Thursday, May 31, 2012

D-Boys BBQ & Grill

We are cruising to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.

  We wanted to eat on Thursday this week as it was the first uncommitted night while Steven was in town for the week.  He leaves for his podiatry rotation to the VA hospital in Denver on Saturday.  When he first learned of our Cruising State Street Restaurants plan, he said he had a State Street restaurant story to share with us too. 

  We decided to let Steve choose the restaurant and he wanted to drive until he saw one that caught his eye.  On the way he shared his story.  Apparently while he was in high school, he and his friends did something crazy.  Did you ever do anything crazy when you were a teen?  Back to the story . . . Steve’s friend B.J. frequented a restaurant on State Street.  B.J. asked the owner if he could have some friends come and eat and have a sleep over at the restaurant.  Surprisingly, the owner said yes.  Steve said that I (his Mom) wouldn’t let him sleep over but would let him stay very late.  Initially about 20 friends showed up and ate. They congregated in a private dining area ate and ate and ate and watched a movie on a TV there and would go back to the buffet to fill up their plates.  Eventually, most of the friends left.  Steve finally left at 4:00 a.m. and just B.J. and a few others stayed the rest of the night.  Steve said they received some stares from the other patrons as they walked in with their sleeping bags. Yes, that was crazy.  

  So, back to 2012, we drove a ways down State Street while Steve looked at restaurant options. We noticed a huge cloud of smoke from a wild fire that must have started across the lake.  Steve soon zeroed in on a restaurant, D-Boys BBQ & Grill.  It even had a “Grand Opening” banner out front.  BBQ smell immediately as you walk through the door.  On the menu board is advertised a huge sandwich that is priced at “19.99 or free.”  That meant that if one could eat that huge sandwich in 20 minutes or less, it was free. Steve wasn’t that hungry, or he would have been tempted to try. I ordered a beef brisket and Steve had a Carolina Style sandwich.  John was really not hungry and just got a couple of sides.  While we were waiting for our order, in the door walked B.J.’s wife with a couple of her friends. Steve chatted with her for a few minutes and learned that B.J. was out fighting the wildfire across the lake.  
Crazy coincidence! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Asahi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

We are cruising to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.

  Okay, this could be a hassle to try to eat out once a week if we’ve had a busy week.  However, John and I found ourselves with a bit of time at lunch on Saturday before heading back up to more basketball games. Where to go next?  We could just continue South on State Street.  The decision was whether to stay just on the West side of the street or to alternate back and forth.  Are we going to lock ourselves into a pattern?  Nothing formally has been decided about pattern still.  After some debate we decided on Asahi, the next restaurant on the East side of the street. 

  We drive up and the sign announces Asahi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar.  Hmmm, can’t think if I’d ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant before? I am not much of a sushi fan; not even sure if I’ve had it.  I asked John if he’d ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant before.  “Just at prom,” he stated.  That got my attention. Quizzing him about that experience, he said they had gone to one where you sat on the floor mats to eat.  He hadn’t expected to have to take off his shoes.  He was worried during the whole prom dinner about having stinky socks.  Today though, he would have happily taken off his shoes as his feet were tired.  But this restaurant didn’t have seating on the floor. So, fortunately he kept his shoes on.  

   I was impressed with the décor as we walked in and the lighting and atmosphere makes you forget it is Saturday midday.  Black table cloths protected on the top by a brown butcher paper with a red stamped name of their restaurant was creative.  I talked with the waiter while John patiently listened in about what Japanese fare was all about.  He explained and described the Sushi and other menu options.  John ordered the “Bento box” which ended up looking sweet in a beautiful box serving dish.  Dressing on the salad was pretty good.  I tried to be brave and get sushi.  Remind me not to be brave too often.  I’m a fairly timid eater.  But I did like the fish that kind of melted on your tongue as it warmed to mouth temperature.  And I really liked the cute little pile of ginger served with it with the intent that the ginger would clean your palate between the various tastes.  Didn’t know that palate cleansing trick before, and it seemed to work and was tasty too.  I liked the look of the square plates and mini dipping bowls. Next time I will order the Bento box and not be so brave when I’m not a fish lover.

Post Sushi Story:  Came home the next week, after Suzy’s clarinet recital and there was a plate of sushi on the table. Everyone there had made sushi just for me.  Sliced Twinkies with little candies here and there, wrapped in green fruit roll up.  Sweet kids.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Del Taco

We are cruising to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.


  Phil had a basketball championship game in West Jordan.  What a great team and it was sad to lose that close game and take 2nd instead of 1st Place.  What a great team! Did I say that already? It is worth saying again!  We determined to come back to State Street to eat after the game.  Partly because on Friday we were headed to Idaho Falls to participate with the fourth annual Willie Free 5k.

