Meet Utah’s ‘Good Food’ finalists; and a Salt Lake City taco shop says goodbye

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Owner Philip Grubisa examines the salami in the aging room at Beltex Meats.

Two Utah companies have been named finalists in the 2021 Good Food Awards.

Salt Lake City’s Beltex Meats is one of 24 finalists in the charcuterie category for its pate de Campagne and Spanish chorizo; while Campos Coffee, with cafes in Salt Lake City and Park City, made the cut in the coffee division for its Colombia La Negrita Natural Geisha.

Good Food Awards are given to artisan food producers who use fresh and sustainable ingredients with delicious results. The awards are given in 16 categories, from beer and cider to pickles and preserves. Winners will be announced Jan. 22.

This is the fourth time that Beltex owner Philip Grubisa has made the Good Food finals. He’s also won the top prize twice. The first was in 2018 with his salted, cured and aged coppa. He did it again in 2020 with his pate forestier.

The public took part in judging this year’s coffee category — a first for the national competition. Some 200 java devotees narrowed the 203 entries to 30 top picks, which were judged by industry veterans. This new process led to a more diverse group of finalists, hailing from 20 states and 10 countries.

Taco shop says goodbye

The pandemic has forced another Salt Lake City restaurant to close for good.

On Tuesday, the owners of Barrio — a taco shop at 282 E. 900 South — announced on Facebook that “our small business ... has come to an end,” due to the impact of COVID-19.

“We are SO sad to say goodbye to our little taco restaurant,” the post reads. “We wish all small businesses the best of luck and hope you can make it through the pandemic.”

Utah’s most popular side dish

The most popular Thanksgiving side dish in Utah isn’t stuffing, mashed potatoes or green bean casserole. And it’s not cranberry sauce or green Jell-O. (Whew!)

According to this recent analysis, the best turkey-day accompaniment in the Beehive State is warm, fluffy, carb-filled rolls.

Researchers at Zippia, an online job site, used Google Trends to find out what residents of each state searched for in the days leading up to holiday in 2019.

Utah is not the only state with an affinity for bread. Rolls also were the favorite in Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia. The closely related crescent roll was the preference in South Dakota, and Oregonians like biscuits.

Other trends revealed in the data:

• Mashed potatoes are the favorite side dish in 10 states, including our neighbors in Colorado and Nevada.

• Mac ‘n’ cheese is popular in seven states, mostly in the South.

• Folks in the Midwest prefer green bean casserole — although so do residents in Idaho, New Mexico and Arizona.

• Brown gravy (is that a side dish?) is a must in Wyoming and Hawaii. White gravy is mandatory in Arkansas.

• And New Hampshire can’t celebrate without cranberry sauce.

Senator sells sweets

November has been a good month for state Sen. Lincoln Fillmore.

The South Jordan Republican was reelected last week to his District 10 seat, and this week, he will celebrate the opening of his new business — a Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery — in his hometown of Taylorsville.

The shop — the fifth Nothing Bundt Cakes in Utah — will donate 20% of its sales to the Taylorsville Food Pantry on Nov. 13. And the first 300 guests who visit the store on Nov. 14 will get a free mini bundt cake.

A bakery is a departure for Fillmore and his business partners Max Meyer and Mandee Thompson. The three own and operate Charter Solutions, a charter school management company in Draper. Fillmore is the company president, while Meyer is vice president, and Thompson directs operations.

Fillmore said in a news release that normally he is a “cream pie guy,” but when he tasted the bundt cakes, it made him nostalgic for his childhood.

Nothing Bundt Cakes • 5338 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville. Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Chocolate festival

The ninth annual Caputo’s Chocolate Festival is Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. and will spotlight the United Kingdom’s Pump Street Chocolate. This year’s festival, which benefits the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative, takes place online.

All the sweet and savory chocolate creations — including Pump Street’s famous puffed pastry Eccles cake — will be available in a kit that can be shipped for $100 or picked up at the Salt Lake City store for $75.