Hello, Tuesday! Just a few quick housekeeping updates today to help field several questions I’ve been getting plus share a few random things with you.

Training Week #9

1) Some of you know that earlier this year I decided to sign up for my first-ever half-marathon (I’ve been posting running updates here and would never have gotten this far in training if it weren’t for so many of your comments/advice/inspiration). Believe it or not (I’m still in denial), the race is this Saturday, June 13. I’ll be traveling from Idaho to Provo, Utah, to run this thing and wanted to let any of you close to that area know that I would love to give a sweaty, stinky hug to anyone who wanted to drop by after the Utah Valley Half-Marathon to say hi. Several of you are running this exact same race, too, and I can’t wait to meet you! If you come up to the party at the finish line (and from what I hear, it really is a party) at the Provo Tabernacle, I’ll be to the east of the bag pick-up hanging out with my family and most likely praying my legs won’t give out on me. My main incentive for running this? 1) cross it off my bucket list and 2) eat somewhere crazy delicious after. So if you have any recommendations for good eats in the Provo area, comment below. I’ll love you forever.

2) After a minor site redesign a few weeks ago, the weekly menu I had included in my footer + a few other links went missing. For those that asked where on earth they are and for goodness’ sake can they come back, I wanted to let you know that the weekly menu is back right over there in the sidebar. It’s updated every week with inspiration for your menu. And you know how much I love a good menu plan.
update menu

And never fear, the healthy recipes widget has been readded in the sidebar, too.  Minus the crooked purple excitement streaks, of course.

update healthy

3) Lastly, I wanted to give a shout out to a few blogs (like I did a month or so ago) that deserve some love. Right now I’m currently on hour five of a seven hour road trip coming home after a family reunion in Oregon and my internet access is getting super spotty so I’ll leave you to explore these lovelies on your own (p.s.: none of them really know me or know I’m sharing, I just love their stuff and think they are doing fabulous things). Catch you later after I unbury from crushed goldfish crackers and dirty laundry.

5 Boys Baker
(Jodi is surrounded by boys so clearly we must be soul mates, and also, this cheesecake – that is all)

Carlsbad Cravings
(even though I’ve never met her, Jen is a huge inspiration to me for all she’s overcome personally – plus, her recipes rock – I’ve made this browned butter asparagus many times and it’s just yum)

Inside Karen’s Kitchen
(Karen’s healthy salad recipes are amazing)

Happy Money Saver
(her homemade salad dressings and raising chicken tips have saved my bacon several times!)

53 Responses to A Little Housekeeping + When I’ll Be in Utah

  1. Deborah says:

    I am SO bummed that I am behind on my blog reading and just saw that. I would have gone down to Provo JUST to see you. Next time!!!

  2. Mel! You are the best! Of course I already knew that because all YOUR recipes rock, but it was SO kind of you to give my blog a shout out! I still remember e-mailing you when I first started last year and you actually responded – I was giddy beyond belief. And now I’m giddy again 🙂 I hope your half marathon went well – I’m sure you did amazing! I hope we can meet someday in person. I adore you!

  3. Lauren says:

    I’d also recommend skipping Los Hermanos. I’ve never been able to figure out why Utah County locals love it so much- it’s pretty much Taco Bell quality Mexican food. But I grew up in Western Texas, so I prefer more authentic places 🙂 I’ve heard a lot about the places so many others have mentioned (Communal, Bruges, Hruska’s, etc), but never eaten at them. Let us know where you picked and how it was! And good luck on your race!

  4. Brittany Jensen says:

    The Bombay House. The lamb boti kabob masala is my favorite food of all time!

  5. Deb says:

    provo has some good food! Cubbys is yummy for quick — but if you truly want the most divine perfectly made from scratch italian food you will every have you have to make the drive to Salt Lake to Valter’s — oh my! pricey but worth every penny! DIVINE! As good or better than anything I ate it Italy.

  6. Karen Mangum says:

    Mel: Thank you for highlighting my website for your followers and since I am one of your loyal followers I am very flattered. Your personal style and delicious food endear me and my tastebuds to you! Best wishes as you run your half. I’ve run my share of halves and wholes, but much prefer the halves so have fun! In Springville is a fun restaurant called Art City Trolley which your family would love; something for everyone.

  7. Shauna says:

    You absolutely must eat at 180 Tacos, get both the Buffalo and Buttermilk Chicken tacos, and report back. SO GOOD.

