Yesterday, as you know, we drove the rest of the way to Salt Lake City, Utah. We checked in early at our hotel, and were thrilled to see how nice it is. Our one bedroom suite has a big open kitchen and dining area with upgraded kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, tile floor and stainless appliances. It's cute and modern and I am in love with it :-)
The kitchen is also open to the living area, creating a bit of an L-shaped layout. Across from the couch is a gas fireplace, desk area, big flat screen TV (although we haven't so much as turned it on yet), and a sliding glass door to the patio. We are on the fourth floor, facing east, so we have a nice view of downtown and the mountains.
I was crazy about Salt Lake City the minute I laid eyes on it. I love how you can see the houses going up the side of the mountains in a sea of green foliage. I love how it's sunny with blue skies and dry like it is where we live in Colorado. I love the sculptures everywhere, modern architecture, and the way the sun sets so golden and warm.
As soon as we were checked in yesterday, we took a trip to Whole Foods. First we made ourselves some salads at the salad bar and ate them outside at a table. Then we went back in and did some shopping. I was thrilled to see Udi's gluten-free bread, as well as Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bread, both made in Colorado (go Colorado, go Colorado ;-)). We also picked up some frozen organic fruit for smoothies (I brought my Magic Bullet, my new favorite toy—Thanks Mom!) and a few other items.
I noticed driving back to the hotel that there was a Buca di Beppo. Andy and I could walk to a Buca when we were dating 10 years ago, and so we went there weekly. I have such fold memories of the place. I love its wonky style. So I said to Andy, "I heard a while back that they had a gluten-free menu now." He called the Buca here, and sure enough, they said they had a gluten-free menu. We made a reservation.
(Click to see a photo larger.)
I don't know if all Buca di Beppo's have a gluten-free menu, so I would call before you go to one, but as you can see there were some really great choices. However, the cook absentmindedly floured our chicken out of habit, and fortunately our server caught the mistake. He apologized for the wait as they made our meal over, but I couldn't have thanked him enough. That would have been a disaster.
The food was even better than I remembered. Phenomenal. If I lived here I would go to that Buca so often that they would become very used to making gluten-free ;-)
Ashley and I on the way back to the hotel.
Last night I soaked our certified GF steel cut oats (that I buy on Amazon), so I could make oatmeal for breakfast. This morning I discarded the soaking water and cooked the oats in coconut milk and fresh water. We topped each bowlful with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Delish.
Then Andy headed to the book publishing conference and the girls and I headed to Red Butte Gardens. Beautiful! Worth every penny. A bargain actually. As I told Andy about it later, he realized that when we drove to the last book publishing conference (in Tucson), the girls and I went to their gardens on our first day. I think it's becoming a tradition =)
Anyone know what these are called? I can't remember, but they look like they belong in the ocean, right? Kind of like a jellyfish.
We came back to the hotel suite after the gardens for some lunch. I made us smoothies, and Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches on the Udi's GF bread. Then we went to the Gateway promenade to play in the splash ground. I also took a clip of Zoe prancing around there and posted it on the Spunky Family Journal. Too cute.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings, and share it with you.