(Also, I should note that for this post I’m going to assume this is a splurge night out for a special occasion such as an anniversary or bday, and I’ll address some of those other issues in another post. 🙂 In this article I took into account the ambiance and atmosphere of the restaurant, as well as the food. There are some amazing date night restaurants I’ve left off this list, primarily because I didn’t feel the ambiance was unique enough for a special nice night out — having said that, I’m sure I’ve missed some, so please add any suggestions in the comments! I always love your feedback!)
contributed by Stephanie M. Edginton
Bumblebee’s BBQ and Grill first opened its doors near my neighborhood in the fall of 2014, and our lives were forever changed. It’s a place close to home where my family and I can run and grab a quick bite to eat (under $10 per person!), while also fulfilling our Korean BBQ cravings. Their menu offers burgers, sandwiches, and tacos with Korean flare, along with some more “traditional” Korean dishes like Dup-Bop and Bee-Bim-Bop. There is never a shortage of choices for lunch, dinner, or even a late-night snack!
I enjoy trying everything on Bumblebee’s menu. I especially love the Kalbi — a homemade, sweet soy sauce and garlic-marinated patty topped with Kalbi sauce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce – or the Katsu Pork — homemade Korean-style breaded and deep-fried pork or chicken topped with Katsu sauce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.
My husband has also tried most of the menu, but his favorite and usual go-to is one of Bumblebee’s best sellers: KPOP Fries. From Bumblebee’s menu, KPOP Fries are fries topped with your choice of their homemade Bul-gogi, Korean spicy pork or spicy chicken, shredded cheese, green onion, jalapeño mayo, and spicy Sriracha sauce. Of course, he almost always chooses the homemade Bul-gogi. It’s the best option, in our humble opinion.
With my husband’s craving of Bumblebee’s KPOP Fries at an all-time high — I mean, he was asking for KPOP Fries every other day for about two weeks! — I thought I’d try my hand at recreating them at home.
To save on some time and mess, I bought a package of frozen shoestring fries to bake, instead of making them from scratch. Luckily, I had all the remaining ingredients in my pantry and fridge. Besides marinating time, everything was quickly assembled in less than 30 minutes. I recommend you give them a try!
Copycat KPOP Fries
1 bag (16 oz) frozen shoestring fries
2 T. light soy sauce
1 T. dark soy sauce
2 T. mirin
2 T. of sugar
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. sesame seeds – more for garnish
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. beef, sliced (see notes)
shredded cheddar cheese — for garnish
green onions, sliced — for garnish
Kewpie mayonnaise — for garnish
Sriracha — for garnish
- Combine soy sauces, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and minced garlic in a large bowl.
- Add the beef to the marinade and mix, ensuring all slices of beef are properly coated and covered with the marinade.
- Allow to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 20-30 minutes, or overnight.
- When ready, prepare your frozen shoestring fries according to package directions and set aside.
- While the frozen shoestring fries are being prepared, heat a large skillet on high heat.
- Cook the marinated beef in the skillet on high heat for 8-10 minutes until fully cooked. Set aside
Plate as follows:
- A layer of shoestring fries
- A layer of Bul-Gogi beef, with its amazing juices and sauce
- Sprinkle some cheddar cheese, green onions, and sesame seeds on top, as garnish
- Drizzle Kewpie mayonnaise and Sriracha, as garnish, to taste
While this copycat version isn’t completely the same as Bumblebee’s original version, they do come close. My daughter and I had the non-spicy version, without the Sriracha, and they were still delicious. These KPOP Fries were quite tasty, and we have permanently added this recipe to our dinner rotation. I hope you enjoy them as well!
If you find that you’re short on time and cannot recreate these KPOP Fries at home, or if you just want the real deal to satisfy your cravings, you can always visit Bumblebee’s BBQ and Grill at one of their three locations instead. They also cater!