  8. Kate says:

    Bombay House in Provo is the bomb for Indian food! Their mango lassie, and everything on their menu that I’ve tried, is mouthwateringly delicious! They are a little spendy if you are taking the whole fam, but like indian food goes, a few dishes can be shared by many so it could easily feed 2 adults and 5 kids for somewhere around $50. If you have never had a pupusa you have to try them! They are super inexpensive and filling, and just an experience you can’t miss. Go to either El Salvador Restaurant (332 W Center St Provo, UT 84601) or El Mexsal (325 S. Freedom BLVD Provo Ut.84601) and try a pupusa revuelta and some with loroco. Don’t skimp on the cabbage topping and red sauce, it all comes together. And that crispy bit of cheese that sizzled out the side of the pupusa should be the last savory bite because it is the best. Nicolitalia’s pizza is also so yummy! I don’t know how it’s better than anywhere else but it definitely is top of the line for pizza. But I would take Indian food or pupusas over pizza most days. Hope you have time to try a few places!

  9. Melissa says:

    Good luck on Saturday! All of your hard work and dedication will pay off and to keep you going when you get tired…just keep thinking of that celebratory dinner you get after your amazing run!! All the best and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  10. Kate says:

    we had some seriously delicious Mexican at Brassos on Freedom and 100 S. The taco al pastor and beef nachos were amazing! I also adore the desserts at Gloria’s little Italy.

  11. Ashlee says:

    OK. Right across the street to the north of the race’s end is Guru’s (best sweet potato fries/frysauce ever),which includes enliten bakery. Not only ate their baked goods divine, but they serve Milk Honey homemade yogurt (so amazingly awesome and made fresh from Springville)! I know you love some homemade yogurt. Also, since you’ll be needing to eat those calories that you will burn…station 22 (still on center street) had some awesome southern home cookin (and a wall of soda).
    Last thing. You inspired me to run this race, so hopefully I’ll finally meet you. Good luck!

  12. Lana says:

    Provo places to eat
    Brick Oven (pizza, pasta, salad, soup)
    BYU Creamery (ice cream, hamburgers, fries)
    Kneaders (Maybe you have a Kneaders? Sandwiches, soups, desserts)

  13. Helen says:

    Hey Mel .. Still trying to plan my Saturday so I can be there for that sweaty finish. I’m also hoping to persuade you to stick around in Utah for a few days and visit me in Ephraim and stay for the pageant .. I promise it will be worth your trip .. And I can provide your gang with plenty of food and chaotic fun. Good Luck on the big race !!! You got this

  14. Tiffany says:

    Good luck. You have already got a lot of my favorite places recommended to you, so I will leave you with a fantastic dessert recommendation. Go to Gloria’s Little Italy and get their tartufo. We often go other places for dinner first, but I dream about that dessert.

  15. Chelsea says:

    I second Bombay House. However, my all time favorite place to eat in Provo is a straight hole in the wall, is this Mexico?, Mexican place called Laura’s. It is AMAZING! I lived in CA before and after my 5 years in Provo and to this day I still crave it. And I KNOW good Mexican. I’m from California; you can trust me 😉 We love their carne asada tacos, the gringa with pastor meat, the Pombasas, the enchiladas, and the tamales. It is sooooo good!! You MUST go there especially if you like Mexican.

    Have fun!!

  16. Annie says:

    Pizzeria 712! Oh my goodness, get their braised beef and polenta appetizer… I’m drooling just thinking about it. Seriously, this place is amazing. Black sheep cafe. Cubby’s. Waffleluv for dessert. All of those are absolutely stellar. (And I’ve seen a lot of Los Hermanos recommendations but in my opinion it is just sooooo ordinary. Just my opinion…)

  17. Heather bell says:

    Stand in Provo! Simple hole in the wall with fries and milkshakes to die for. Best of luck friend!! Maybe Julianne and I can convince ourselves to run a half together:)

  18. Mollie says:

    So excited to see this post today – I love checking what you are making for the week to get some menu inspiration! And I’m of course excited to meet you at the finish line. Also, loving all the Provo eating recommendations! I figure 13+miles affords me at least a couple of yummy meals, right?

  19. Nikol says:

    Food place: Communal is all the rage among foodies. Part of this year’s Salt Lake Magazine annual dining awards! Good luck with the run! 🙂

  20. Bri H. says:

    Black Sheep cafe is delicious! Their Navajo tacos are to die for!! And it’s close to the provo tabernacle!

