Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pizzeria 712 in Orem, UT

In Southern California, you have access to amazing food everywhere. The availability of fresh ingredients makes for better food. When we were getting ready to move to Utah, Ethan and I were bummed about the restaurants we were leaving behind. There are so many restaurants we love and they aren't in Utah. So I knew I had to find me some good food, made by people that love their job. Unfortunately, that isn't found in a big chain restaurant. But doing a little research as proved fruitful and we have found some great food. Here are some restaurants that are worth going back to again.

Spark in Provo, UT
Gloria's Little Italy in Provo, UT (get the gnocchi with pink sauce)
Diamond Grill in Salem, UT
Los Three Amigos in Payson, UT
Pizzeria 712 in Orem, UT

The latest was Pizzeria 712. Loved it, mostly because it's a seasonal restaurant. Any restaurant that changes with the seasons is a good thing. That means you are getting food at it's peak of perfect. If they are cooking seasonally, it is obvious these people know what they are doing.

Ethan and I went there on Friday at about 9:30 pm. No wait, which was nice. We started with the boneless braised short rib on polenta with horseradish cream. Amazing. The meat tasted as it should. Not like some marinade or rub, it tasted like meat. It's a shame they only gave us one. But then again, the pizza is big.

Speaking of pizza, I ordered the pizza with butternut squash, caramelized onion, bleu cheese, slab bacon and rosemary. And got it sans cheese, because I am a loser. The crust is perfect. It is so thin you can see through it. Ethan got the pizza with tomato sauce, fresh basil, hand-pulled mozzarella and he added bacon. I am pretty sure he liked it. I never let him get a word in because I wouldn't shut up about my pizza.

Next was dessert. Buttermilk panna cotta with mandarin oranges. Smooth, sweet and just the right amount of tart. The oranges were really complimentary. Although, I could swear they spiked those. I don't drink so that's kind of a problem. After eating the panna cotta, I started talking a lot and even went up to the chef and flirted a little. But the man needed to know he is running a tasty tight ship. I am one of those weird people that likes to talk to the chef of a restaurant.

When I was talking to him, I asked him how often he changes his menu and he said that when he starts seeing new produce coming out, he starts experimenting. That genius. He knows his craft well. He also makes all the desserts. None of that ordered Sysco stuff. Ethan requested that he starts making creme brulee. Ethan loves creme brulee like he loves my long hair.

So where is your next date night in Utah Valley? Pizzeria 712. Prepare yourself. Some of the best food I have had in Utah since I got here.

Hey, any suggestions for more good eats around the Frozen North?
And please do not tell me Bajio. I no likey.


AzĂșcar said...

Bajio sucks.

I adore 712, they really know what they're doing.

Here's a little place: Four Seasons Hot Pot and Dumplings in Provo. Make SURE that you order several types of her made-to-order dumplings, they are divine.

Sam Hawk for Korean on Freedom and 7th north in provo.

Las Tarascas next to Albertson's on the diagonal for great Mexican in Provo.

Bombay House is only open for dinner but really worth it.

Thai Chili Gardens on 8th north in Orem is fantastic.

Dew - a Vietnamese sandwich place on 8th north Provo under University PLaza. Yes, you read that right, Vietnamese sandwiches, plus pastries and those great tapioca drinks. Dew is inexpensive and open late--must go.

Elaine's French Bakery (closed Sundays and Mondays) in Orem for great baguettes and nice pastries. They also have sandwiches and croque monsieur.

I went to Yapona in American Fork the other day and had some terrific sushi. I've been impressed by their beautiful presentation.

errin julkunen-pedersen said...

okay. i usually don't like sharing my favorite restaurants because i don't like other people being there when I want to be served, but in this economy, I feel obligated to help out businesses that might be struggling, especially when they are AH.MAZ.ING.

Forget Bombay House. Go with India Palace. A) It's open for lunch (with a wicked awesome lunch buffet) B) After going there, you'll feel like Bombay House is watered down. I have never tasted anything there that doesn't have me over the moon.

1 word. SHOGA. Best sushi/Japanese food in Utah County. Easily. By a mile. The atmosphere is cool, upscale, but the food is reasonably priced. And the sushi. My word. You will not regret going. It's in kind of a crappy location (right next to Outback in Orem) where many restaurants have failed, but you will not regret patronizing this joint. I could go on and on and on. Their lunch specials are awesome, too. And they have the best miso soup I've had. Ever.

I must be hungry. But seriously, these restaurants are amazing.

*For decent (not great, but pretty good) Greek food, check out Ultimate Broiler on State in Orem.

errin julkunen-pedersen said...

Oh. I forgot about Bangkok Grill. In the strip mall where Zurchers is on 800 S. in Orem, just off state street. Beats the pants off any Thai place down here. The Green Curry is rock your socks off. And their Tom Ka Gai will make you believe in miracles.

AzĂșcar said...

I'm so going to Shoga for the miso!

A said...

