Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Taste of Provo

If there's one thing that Provo/Orem does well, it's restaurants. Over the course of my two years spent here, I have been to quite a lot of Utah Valley's various eateries, and I just wanted to share some of my favorites. So here goes:

Favorite Pizza - Brick Oven (111 E 800 N)
First of all, it gets 100 points just for its location :) I love oven-roasted and deep dish pizza, and Brick Oven's is pretty good considering it's not Chicago. The service is pretty good and you have to get the frozen raspberry lemonade with your meal. Simply the best. They also have a good takeout deal - 6" pizza with cookie and drink for only $4.99.
Favorite item(s) - spinach artichoke dip w/ garlic bread, deep dish meats-a-pizza, garlic chicken pizza.
 
Favorite diner: Sammy’s Cafe (27 North 100 West)
Pieshakes and sweet potato fries. Mmmm. Service is a little slow, especially on nights and weekends, but definitely a cool place to hang out with friends and eat good food. Ask to get your picture taken and hung on the wall!
Favorite item(s) - Oreo cream pieshake, sweet potato fries


Best hot dogs -J Dawgs (858 N 700 E)
Starting out as just your meager hot dog stand, J-Dawgs' popularity had grown so much that they can now afford a real sit-down place. The hot dogs are simply amazing, even without the special sauce, which everyone but me seems to love. Oh well.
Favorite item(s) - J Dawg with mustard and onions :)

Favorite fro-yo - Spoon It Up (2250 North University Parkway)
Sometimes it feels like there are more frozen yogurt and ice-cream places than there are fast food restaurants in Provo, and many of them are really good, but the one I keep coming back to is Spoon it Up. (maybe because it's right next to J-Dawgs). I always get way too many toppings, which makes my weight and price kinda ridiculous, but if you can keep it in check the prices are pretty decent. Tons of good flavors.
Favorite item(s) - chocolate with all the candy toppings :)
 
Favorite Latin American - Tie between Joe Vera's (250 W Center St) and El Salvador (332 W Center St)
There is also a plethora of these types of restaurants around, each trying to market something different. Joe Vera's has the best chips and salsa, as well as great menu choices. El Salvador is really hole-in-the-wall, but their pupusas are to die for. (See my review of it here). And of course, there's my guilty pleasure, Costa Vida, but we won't mention that :)
Favorite item(s) - Joe Vera's - chips/salsa, chicken chimichanga
El Salvador - chicarron and cheese pupusa
   
Miranda's first sushi - she loved it!
Best Sushi - Sakura (171 West University Parkway)
I've been trying for the past two years to find a sushi place that comes close to my favorite place from back home, Kyoto. The thing that set Kyoto apart was their tempura sushi and that they drizzled it with eel and spicy sauce (sounds gross but is sooo delicious). The place that has come closest to this is Sakura. Best time to go is at lunch for the $15 all-you-can-eat special. I recommend sitting at the bar so you can directly tell the chefs what you want (and see how they make it!) It's also a hibachi restaurant, so if you don't feel in the mood for sushi, hit up some delicious hibachi!
Favorite item(s) - Crispy California Roll

Favorite Indian - Bombay House
(463 N University Ave)
I love Indian food. The naan and curry here are delicious. The Indian waiters have the most ridiculous sense of humor. I love it. Don't ask for beef :)
Favorite item(s) - garlic naan, lamb curry

 

Favorite Thai - Spicy Thai (3368 N University Ave)
Offering curry and of course, pad thai, among other delicious items. My favorite part is the Thai soap operas in the background. Really cheap lunch specials.
Favorite item(s) - pad thai, fried rice



Other Good Places

 

Guru's Cafe (45 E Center St)
It's kind of hard to describe Guru's - it offers pasta as well as enchiladas and burritos along with salads and sweet potato fries. Whatever genre they're going for, it's all delicious. Really, any menu on the item is amazing.
Favorite item(s) - Cilantro-lime enchilada, sweet potato fries

The Chocolate (212 S. State Street)
I just discovered this precious little place yesterday. I guess someone converted their cute little house into a dessert cafe. The decor is really cute, and it offers all sorts of various cakes and dessert items.
Favorite item(s) -Chocolate Chip Cazookie (warm cookie baked in a cake pan covered with ice cream)


So there are some of the favorites places I've been to. I haven't been to near as many restaurants as I would like (struggles of not having a car) so I would love to hear about your favorite places and recommendations! (I still have yet to find a great Italian place). What am I missing out on??

