrickOven* and when we finally sat down for our meal, the food was boring, bland or too salty, low-quality, and we were shocked that people would wait so long for just okay, or in some cases gross, food. 

We stopped following the crowds.

We were going to have to find the good places with our own eyes and taste-buds.

You see, Mark became a UPS driver and suddenly he was able to seek out restaurants while en-route. With his eyes on the area and my eyes on the computer (Yelp, Urbanspoon, Foodspotting), wallah, we found Pizzeria 712. Their air conditioning wasn't even working yet!

This menu changes on a regular basis according to what's fresh, local, & in-season.
My favorites are always replaced with more favorites.

appetizer: ricotta gnocchi, robert's mushrooms, corn, gremolata
Gremolata: condiment typically containing fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest, & garlic.

Wood-fired pizza made with love.

salad: arugala, squash, jacob's cove cherry tomato, crouton, feta, parsley viniagrette

Heirloom Restaurant Group's food really represents this quote well.

If you want the best ingredients you must use fresh, local, and in-season. The Heirloom Restaurant Group gets many of their ingredients from local farms and suppliers: Clifford Family Farm, Jacob's Cove, Rockhill Creamery, Amano Chocolates, Christiansen Family Farm, La Nay Ferme, etc.

Pizza from a previous visit:
house-made sausage, caramelized onions, fennel, tomato sauce, hand-pulled mozzarella
pizza: clifford farm summer squash, mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, garlic, purple basil

custard pie, allred orchard peaches

I don't think I could ever live more than 20 minutes away from this place.

previous visit

Pizzeria 712 belongs to the Heirloom Restaurant Group. They run another excellent restaurant in downtown Provo called Communal (try them for breakfast--or anytime....), and they also cater. Pizzeria 712 and Communal really tie for first place in my book. Update: They recently acquired Mountain West Burrito--my other favorite restaurant! We miss Joe, but so happy he left us in good hands.

And yes, we take our kids. As always, clean up after your children, don't let them roam around the place, bring things to keep them entertained, and if they start acting up, take them out.

Reservations recommended, but not required.

Pizzeria 712 on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 9, 2011

Joe's Cafe in Orem, Utah


You guys.....

Located across the street on the West side of the University Mall in Orem, there you will find Joe's Cafe. Parking in front or back.

My mom ordered the ABC (avocado, bacon, cheese) omelet with a side of hashbrowns. I absolutely love crispy hashbrowns. 

So Joe loves being photographed. You can kinda sorta tell by the wall that is PLASTERED with pictures of he and his customers. I think he's in about 99% of those photos.

I left feeling like I just gained a brand new best friend. You won't forget this character.

Behold, Joe's biscuits and gravy......  Chunks of biscuit and ground turkey throughout make it incredibly comforting.

"Slap Ya Mama" (isn't that a terrible name? ha!) cajun seasoning is shipped straight from the South.

I love a plate of silver-dollar sized pancakes.
You could taste the well-seasoned griddle--and very buttery!

Okay, story time about these grits. 

My mother and I were discussing grits and how we're not a big fan because we like our hot cereal to be sweet. Southern grits are not sweet. I suggested we try these grits because maybe they are incredibly good savory grits (plus, Joe almost wouldn't let us leave the counter without ordering some--almost gave us some for free, but we insisted on paying for it). We ordered the grits, and to our surprise, they were sweet! Creamy, buttery, not-too-sweet. I asked Joe if he usually makes sweetened grits. He said "no" and that he had to make them sweet for the Utahns. He said that with love, not annoyance. He was completely happy to accommodate for our sweet tooth here in Utah. He said before he made the grits sweet he was throwing out big pots of grits. After he made the grits sweet he goes through two large pots a day. He says people come in just for a bowl of grits, they are truly that good. 

I'm thinking Utah County finally has a location worthy of "Diner's, Drive-Ins, & Dives"?

Facebook: Joe's Cafe

Open Mon-Sat from 8am-4pm.

Joe's Café on Urbanspoon