7962 S State Street, Midvale, UT 84047 801-561-0608
2682 S High Commons Way, West Valley City, UT 84120 801-869-1600
1254 N State Street, Provo, UT 84604 801-607-2543
- All ingredients, except for the frozen shoestring fries and shredded cheddar cheese, were purchased from Ocean Mart 115 W 9000 S, Sandy, UT 84070 801-255-1118. However, almost everything can be found at your local grocery store, like Harmon’s or Smith’s, except for the sliced beef. I haven’t been able to find thinly sliced meats — not deli meat — anywhere else besides at Ocean Mart. It comes frozen, so my freezer is always fully stocked at all times.
- If you cannot find Kewpie mayonnaise, I would try and recreate it using Just One Cookbook’s version. I have not tried this with regular mayonnaise, so leave a comment here if you try this and let us know how it turned out.
contributed by Brooklyn Gittins
There’s one foodie debate that never seems to leave me alone: Crumbl vs. Chip. Who has the best cookies? Well, my husband and I did some very serious taste testing, and our conclusions might offend you. Keep in mind, we visited the Provo locations but both also exist in Salt Lake City and other valley cities. Read on.
Here are the similarities:
- They both deliver! If you’re anything like me, you often crave cookies but don’t have the motivation to get off the couch. I feel you. Don’t worry, though! Both of these companies bring warm cookies right to your door until the wee hours of the night. Your late-night munchies are covered.
- They both use milk chocolate chips. For me, this is a downer, but most people love it. I personally don’t see milk chocolate chip cookies very often, and it makes these cookies special. They help the cookie to be a lot sweeter, for sure.
- They like mixing things up. I’ll dive more into this later, but new/specialty cookies appear at both of these stores often. Chip has a new flavor every month, and Crumbl has four new ones every week. If you want variety, they’ve got it. I’ve discovered so many new flavors of cookie!
- Their cookies are HUGE. These aren’t your mama’s homemade cookies (unless your mom makes some ginormous cookies. If so, please introduce me to her). One of these baked beauties usually lasts me a couple of days. Seriously. It only lasts my husband a couple of seconds, though, so I guess it depends on the person. Either way, you’re getting a whole lot of cookie.
Now let’s compare:
Crumbl, in my opinion, tastes like a cookie that’s worth splurging on. It’s definitely not something I could bake at home. Chip, however, tasted like a pretty normal chocolate chip cookie. It was a really good chocolate chip cookie, mind you, but nothing mind-blowing. If I’m going to spend $10 for 4 cookies, I’m going with the more exciting taste bud party that Crumbl has to offer.
Provo’s Chip store delivers to the Missionary Training Center and Crumbl doesn’t. Fancy! If you have a kiddo starting out their mission at the Provo MTC, this would be a fantastic treat. I know from personal experience that those times can be hard and a treat goes a long way.
Crumbl has more locations by a long shot. This is great for when we’re visiting family up north and need to share the goodness. Chip has some great locations, too, but definitely not as many.
The textures are very different. This might not matter to you, but it was a big deal for my husband and me. When we eat Chip, we get grease everywhere. They’re extremely buttery and almost too gooey, if that’s possible. They were falling apart when we got them warm, and they actually tasted better once they cooled down. Crumbl cookies stay together better and are the perfect balance of crunch and squish. Delicious.
Crumbl has four new cookies every week, while Chip only has one new flavor per month. If you want more variety, Crumbl is the way to go. Plus, Crumbl always has their sugar cookie, while Chip only has their OG chocolate chip every day.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried as many Chip cookies as I have Crumbl. I guess that’s just because we picked our preference a while ago and don’t like changing it up. I tried to keep a very open mind when trying Chip, but they just couldn’t beat the competition. My winner is Crumbl for now, but I’m willing to let you try to change my mind.
Typically, I like to avoid the crowds and prepare a quiet and festive Mother’s Day brunch at home. However, this year I’d like to relax at one of the many spectacular Mother’s Day brunch venues in Salt Lake City. If our children know what’s good for them, they will be treating us to a lovely brunch of our choosing. I have scoured all the available brunch menus and narrowed the list to only the best for mom. Because well, she’s worth it, right?
