If being a world traveler isn’t in the cards this year, discover the world through food at these local authentic restaurants. The hardest part will be deciding which country you want to visit first. Happy travels!
Argentine Corner, 442 N Main St. Ste. J, Clearfield
This casual, authentic Argentinian restaurant located off of Main Street in Clearfield, will make you feel like you’ve left the United States all together. The Latin music, the decorations and the authentic food takes customers back to a place they’ve once visited or lived.
“I got the empanadas and they were so good,” said Salt Lake resident Kaitlyn Reed who recently visited the restaurant. “They were exactly what I ate in Argentina. It took me back.”
Jose Palacios is the owner and chef at the popular restaurant. He started the business 13 years ago to bring a part of his culture to Utah.
“Not hot, not spicy,” he said as he pointed to a sign behind the counter with those words on it.
Palacios says one of the most popular menu items at Argentine Corner are the empanadas. An empanada is a pastry that has been baked to flakey perfection and filled with the customers choice of meat.
“We do use a lot of meat,” said his daughter, Cinthia, who helps out at the restaurant. “In fact, we’re eating a steak right now.”
They also serve homemade Argentina pasta served with beef or chicken stew and house bread. And pizza that is a different than the Americanized pizza.
“The way that Dad makes it is different,” said Cinthia. “The ingredients, the dough, the taste, the crust, it’s just all different.”
A few of the options for their 12-inch gourmet pizzas include Fugazza topped with caramelized sweet onions or the Fugazzetta topped with the onions, whole mozzarella cheese and smoked ham, Neapolitan topped with tomato sauce, black olives, tomatoes, parmesan and whole mozzarella cheese.
Milanesa, Churrasco and Asado are also on the menu.
BeeBop Korean BBQ, 333 E 2nd St. Ste. 10, Ogden
Bulkogi is hard to find here in Northern Utah, but this Korean dish is being served up at the north end of Ogden at BeeBop Korean BBQ.
The owner, Choonyeob Ko, brings authentic Korean recipes to the restaurant.
“Our most popular is the pork bulkogi,” said Ko.
According to the menu, which has the items listed in Korean and English, the pork bulkogi is spicy pork with yellow onions, carrots, green cabbage and green onions and served with lettuce. The bulkogi is also available with beef, chicken, spicy or teriyaki chicken or short ribs and ranges from $11.99 to $15.99.
“Customers also love the Korean pancakes,” she added.
The Korean pancake isn’t like your typical pancake. The seafood pancake comes with squid, shrimp and assorted vegetables or the kimchi pancake comes with pork, kimchi (raw vegetables that become naturally fermented in puree of fruits, garlic, ginger and Korean spices) and assorted vegetables.
Ko, who is also the chef and likes to interact with her customers starts every order from scratch.
She says the BeeBop lunch specials, that come in small, medium and large are perfect for those looking for something a little lighter to eat. The BeeBop includes meat, rice and lettuce and ranges from $3.50 to $8.99.
The restaurant also has a small market inside where you can grab some Korean goodies on your way out.
Greek Garden, 1048 Newgate Mall, South Ogden
Just because they’re located inside the food court at the mall doesn’t mean they’re not authentic.
Greek Garden has been grilling up souvlaki and gyros for 28 years.
They sprinkle their rice and french fries with some lemon seasoning and top their salads with a secret salad dressing.
“The salad dressing is homemade,” said the owner, Shahdokht Nouri.
Customers often request an extra side of the salad dressing to pour over their rice or dip their meat, french fries or grilled pita bread in.
Blue Nile, 755 S. State St., Salt Lake City
You’ll have to travel a little further south for Ethiopian Cuisine, but it sounds like it will be worth it for the experience.
Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking Injera and eating from the same plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship, according to Blue Nile’s website.
Injera comes with every entree and is the traditional Ethiopian bread.
If you’re not sure what to expect with Ethiopian cuisine, how does cubed boneless leg of lamb marinated and sauteed with onions, garlic, jalapenos, fresh tomato and herbs and spices sound? That is the Yebeg Tibs but other options are available with beef, chicken or vegetables and if you like things hot and spicy this is your place, and is probably the only spot where it’s appropriate to eat with your fingers.
Bombay Grill, 3535 Washington Blvd., Ogden
Indian cuisine has become a popular choice for food in the Ogden area and it’s all about the flavor, according to owner and chef Jaspal Singh. And some spice, if that’s what the customer prefers.
Singh asks each customer if they want their food mild, medium or hot – on a scale from one to 10.
“Whatever the customer wants, I make it,” he said.
Bombay Grill is family owned and operated and has been in Ogden for just over nine years.
Their Nan, or typical Indian bread, is available plain, deep fried or filled with different meats or vegetables.
A classic Indian dish served at the restaurant is chicken makhni — tandoori chicken cooked in a fresh tomato and butter sauce. They also have curry, rice and seafood delights.
For all you cheese lovers out there, how does homemade cheese, dipped in spiced batter and deep fried sound? It’s called cheese pakoras and it’s an appetizer on the menu.
Another option for Indian is Bombay Bites, located at 4139 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. At Bombay Bites you can sample a little bit of everything Indian at their lunch buffet.
Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese
Bangkok Gardens 2426 Grant Ave., Ogden
Located just north of Ogden’s historic 25th Street, this restaurant serves authentic Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.
Thai curries, soups, stir-fry and noodles make up most of the menu, but for those wanting to try Vietnamese they do serve pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup. Chinese dishes are also available and for the little ones that don’t want to venture out the kids’ menu has chicken nuggets, french fries and macaroni and cheese.
Each dish made at Bangkok Gardens is prepared from a family recipe.
Rovali’s, 174 25th St., Ogden
In the heart of downtown Ogden, Rovali’s Ristorante is a family owned and operated authentic Italian restaurant.
Their homemade recipes include spaghetti, Alfredo, lasagna and chicken marsala, just to name a few.
Every Friday and Saturday night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the place is rockin’ with live music from local artists.
Rovali’s is unique in many ways, according to their website. With a full service espresso and cocktail bar, customers have a wide variety of drinks to choose from.
They also make their desserts from scratch and have gluten free options.
There are quite a few options for authentic Mexican food in Northern Utah, and most people have that one local place that is their very favorite. Which one is yours?
Taco Taco, 2931 Washington Blvd., Ogden
Javier’s, 755 N. Harrisville Road, Ogden Check website for other locations
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, 1479 E 5600 S, South Ogden
Sonora Grill, 2310 S Kiesel Ave., Ogden
Rosa’s Cafe, 2660 Washington Blvd., Ogden
Bella’s, 2651 N. 1850 W. Farr West
Manuel’s El Burrito, 1145 South State St., Clearfield
Taqueria Loza, 1145 Washington Blvd., Ogden
El Matador, 2564 Ogden Ave., Ogden