Park City • Karleen Reilly, the tell-it-like-it-is owner of Uptown Fare Cafe, says the 2018 Sundance Film Festival will be her swan song.
If all goes as planned, Reilly — who has had a well-publicized love-hate relationship with the festival and the Hollywood types who invade her hometown each year — hopes to join her husband in retirement sometime around March 1.
Until then, she’ll sell her homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and baked goods to film fans who stop by her shop behind the Kimball Arts Center on Kearns Boulevard.
Uptown Fare, Anaya’s Market and Back Door Deli are three lunch spots that people attending the Sundance Film Festival — or those just spending time in Park City — will want to visit, especially if they don’t have a lot of time — or cash.
Here’s a taste of what these dining gems offer.
While Uptown Fare Cafe has a loyal lunch following, Reilly expects to have even more customers during this year’s film festival running through Jan. 28 as the Kimball Arts Center is one of three venues hosting exhibits on virtual reality and new media.
Reilly is excited to be so close to the Sundance action — which hasn’t always been the case. Years ago, when Uptown Fare was on the top of Park City’s Main Street, she allowed only locals into her shop during the 10-day festival. She would hang a large banner outside that read “locals only” and would station a doorman to turn away out-of-towners.
A longtime Park City resident, Reilly opened Uptown Fare in 2000 after spending more than a decade as a caterer. In the basement of the old Imperial House Hotel, the restaurant had low ceilings, narrow eating spaces and an eclectic mix of donated furniture and thrift-store finds. Locals were drawn to the unpretentious atmosphere and menu — a change from the white-tablecloth establishments that fill Park City.
In 2015, when developers purchased the Imperial House, Uptown Fare was forced to close. A devoted group of Park City residents came up with $50,000 to help Reilly relocate to the art center. In her new location, Reilly continued her tradition of feeding everyday folks — something she plans to do for two more months.
“I’ve always just wanted to feed the workers,” she said. From the firefighters and police officers to the shop owners and even the Sundance volunteers, “those are the people I wanted to feed.”
Karleen’s Uptown Fare • 1401 Kearns Blvd., Park City (behind the Kimball Arts Center); 435-649-8882 or https://kimballartcenter.org/uptown-fare/. Open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours vary during Sundance.
To enjoy $2 tacos, $6 burritos and $8 carnitas — prices practically unheard of in this mountain town — you must first find Anaya’s Market. And that’s a trick, as the one-level, yellow-green building off Bonanza Drive is easy to miss.
Once you and your GPS find the market, seek out the 18-seat taqueria in the back. From the entrance, walk past the cash register — there’s only one — and the colorful produce. Turn right and walk past the shelves of dry beans, canned goods, cookies and laundry detergent.
Employees like Lucia Flores stand ready to make all the Mexican favorites. There are tacos, quesadillas, burritos, carnitas and large torta sandwiches with your choice of meats: asada (beef), barbacoa (barbecue beef), chorizo (spicy sausage), al pastor (spicy pork), chicken, tongue or chicharrones (pork skins). Chopped onions, cilantro and radishes as well as mild, medium and holt salsas are available at the tiny condiment bar. Beverages are in a drink case. Almost everything is under $10.
“Most of the customers that come are workers in construction and landscaping,” said Julia Anaya, the store manager. It’s one of five Anaya Markets the family operates in Utah. There are other stores in Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan and Ogden.
Park City resident Christina Armstrong arrived before noon on a recent winter day to enjoy the $2 tacos. “It’s a great little place,” she said, “but unless you’re a local you wouldn’t know it’s here.”
Anaya’s Market • 1490 Munchkin Road, Park City; 435-615-8454 or http://www.anayasmarket.com/. The market is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but the restaurant closes by 4 p.m.
Back Door Delicatessen
It’s easy to miss this deli inside a business center at Heber Avenue and Swede Alley. That’s just fine by the locals, especially those who work in the retail stores and offices along Park City’s Main Street They want to keep this shop — with 50 sandwich options and a low-key vibe — a secret.
The owners are the husband-and-wife team of Colter Wade and Meg Palmer. They keep bins of vinyl jazz albums on the counter, store their snowboards in the corner and showcase an eclectic mix of art on the walls.
A large board above the prep counter lists the sandwiches in numerical order from No. 1 (the chicken or tuna salad with Swiss) to No. 50 (Mom’s meatball). But it’s No. 41, the hot Italian, that is the most popular. “People gravitate to that one,” said Wade. Stacked with ham, salami and two types of peppers and drizzled with herbed olive oil, “it’s a manly sandwich that fills you up.”
The deli has been open 10 years. Wade and Palmer have been operating it for the past eight. They’ve never really advertised, relying on word of mouth. “Most of our business is real-estate workers and office people that have day jobs in Park City,” Wade said. Visitors who find them usually have gotten the tip from local shop owners.
During the first five days of the Sundance Film Festival, Back Door expands its hours and changes its menu to accommodate the crowds and keep the lines moving. On those days, it’s open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., selling coffee, espresso and breakfast burritos (in addition to sandwiches). Many customers have discovered the deli as they wait in line at the festival’s ticket office across the hall.
“A lot of locals don’t like Sundance because of the crowds,” said Palmer. “But we love it. It’s fun to see so many people.”
The Back Door Delicatessen • 136 Heber Ave., Park City; 435-647-8200 or http://backdoordeli.squarespace.com/. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours vary during Sundance.