The Utah restaurant scene always is evolving.
In recent weeks, a military-themed burger joint opened in a Sandy mall; a neighborhood eatery in Salt Lake City closed but was immediately reopened by some familiar chefs; and a popular ramen shop added a new location.
Here are the details.
Military-approved burgers in Sandy
Former Utah National Guard Staff Sgt. James Veylupek, the owner and operator of Special Courses, a military-themed food truck, recently opened a restaurant with the same name at The Shops at South Town (formerly South Towne Center).
Veylupek got help launching the eatery after winning Taste for the Space in May 2017. The veteran defeated 12 other chefs to get $50,000 and six months free rent in the mall’s dining terrace.
His combat-approved menu includes All-American hamburgers such as the Hell Fire, with chipotle slaw, bacon and sriracha; and his signature Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, with cheddar, bacon and onions caramelized in Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Order them with Semper Fries.
All the burgers are seasoned with Veylupek’s original sauce, one he honed while working as a full-time cook for the 19th Special Forces Group at Camp Williams in Draper.
Special Courses • The Shops at South Town Dining Terrace (between JCPenney and Forever 21), 10450 State St., Sandy
New owners for Avenues Bistro on Third
When they learned that Avenues Bistro on Third was for sale, four Utah chefs and businessmen swooped in and purchased the neighborhood eatery.
“We jumped in as quick as we could,” said chef and co-owner Steven Garner, who will run the day-to-day kitchen operations. He will get regular assists from his business partners: Michael Richey, chef/owner of Fireside on Regent (where Garner has been the sous chef); Scott Deseelhorst, of Snake River Winery in Idaho and formerly of Solitude Mountain Resort; and businessman Peter Horvath.
“I worked here for three months last year while waiting for Fireside to open,” said Garner, who’s resume also includes Pago, Provisions and Solitude. “We love the building and the whole idea of the neighborhood bistro.”
Kathie Chadbourne, who launched Avenues Bistro in February 2011, said she decided to sell the restaurant instead of renew the lease. The restaurant closed Nov. 19.
But the new owners acted quickly, reopening on Dec. 1 with a new American bistro menu that includes lobster beignets with a corn custard dipping sauce ($16), rabbit pot pie ($19) and the Bistro Burger made with top-quality Akashi Wagyu beef, caramelized onions and Utah-made Beehive Cheddar ($19).
The owners plan to use the backyard garden area “and grow as much food as we can,” said Garner. In the spring, look for updates to the patio and landscaping.
Avenues Bistro on Third • 564 E. Third Ave., Salt Lake City; 801-831-5409. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Ramen 2.0 in Holladay
Tired of waiting in a long line to enjoy the fragrant, filling noodle soups at Tosh’s Ramen? You’re in luck! Chef Tosh Sekikawa recently opened a second location in Holladay with the same menu — but more seating.
Sekikawa opened his original ramen shop in late 2014 in a tiny space in a State Street strip mall. From day one, diners have waited, sometimes as long as an hour, to be seated.
The food is worth it, though, as Sekikawa, a chef at Naked Fish before striking on his own, knows his stuff when it comes to making broths, the holy grail of ramen.
At the new shop in Holladay — in the same strip mall as the Megaplex Theater — guests can still get the same classic ramen noodle bowls as at the original location, including tonkotsu (pork), shoyu (soy sauce/chicken), karai (spicy pork), curry, miso and vegetarian. Ramen prices range from $9.45 to $12.
There are also sweet and spicy Tokyo wings, gyoza pork dumplings and vegan spring rolls.
Tosh’s Ramen • 1963 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay; 801-278-8249. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
Clarification: This story has been updated to include why the original owner of Avenues Bistro on Third sold the business.