Friday, April 29, 2011

Say Goodbye, Social LIfe

Whoever said it was a good idea to take spring classes needs to be medicated. Maybe some classes are better in the spring, but the classes I'm taking are not any less intensive than they would be in the fall. And I have to complete them in half the time. Sure, I'm only taking half the credits, but I'm balancing that with around 30 hours of work a week. So goodbye fun. I'll see you in July.

(I am kind of excited that we're working with BYU Broadcasting  for 318 though. Their new building is AMAZING.)

So what do I do when I get stressed? I see a movie, of course. Here's what I've seen lately:


Source Code (PG-13)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
It's basically Inception meets Groundhog Day, starring the gorgeous Jake Gyllenhal, who plays the man in the Source Code, a device that allows one to relive the last 8 minutes of a person's life. Jake's character is trying to figure out who bombed a Chicago train so that a future incident can be prevented. The recurring scenarios don't ever feel old, and the action is balanced by some nice funny moments and romance.  There's also a really nice twist at the end that will make you leave the theater scratching your head. (My favorite kind of ending :)
B+



Jane Eyre (PG-13)
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender
I've read the book but hadn't yet seen any of the other various movie versions, so I really did enjoy this adaptation. It had all the main scenes that I remember from the novel and made the most boring parts of the book (the beginning) really short and sweet. Wasikowska does an excellent portrayal of Miss Eyre, as both shy and delicate yet strong-willed and intense. Mr. Rochester wasn't too awful-looking either. I went with a friend who had seen other adaptations, and she says she really enjoyed this version as it was slightly different than the others. I feel like they could have developed the romance a little more, though. This version was more about the mystery.
B


Water for Elephants (PG-13)
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this movie. This is probably one of the few times I disagree with the critics about a film. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for period pieces. Pattinson does a nice job here, taking a break from playing a deathly pale, brooding vampire to play a Cornell dropout who ends up working as a vet (and elephant trainer) for a traveling circus. The head of the circus is a psycho, but his wife is sweet superstar Reese Witherspoon, for whom our lovely Rob falls in love. The acting was pretty good (especially Waltz's performance) and I found the way they portrayed circus life quite fascinating. Also, the elephant was adorable. Apparently she's been in dozens of movies. Quite the superstar, that paciderm.
B+


(PS can I just say that I HATE Women's Conference? They have got to be the most rude, disrespectful, and superficial women I have ever seen. And there were hordes of them.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

I can't wait for July!!

I seriously don't know how I'm going to get through the next two months. All I can think about is that I get to go here:


And here:

 And here:

And here!

Ahh I just want to go now!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's almost finals week, and you know what that means...

That the studying goes down and the Netflix/Hulu views go up :) I'm seriously not motivated to think about accounting right now. Or to write my essay on sentence-initial conjunctions. So it's blog post time instead. Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Just been busy with school, work, the usual.

Speaking of work, I got a promotion! I had to pass this test on the office's policies and procedures and prove that I knew the computer system and had great customer service. So now I am officially a Ticket Clerk II. Go me!

Baseball season has started! The Cincinnati Reds started 4-0 for the first time since 1990, and we all know what happened then! (They won the World Series. Come on now.) They're 7-3 now, and I'm feeling this is just the beginning of a great season. When I go home this summer I need to go to a game. Preferably one where B. Phillips literally beats up on the Cardinals again :) hahaha.

What I'm watching on Netflix: So this may be a little embarrassing, but the show I've been addicted to the past week is this old WB show called Roswell. It's kind of like Twilight, but with attractive aliens instead of attractive vampires. (It's much more well done than Twilight, however).  Roswell is about Liz Parker, a high-school student and waitress from Roswell, New Mexico (home of the real-life UFO 'incident') who was shot during work one day but was saved by the adorable and beautiful-eyed Max Evans, who just happens to be an alien with healing powers. They fall in love but of course there are complications, or else there wouldn't be a TV show :) They're literally star-crossed lovers. What's good about this show is that the chemistry between the two is so believable and intense, and the supporting cast is great as well. It's definitely a guilty pleasure. Check it out if you dare :) Oh, it also has Katherine Heigl, before her annoying rom-com days. She's actually not half bad in this show.