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One business creates gourmet salads for lunch.
Another delivers late-night meals to hungry college students.
And a third sells star-powered hamburgers and sandwiches.
All three of these new Salt Lake County businesses have one thing in common — they operate out of a “virtual” kitchen with no storefront or seating. The only way their customers can get the food is to order online for pickup or delivery.
SLC Salads, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen and Late Night Ghost Kitchen at the University of Utah are the latest additions to the takeout trend that began in response to the pandemic but is now part of our regular dining routine.
And it is here to stay.
New salad shop in SLC
After months of hearty and heavy winter takeout, along comes SLC Salads offering lighter salads, soups and small plates. It’s open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Utah chef Brandon Cagle, a Salt Lake City native and an Air Force veteran, worked at several area restaurants — including The Rest and Pago — before teaming up with entrepreneur Matt Williamson to create this new lunchtime option.
Salads are $8 to $10 and include a chef-composed mix of lettuce, nuts, fruits, grains and cheeses — as well as housemade dressings. Options range from the zippy citrus arugula (orange slices, shaved Parmesan and a lemony vinaigrette) to the Mexican street corn (Fresno chiles, pickled red onion and queso fresco) and the Greek (feta, pickled peppers and Castelvetrano olives).
Each salad can be vegan or vegetarian with an option of adding chicken, steak, shrimp, tempe or avocado for an extra fee ($1 to $6).
Pickup is available at Salt Lake City’s ComCom Kitchen, 67 W. 1700 South (formerly Marisa’s Market) where several other “ghost” or “cloud”-based eateries operate, including Streusel Bakery, Mad Dough and Silvermoon Taqueria.
Delivery is available through Utah-based Chefpanzee as well as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats. More details at slcsalads.com, on Instagram @SLCSalads or 801-808-7318.
Late-night delivery at the U.
Eaters on the University of Utah campus have been able to satisfy their late-night cravings, thanks to a new food ordering and delivery service, offered through dining services.
In February, the U. launched its Late Night Ghost Kitchen, which allows students, faculty and staff to order and pay for meals on a new mobile app and then select a pickup spot from a list of locations. (Delivery to offices and dorm rooms currently is not allowed as a COVID-19 safety precaution.)
In the first month, the service had nearly 300 orders and $4,000 in sales, said Thea Evans, district marketing manager for the U.’s dining services. Gourmet milkshakes were “by far the number one seller,” she said. Chicken and waffles, buffalo macaroni and cheese, enchiladas and chorizo tofu burritos were other favorites.
Opening the ghost kitchen “really brings a new and innovative way for us to grow our dining program,” Evans said. “We learned that it is an easy way for us to give our students what they want and need.”
The U.’s two dining halls close at 8 p.m and even before the pandemic, the department had received requests for late-night options. Now, the virtual kitchen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to midnight and is operated out of Urban Bytes — the largest eatery on campus located inside the Kahlert Village housing.
Chartwells Higher Education, the U.’s food service vendor, launched a similar concept at Seattle University in September. It was so successful, four more Chartwell schools joined the pilot project including the U., SUNY Buffalo State College, University of Texas at Dallas and San Jose State University.
The U.’s late-night kitchen will remain open throughout the spring semester, Evans said, with plans to expand menu and delivery locations in the fall.
Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen opens
Utah is one of 23 states, along with Washington, D.C., to get Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen.
Fieri — the host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network — launched his delivery-only restaurants in February, operating them out of existing restaurants or commercial kitchens.
The menu includes Fieri’s “real-deal” favorites like bourbon brown sugar barbecue wings with ranch and a stuffed mac ‘n’ cheese hamburger with Donkey Sauce — a mix of mayonnaise, mustard, roasted garlic and lemon.
There also are pasta entrees, salads, sides and desserts. Prices range from $9 to $15. More details at guysflavortownkitchen.com.