Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday at the Table

Regional foods really interest me. Like when we were in Philadelphia a few years ago, we had to hunt down the {supposedly} best cheesesteak sandwich. In New Orleans, of course we tried jambalaya, a po boy, and  beignets. In Hawaii, we tasted ahi poke; in Maine, a lobster roll; in Minnesota, the walleye. And sometimes, things really aren't so historically regional, but super popular just the same. Like in Seattle, you really need to try a Dick's burger. It won't be the best burger you ever ate, but you'll have tasted a bit of our local flavor legacy. And honestly, though I know Cafe Rio is a chain and not just in Salt Lake City, I had heard SO much about it from SLC residents and visitors, that when we saw one at the airport on our way out of town last weekend, we were compelled to stop in.
So just let me tell you, I have eaten all sorts of taco salads, and even have my own local favorite, but my goodness, the Pork Barbacoa Salad was every bit as delicious as I had heard. As in seriously good layers of flavor.
The beverages at Cafe Rio were a pleasant surprise. Not often in the Pacific Northwest do we find Horchata (daughter dear said it was the best she'd had since drinking it in Mexico), let alone Mint Limeade {freshly squeezed!}. Tasty.
A super awesome 'extra' for you and me both is that in the "Successful Blogging" class I took with Tauni Everett at Sewing Summit, she happened to mention the copy cat recipe on her website! So you'll find recipes for both Cafe Rio-style shredded pork and creamy cilantro dressing here. Lucky us.

What's a regional specialty or favorite where you live? Link up here!


  1. Looks so yummy - Mexican is one of my faves too!

  2. I love Cafe Rio! It's one of my favorite places to eat in Utah. I have a lot of the recipes if you want them. :)

  3. When you visit me in Rhode Island, for breakfast, I'll make you some Johnnycakes and we'll drink coffee milk. Lunch at Aunt Carrie's for clam cakes and Indian pudding, then cross the street to Iggy's for doughboys. We'll stop at Del's for frozen lemonade on the way home from the beach!


  4. I grew up in Utah but Cafe Rio was after my time. One of these days when I go back to visit I will have to try that.
    Usually when I go back, I have to go to Litza's Pizza in SLC and have their unique Garlic Bread and a Cherry Root Beer.
    In Texas, Braum's (a fast food restaurant and creamery) is king (queen?) of the ice cream world, unless you are buying at the grocery store and then it is Blue Bell. My personal opinion was that there were far better brands on both fronts, but I was nearly lynched for even thinking such a thing.
    Here in SOCAL, supposedly it is Carne Asada Fries, though I have yet to taste any that are fabulous. Oh, and Fish Tacos from Rubio's.
    I am so not a foody. :)

  5. I love horchata but I can never find it around here! I wish I had known it was there! : ) It was great meeting you this weekend, Debbie!

  6. i must make that copy cat dressing. i could seriously drink that stuff!

  7. Much the same as yours ;-). Salmon, elk, huckleberries, and on the "East Side", lots of beef, wheat, potatoes, onions, apples, cherries, and of course wine and microbrew!

  8. I've never seen horchata "on tap" before! And I think I must look for a mint limeade recipe now. I love trying all the local specialties when we are travelling, too!

  9. Beef. It's what's for dinner here. Every night. Moo. In August though, we have amazingly sweet corn on the cob. And lastly, Tim Horton's which is a very, very popular coffee and donut shop!

    And now I must go make those recipes because they look delicious!

  10. I'm in Boise ID and so lucky to have a Cafe Rio! All time fav! I love the pork too but the steak is mighty good too. And that dressing is the best, lots of good recipes out there for it, worth it! Glad you enjoyed your time. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Yummm! I love Horchata... I like Rice and Coconut, can't decide on a favorite!

  12. That might decide our last meal on the way home then!