  21. Jodi says:

    Mel, thank you so much for your shout out, that means the world to me and is quite an honor. I am a HUGE fan of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and have been following you for years. I check your site every day, I’m just really bad at leaving comments. I am dying to make the peanut butter caramel chocolate chip bars, they look amazing, but then again, everything you make is. Good luck with the half marathon, I’ve run that one before and loved it. I love halfs, they are so much better than a full, trust me, I’ve done both. I’ll be thinking of you this weekend. Go kick some butt!!

  22. Mel says:

    You guys are killing me with these restaurant recommendations! Seriously! I wish I had a week to eat my way through Provo. I have no idea how I’ll ever decide but I’ll make sure to report back where we ended up. So much food – so little time!!

  23. Joanne says:

    Godspeed to you Mel! Best of luck with the race. In your honor made your delicious whole wheat bread today with great success!!!

  24. Amanda Cluff says:

    I would love to meet you! You are my inspiration! Just a few restaurant recommendations:

    Black sheep cafe – downtown Provo
    Sushi burrito – Provo
    Oteo – Lindon (this one you definitely won’t regret)

  25. Melanie says:

    I live right up the hill from the finish line! Not looking forward to the traffic so much. Haha. Communal, Black Sheep Cafe, Station 22, Bruges Waffles are all awesome, close options, but will most likely be PACKED, and are a bit pricey. Pizzeria 712 is awesome, if you want to drive to Orem (maybe a 15 minute drive with traffic). If it were me, I would hit up the shops at Riverwoods and try out the restaurants there. Tucanos is regularly in my dreams and fills you up for the price. It also has an awesome salad bar if you aren’t wanting something too heavy. La Jolla Groves and Malawis Pizza is awesome, too. Marley’s sliders is a great burger option. (I just realized that this post totally makes me sound like a chunky kid that eats out way too often. There may be some truth to that. Haha).

  26. Laura Culbertson says:

    Also, get a cupcake at Alisha’s Cravings in Pleasant Grove. She won cupcake wars, so I think you would love her stuff. (her “Better Than What” cupcake was the winning one on Cupcake wars) Totally worth the trip. And calories. I mean, you’ve already run a marathon and burned off all those calories anyways…

  27. Rachel says:

    Ok, I’m totally in denial about the race being this Saturday, too. Like, I keep just looking at my calendar and going, THIS week? Seriously? Hopefully it’ll go great for both of us 🙂 I hope I get to see you after!

  28. Linda Pilkington says:

    So excited for you. I have loved reading your progress. The best place in Provo for some crazy good eats and the prices are really good is the Sensuous Sandwich just about a block away from the finish line on Center Street. Wishing you luck.

  29. Lauren says:

    You need to try Cupbop, they have a location in Provo and a few food trucks. I also love El Mexiquense Grill in American Fork.

  30. JessicaZ says:

    Cubby’s! Order the tri-tip sandwich or salad. And don’t forget the sweet potato fries or the buffalo blue fries…both amazing. Seriously so delicious.

  31. Mame says:

    So glad you included Carlsbad Cravings!! Jen was in my ward all through high school. She beautiful inside and out and I just think she is really amazing!!

  32. Laura says:

    You HAVE to go to 180 tacos !! It’s located close to the Riverwoods. Eat all their tacos. If you like spicy, get their wontons. And get their Chimmichurri mac and cheese!!!

    Also, go to Cravings Bistro in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Get their French Dip sandwhich. To. Die.For.

  33. Mary Jo says:

    Whoo hoo! You are going to be amazing this weekend. Trust all your training and you will be awesome! Good luck and I can’t wait to read the recap on the race. Hugs, hugs, hugs! 🙂

  34. Rachel says:

    For breakfast I highly recommend getting kolaches at Hruskas Kolaches on center street. But run fast because they sell out quickly.

  35. Danielle says:

    It’s just around the corner from Provo in Springville, but Magleby’s restaurant is the place to go. Especially if you love homemade desserts. It’s a locally owned mom and pop place that has been around for years! Breakfast is ridiculously delicious too. If you can’t make it to Magleby’s try Magleby’s Fresh in Provo. Or there is a taco shop run by the same owners called 180 Tacos. It’s like a food truck with tons of different interesting combinations of tacos that you can build. You can also turn them into a salad. Their dessert donuts are amazing too!

    Have fun!

  36. Lafayette says:

    Bombay House for Indian food, Burger Supreme if you want a nice juicy burger.

  37. Jolie says:

    I vote for Communal and Pizzeria 712 as well. My brother used to work at both places and they are excellent!

