Celebrate the Lunar New Year for two weeks at Ling & Louie’s

Not long after we hop into 2023 the traditional Lunar New Year starts celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. Local Asian fusion restaurant Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill celebrates with classic Chinese New Year dishes and specially created cocktails from January 21st – February 5th. A traditional Lion Dance performed by 9 Dragons Lion Dance Phoenix kicks of the celebration on the 21st.

In Chinese culture the rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity and 2023 is predicted to be the year of hope. Throughout Asia the Lunar New Year is steep with symbolism and you’ll see it throughout the 5 dishes on the special menu. Dumplings and spring rolls signify wealth, fish and shrimp represent an increase in prosperity and happiness while Longevity Noodles symbolize a wish for a long life.

Lunar New Year dishes and cocktails

Lunar New Year Dim Sum Bar – featuring your choice of different dim sum including Ginger-Pork Dumplings, Pork + Shrimp Dumplings, Spicy Chicken Wontons, and Vegetable Spring Rolls.

Dim Sum Tower – can’t decide on which dim sum to enjoy? Choose three of the above dim sum for a decadent New Year’s treat both.

Szechuan Sea Bass – crispy sea bass wok’d with asparagus, green beans and dried chilies in spicy citrus-soy, topped with pineapple salsa.

Char Siu Pork Tenderloin – specially marinated pork tenderloin served with wasabi mashed potatoes and wok’d asparagus, drizzled with sweet chili sauce.

Longevity Noodles – grass-fed New York strip stir-fried with egg noodles, green onions, mushrooms and carrots in traditional stir-fry sauce.

Tables that order off the special menu will receive a Lucky Red Envelope with offers to use on future visits at Ling & Louie’s and its sister restaurant Ling’s Wok Shop.

Toast to the New Year with these unique craft cocktails.

Spicy Peach Margarita – ghost chili-infused tequila shaken with premium orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, peach puree and Thai basil.

Apples to Apples – rye whiskey shaken with apple puree, house-made ginger-lime syrup and fresh lemon.

Pineapple Punch – gin, Suze, pineapple, five spice and fresh citrus topped with sparkling wine.

New Wave Pina Colada – Jamaican rum, Amarula cream liqueur, five spice, cream of coconut and pineapple, shaken hard and served on the rocks.

For more information visit their website.

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I spent my Spring Break eating my way through Salt Lake City

Most people spend their Spring Break heading to beaches or somewhere exotic. I spent my Spring Break road tripping to Salt Lake City to explore the city and food scene. I enjoyed meals at locally owned restaurants based on the recommendation of my friend who has spent the last year living in the area.

The 10 hour drive from Phoenix to Salt Lake City we knew we’d have to stop for at least one meal on the way up. Heading through Page and past Lake Powell into southern Utah you don’t have a lot options once you cross the border. Most meals were under $20 with a couple just above.

First 24 hours in Utah

We decided to stop for dinner in Kanab and pulled into Big Al’s Burgers Drive-In. Kanab is the main route as you head from eastern Arizona to the national parks of southern Utah and points north. A nice little town before you head up the back roads towards I-15. Big Al’s is exactly what you’d expect, burgers, fries, shakes and a few other drive-in favorites. I went with Double Rustler Burger value meal, a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake. Friendly service and made to order food made for a positive first impression of the Utah food scene. It was also my first experience being asked if I wanted “Fry Sauce”. Expect to be asked for this mayo ketchup combo in Utah when ordering fries and other fried foods. I declined as I prefer only ketchup but did taste my friends sauce. It was exactly what you’d expect.

After we made our way through the canyons and over the mountain pass into the night and a snowstorm we arrived late in the night at our destination.

After sleeping in and eggs and coffee at my friend’s place for breakfast we made our way for a mid-afternoon dim sum lunch at Cafe Anh Hong. In a small strip mall full of far east restaurants Anh Hong wasn’t the traditional dim sum restaurant. No ladies pushing carts full of dim sum delicacies but a picture menu under the plexiglass table top. Tell them what you want and everything is made to order. Many dim sum favorites to satisfy your dim sum cravings.

A late dinner was a homemade 24 hour sous vide short rib over risotto prepared by my host was so good I had to mention it.

Breakfast & lunch in Salt Lake City

Waking up the next morning we made our way to the Draper location of La Barba Coffee. Considered one of the if not the best coffee in SLC we sat there sipping our coffee pondering where to go for breakfast. Sipping on a Guatemalan drip coffee I paid more attention to it than I normally would a cup of coffee, it was good cup.

Desiring a breakfast burrito we drove to Taqueria El Gallo Loco in Sandy. I went with Chorizo burrito which was a little light on chorizo for my liking. My friend went with a bowl of Tripe thoroughly enjoying it. We ordered the Flan for dessert (yeah at breakfast) and glad we did, it was topped with toasted coconut and was so good. The owner and our server were friendly and offered good service. I’d give them another shot at a Chroizo burrito.

A mid-afternoon lunch had me desiring an Italian deli sandwich and my friend knew right where to go. We made our way to the 15th & 15th location of Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli where I went with The Caputo. Prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provolone and all the fixings. They dress it with balsamic vinegar as opposed to red wine vinegar which was an interesting choice. Served on an artisan roll I’d come back again. Check off Italian deli off my list.

Enjoying the neighborhood that Tony’s is in we went across the street to Sweetaly for a cup of gelato. It hit the spot after my meaty sandwich.

Park City here we come

With the ski town of Park City less than an hour away we headed into the mountains for lunch. It’s “Mud Season” in Park City so some restaurants close down for a few weeks. We found out the hard way when we wanted to grab a bite to eat at High West Distillery & Saloon. We wound up the brew pub of Wasach Brewing with brunch in full effect. Sipping on an Apricot Hefe with my Wasach burger made for a tasty Park City experience. The Wasach burger is made with buffalo meat and topped with a spicy Cajun remoulade.

I vetoed lunch a Tekila for the brew pub but my friend highly recommends it.

In case you’re wondering dinner at friend’s house back in SLC for homemade corn chowder and cake.

Final day in Salt Lake City

A lazy Sunday morning had us getting a slow start and finally motivating in early afternoon. We picked up a friend and decided to head for something new to me.

A couple of doors down from dim sum was Kungfu Hotpot where I experienced Hotpot cooking for the first time. A pot of mild and spicy boiling broth we filled it with beef, pork, mushrooms, vegetables and more letting it cook to our desired temperatures. The All-You-Can-Eat restaurant had us ordering more piles of beef, greens and seafood balls until I threw down my chopsticks and said “no more”. An interesting experience I’m not sure I could find in Phoenix.

Just a few miles from downtown SLC we made our way to Temple Square to see the gardens, the state capitol and the University of Utah. One last stop before we headed to my friend’s place for the night, Dolcetti Gelato. The Blueberry Balsamic & Rosewater treat to finish my foodie visit to SLC hit the spot after the spicy hotpot.

SLC looks to have a great restaurant scene as I scanned local magazines and websites. Locally owned restaurants and several chains I’ve never seen before looked interesting. I hope to return one day to eat my way through more of what there is to offer. If you find yourself in Salt Lake City on a Sunday be aware that many restaurants aren’t open, even those you’d expect to be including coffeehouses.

To see pictures of my trip to SLC follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

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