1. High West Distillery (27469 Old Lincoln Hwy., Wanship)
This brunch location is a bit of a trek (20 minutes from Park City) but well worth the drive, and the $40-per-person price tag. Brunch begins at 10:45 a.m. and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet that features smoked trout, homemade cinnamon rolls, cheese and charcuterie, green salad, Caesar salad, seasonal fruit, house smoked pastrami, huevos rancheros, applewood-smoked bacon and local sausages, fried potatoes, bean and poblano vegetarian chili, Greek yogurt, biscuits and gravy, and Belgian waffles with whiskey caramel sauce. Pair your plate with a whiskey cocktail – the Dead Man’s Boots or High West Lemonade – or the more traditional Bloody Mary and Mimosa (alcohol additional). If you desire, finish off your day with a complimentary guided sensory experience by partaking in an educational whiskey tasting, or grab a bottle of Whiskey Maple Syrup to go from the General Store. You can also enjoy relaxing live music on the patio. You’ll experience spectacular service and an overall gorgeous atmosphere of the entire property.
Allow additional travel time as guests must take a shuttle from the parking area. Be sure to pay attention to the history of the property as told by the knowledgable and animated Mr. Bill.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at OpenTable.
2. Sonoma Grill & Wine Bar (110 West 300 South, Salt Lake City)
Sonoma Grill & Wine Bar opened in November of 2018 in the space formerly occupied by Macaroni Grill in downtown Salt Lake City’s Peery Hotel, and is a wine country-inspired dining destination – it’s also the sister restaurant to the re-opened Christopher’s Prime Tavern and Grill, which resides next door. Mother’s Day brunch at Sonoma begins at 10:00 a.m. and features an old school grand buffet dining experience showcasing frittata, breakfast enchilada scramble, biscuits & gravy, steelhead eggs Benedict, country-fried chicken breast, breakfast potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, house-made garlic, fennel & maple sausage, Belgian waffle & crème brûlée bar, jalapeño bacon mac & cheese and much, much more! The buffet costs $39.99 per person; $12.99 for 10 & under.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at OpenTable.
3. Snowbird – The Aerie (9320 Cliff Lodge Drive, Snowbird)
Everyone loves a scenic drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon on a beautiful spring day. In addition to gorgeous views, The Aerie will be serving up a gourmet buffet from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Adults cost $55; kids (6-12) $36; children 5 & under are free. The expansive menu includes both traditional and unique items like rosemary-encrusted strip loin of beef, asparagus & goat cheese quiche, lamb kofta and lobster macaroni & cheese. Give Mom a break and keep the kids happy with their very own mini buffet complete with sliders, meatballs, chicken tenders, and French fries. Let your mouth water with just a few of the generous dessert offerings such as mouthwatering caramel tres leches, key lime cheesecake, crème brûlée or Italian cannoli.
Reservations are recommended and can be obtained by calling
(801) 933-2181, ext. 5500.
4. Tuscany (2832 East 6200 South, Salt Lake City)
If you’re really looking to impress your mom, consider the elegant Mother’s Day brunch buffet at Tuscany, an Italian fine dining restaurant featuring decadent prime rib, honey-glazed ham, omelet bar, chilled crab legs & shrimp with fresh salads, house made breads and desserts. Brunch will be served from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m and is $58 for adults; $28 for children 12 & under. They also offer a three-course dinner that evening for the same price.
Make your reservation by calling (801) 277-9919 or online at OpenTable.
5. Hub & Spoke Diner (1291 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City)
The successful Scott Evans (the man behind Pago, East Liberty Tap House, George and Trestle Tavern) and his team at Hub & Spoke are featuring a classic and casual breakfast buffet, including omelets made to order, Hub potatoes, bacon, sausage, pancakes, French toast, eggs Benedict, ham, chicken & waffles, and more! Brunch goes from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Adults are $29.99 plus tax & 20% gratuity; kids 5-12 $12.99; 4 and under are free.
Reserve your spot by calling (801) 487-0698 or online at DineTime.
Any one of these locations will be sure to “wow” Mom and make you her favorite child. Now, for some bonus points, tell your mom that she was right about everything and don’t delay – make a reservation now.
Authored by: Kari Herron @kulinary_kari