  38. Liz says:

    Just have fun!!! I am sure you will … and a great family time also! I’ve loved following the training and the stories and look forward to hearing about the race.

  39. Krista says:

    Provo Foods:

    Black Sheep Cafe does “Contemporary Southwestern Native American Cuisine.” It’s one of my biggest Provo regrets that I only discovered this a week or so before I left. They have a green chile stew that I would LOVE the recipe for. You know, if you go, and can get it out of them and send it to me. Fingers crossed.

    Communal and its sister restaurant Pizzeria 712 in Orem ae both great as well. They do seasonal and local food, and the menu changes week to week, if not day to day. It’s all good, though it can get pricey, and you’ll probably need to set up a reservation in advance.

    Bombay House is good Indian food, but India Palace is slightly better, slightly cheaper, and equally close to the finish line. Sam Hawk takes a long time, but they do Korean well.

    If you DO just want a burger, go to Burger Supreme. Man. I miss their burgers and gyros.

    Oh, and last, but not least, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get over to Hokulia Shave Ice. (Don’t say “shaved,” unless you want to demonstrate the fact you’re new there.) Tiger’s Blood is the best flavor, but you can get it split into 2 or 3 sections to try different ones. And the snow cap is worth it.

    Please report on how it went and where you went. 🙂

  40. Stacey says:

    I haven’t lived in Utah in 20 years and I still think about Los Hermanos, in particular their smothered burrito, on a fairly regular basis. Good luck with the race! You will do awesome.

  41. Emilee says:

    I have lived all over the U.S. and Bombay House in Provo is the best Indian food I’ve ever had. You must go for dinner! And make sure you have a mango lassi.

  42. Ashlee says:

    If you’ve never been to Cafe Zupas, you should. Sandwiches, soups & salads. My favorite is the lobster bisque, while my hubby loves the mushroom bisque. I’ve figured out a very close soup if you want the recipe for the mushroom:) if you like Korean, there’s a little known place called Sam Hawks that is yummy! Good luck!

  43. Black Sheep Cafe, Communal, Bombay House, and Spicy Corea are my favorite Provo eats. If you do soda, you must swing by Sodalicious. Cupbop is a food truck that has a brick and mortar location in Provo and it sure is tasty. Waffle Luv and Sweeto Burrito are also great food trucks with brick and mortar locations a little further away, but they also may be down there for the race.

    Good luck! And way to go!

  44. Meridith says:

    No, no, no, you’ve GOT to go to The Banana Leaf while you’re here—on University Avenue and 400 North. Delicious Sri Lankan food (fantastic curries and the like). Trust me, you’d adore it.

  45. Anne says:

    I would suggest skipping Los Hermanos personally (although their non-alcoholic drink menu is extensive), and going to Bombay House (Indian Food) instead. If you can make it to SLC (maybe on the way back?), you MUST eat at Lone Star Taqueria on Fort Union Blvd (really close to In N Out and Chick Fil A if you need more mediocre fare). By far the best Tacos I have found West of the Rockies.

    While we are on the subject, Rose’s Lariat in Rawlings, WY (not on your path I realize) makes the best steak Fajitas I have EVER eaten. I am certain I will never find their equal. My husband had the enchiladas with green chili sauce and we are both ruined for eating Mexican food now. I think it is worth driving 3000+ miles with 5 kids in tow just to eat there.

    Have a lovely race!!

  46. Stacy Cardon says:

    Try Station 22 or Black Sheep Cafe. Both excellent and right near the finish.

    • Kirstin says:

      I second these two, and add the Communal. And they are all within walking distance of the tabernacle…unless your legs fall off.

  47. Jamie says:

    Good luck on Saturday! One of my favorite places to eat in Provo is Los Hermanos. It has delicious fajitas! Plus the bowl of chips and salsa they bring is really yummy too.

  48. Teresa says:

    Wishing you all the best on your upcoming race. I enjoyed reading all of your updates in the running section. You will do great–we are all so proud of you. PS, I love Jodi’s blog and make many of her family friendly recipes. Thanks for other suggestions!

  49. Kelli says:

    You will do great on Saturday, you have trained so well! Good luck! Can’t wait to see an update.

    As for post race eats, my favorite thing is a big ol’ burger, fries and a shake. Cubby’s in Provo is amazing (sweet potato fries and tri tip sandwich!), In’N’Out is obviously always a good choice, and Guru’s has incredible sweet potato fries as well, but no burgers. There are tons of great places in Provo!

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