Dear Rookie-Cookie,

I've been a blurker for the last week. I never leave comments for those I don't know, but I discovered your blog while I was home sick on Monday and have been slobbering ever since. Your dishes make me drool. Alas, I live in St. G or else I might list all the reasons why we could be friends, but since I'm not in the area, I will share a few of my favorite eats since my family spans Utah County--from P.G. to Genola.

1) The Family Tree in Santaquin--I don't love everything there, but I do enjoy their vegetable beef stew and scones (one feeds a family of four nicely). I stop regularly in the winter for take-out when I am headed to my mom's. Besides, it's fun to see the crazy family photos that line the walls. Very Utah!

2) Joe Vera's in Provo. They have the BEST chips and salsa. In addition, I really like the ambiance. Call me strange, but it has a geriatric feel (not a lot of kids--don't get me wrong, I like kids but not always when I'm enjoying food), so it's a great place for intimate conversation. My favs include the world-famous Bandito along with the Toastada Loca. The enchilada crepes are yum-me too!

3)Speaking of kids, Taco Amigo is your best source for fast food that's actually good. You'll find them on state street in north Orem and in PG too. May be I'm biased since I dined there daily for lunch during high school, but I do adore their bean and cheese burrito and french fries and fry sauce and root beer freezes. Most importantly, they serve fresh strawberry shakes in June for Pleasant Grove's Strawberry Days festivities and fresh peach shakes in mid-August/early September just because. You will want to mark your calendar now for both the strawberry and peach shakes. Even when I lived in the San Fran Bay Area, I made it a point to come home during those time frames just because I love their shakes so much. Sure I love my family too, but I really love those shakes.

4) Many of the other eats mentioned are tasty too, and if you ever make your way to SLC, be sure to check out Trio and order the rosemary flat bread, and don't forget The Blue Plate diner for breakfast. The eclectic crowd and tasty food is always a pleaser any weekend. I'm also in love with Red Rock Brewing Company (I've never had better rootbeer) and the little pizza joint that's just next door (I forgot the name). Le Cai on State Street (not to be confused with the uppity French restaurant) has the yummiest Vietnamese food for a pleasant price, which would be a perfect place to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year, and I do love Sawadee on North Temple/ South Temple, I forget which one exactly, for yummy Indian food.

Okay, I really am stopping, but I do have to mention The Foundry Grill at Sundance. Need I say anymore? And Shirley's bakery in Provo. They have the most delicious pull-a-parts.

So, there you have it. Enjoy, and if you ever make your way to St. G, be sure to check out 25 Main for lunch or dinner (they have a fun cupcake bar), The Bear Paw for b-fast (get the stuffed french toast or the oatmeal--it's gourmet), Haven (for dinner or lunch--I really like their meatloaf) and Scaldoni's for something a little more fancy.

Signing off hungry. . .! Good luck and enjoy.

Morgan said...


Nicole Shelby said...

Hey - I met you briefly a few months ago, and I've been following your blog ever since. (I'm Jodi's sister)

At the end of February, we are moving up to Utah - Orem area. Most people keep warning us...but, this is great! As soon as we get there, we'll have to celebrate by going to Pizzeria 712. It sounds beyond amazing.

Question. My husband and I are a little concerned about the shopping situation. WE love getting our fruits and veggies and cheeses and and and from local Market stores - fresh from the farms and gardens. Forget supermarket produce - where do you shop up there?

any tips, suggestions, etc for life in Utah would be amazing!

cat+tadd said...

Happy birthday dear sister! Let's go to Spark sometime this week during lunch to celebrate your birthday! My treat!

Me again said...

I also vote for Sam Hawk. (get the bulgogi!)

But would add La Dolce Vita. Very good, VERY authentic Italian. Also nice when you can just take a walk up the block and get gelato at Maestro Gelato for dessert.

Kar said...

People all over America are having parties for you today. Happy Birthday!

Brian and Niki said...

I have moved north from Happy Valley to the booming metropolis of Sandy. However, I did frequent many a restaurant. The Bombay House has one of the best rose lassi's I have ever tasted. Magelby's Fresh had great french toast. I also liked The Smokehouse for casual stuff. I hear they have migrated to Spanish Fork! Everything "A" mentioned was great. If you are willing to drive a little, I have found some amazing little places here. I could totally show you around. Besides, your sis (Cat) and my sis (Kate) are buddies. You can trust my judgment!

c jane said...

We just did Spark on Friday night. It made us very happy to not have to travel distances to eat well.

Very happy indeed.


M said...

Whit, if you love 712 like we do, you will LOVE Cafe Trio in SLC. It's on my "We Likey" list of eats. We mostly go there for the incredible creme brulee...which it Ethan would drool over...but we also love their barbecue chicken pizza. The atmosphere is swanky too.

eRiCa said...

Everyone mentioned the ones I was going to suggest. Azucar especially has the ones that are at the top of my list...that French Bakery is a place I vist at least three times while in Utah.

Happy Belated Birthday to you!