  I drive by the Del Taco intersection all the time.  I know about their Taco Tuesdays.  Crazy but it has been easily 10 years since I’ve eaten there – or longer.  Not the same case for John and Phil though.  Even though it is a taco place, John likes their hamburgers.  There is a Del Taco close to John’s work. Recently they have been featuring small shakes for 99 cents.  Phil likes to buy a strawberry one and a vanilla one and then mix them together.  While we were eating there, John told us a story about the beginning of Del Taco and how it was one of the first Mexican fare fast food chains (just shortly after Taco Bell) and focus was on efficiency. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


We are cruising to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.

May 12, 2012 
  I wanted to get out and have some time with John to talk over things so suggested we go out to eat.  He did not want anything fancy or time consuming.  So, as we started driving, I did not suggest anywhere.  We had not yet established a pattern (i.e. North to South) or just random, so I kept quiet to see where he decided to go.  We drove past Carl’s Jr.  – one of his regular stops because of the multitude of coupons we have for there from the BYU ticket stubs.  But then I realized where he might be going.  This was the day before Mother’s Day.  I was anticipating a call on Mother’s Day from our missionary son, James, who is serving in Chile.  James used to work at Wendy’s while saving up money for his mission.  So, that was a very appropriate choice of a place to go to eat.  In fact, as we walked into the door, there was a young man working there who had his back to us and he was tall like James and it took my breath away for a moment as I could imagine it was James. 

  Recovering myself, I ordered a Baja salad. John saw the special side of a baked sweet potato.  We still have scrumptious memories of ordering our first baked sweet potato at a little roadside restaurant near the border of New York and Ohio.  It was huge and smothered with cinnamon butter and made us love the idea of baked sweet potatoes.  John liked this Wendy’s version too, though it was more of a normal potato size.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Café Paesan

We are cruising to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.
May 11, 2012 – Determined to start cruising this week, and having a busy basketball week, I proposed stopping to eat somewhere on our way home from Provo after Phil’s three basketball games played at Provo High school.  Yes, I said three games.  While at Provo High, it was fun to look at the display cases and to see the state championship basketball when I was a junior there and be reminded of some of the names; and be reminded of how much I don’t remember.

Our goal, (or maybe it is just my goal and John is going along with me), is to eat at every restaurant on State Street in Orem.  I’d been thinking whether to go in order – north to south or south to north.  Or whether to do it randomly, coming home from Provo, I took the opportunity to drive up State Street to see which the first restaurant was as we entered Orem.  It seemed to be, as I suspected, Chef’s Table.  Haven’t eaten there for a long time, but the parking lot looked full and Phil was in stinky basketball attire so we kept driving.  After some deliberation, John suggested we stop at Café Paesan.  Good choice for a number of reasons.  First, it is about right in the middle, thus solving my north/south dilemma.  Second, Phil had not eaten there before.  Love its décor.  The breadsticks were great.  We had a nice discussion about how sauces can really make or break a meal.  These were good sauces.  Also, Phil wondered how we would classify this restaurant.  Phil stated that it wasn’t fast food (thinking McDonald's or Wendy’s) but it is not a restaurant in the formal sense of the word either he decided because of the disposable plates, cups and utensils (and tablecloths, I decided). The décor was such that it made Phil decide it should be classified more towards the true restaurant side of the continuum.  What other general names for eating establishments exist besides fast food and restaurant?

While ordering, they offered us free dessert!  I hated to turn that down but we were just two more days to go on my "no desserts until Mother’s Day" challenge. Have to go back and try that one again.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cruising Concept

May 5, 2012 
So, for a few years or more, John has been talking about going on a cruise.  As time progressed, the focus came to be a cruise to see the Panama Canal.  John is an engineer, plus we so enjoyed seeing the locks at Rochester NY and at Seattle, so he thought a cruise to Panama would be cool.  Some dear friends were planning a cruise there last November, until heart problems put that on hold. However, we did learn from them it was a two week long cruise.  So, a two week cruise sounded a little intimidating to me.  I thought it would be great for us to take just a three or four day cruise first, just as a dry run so to speak, so we would be more prepared for a longer cruise.  I began pulling up prices and dates for June and getting ready to order a short cruise for us.  We went out to eat and we talked about the idea.  John said he’d been contemplating about why he even wanted to go on a cruise in the first place.  We don’t drink or gamble, and have heard there is plenty of opportunity for that on a cruise.  But we do like to eat though.  We’ve heard about wonderful meals and buffets available.  John admitted that the good eating was one of the main things driving the attraction to a cruise.  And even better was the price was all paid up front, so not the stress of worrying about the cost or tips each time.  So, that sparked an idea.  Combine the idea of eating with one of our other goals of supporting local businesses, and wa-la! I proposed that we do a State Street cruise.  We can take the money we would have spent on a cruise and instead eat out at least once a week.  Our goal will be to eat at every restaurant (at least once) on Orem State Street.  We won’t stress about the cost because we will save that by not going on a cruise in June.   We happened to be at a restaurant on State Street while having this discussion; however it is located just over the border in Lindon, so we could not count that as a start.  Have to get to a restaurant for the official kick off of our State Street Restaurant Cruise.