Monday, May 17, 2010

Cache Valley Gardener's Market

Merlin Olsen Park - 100 South 200 East (Logan)

One of the great traditions in Cache Valley is the Cache Valley Gardeners Market, located on the "island," just a couple of blocks southeast of historic downtown Logan and the Logan Tabernacle. And it is now back in full swing again for the 2010 season - every Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

The Gardeners' Market provides an opportunity for local gardeners, farmers, crafters, bakers, etc. to set up shop and sell their wares to the public while local musicians serenade the friendly scene. You can get everything from produce, to planted starts for your garden, clothes, jewelry, bread, and artwork.

The great thing is that it is free to browse the vendors and there is no pressure to buy anything, and you might even come away with a free sample or two.

One of my favorite staples of the Gardener's Market is Hip Mama's lemonade. It is the perfect combination of tart lemons, sugar, and flavorful fruit. With a different fruit each week (strawberries, peaches, watermelon, etc.), you can try something new all summer long.

And that holds true for the Gardener's Market as a whole. With different local bands and musicians each week, the number of booths growing each year, and a variety of vendors coming and going throughout the season, you'll always find something new and interesting every Saturday throughout the summer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Texas Roadhouse

42 East 1400 North, Logan

 There was a major buzz around town when reports started that Texas Roadhouse would be coming to Logan. All I heard was how great, amazing and fun it was going to be. Rumor had it that the steaks and ribs could not be beat. After going a couple of times, I have to whole-heartedly disagree.

The first time, my wife and I went with much anticipation. The wait in line is usually a substantial time, even if you call ahead. But the fact that, while waiting for a table, you can eat peanuts to your heart's content - while throwing your shells right on the floor - was an excellent start. I am a big fan of both peanuts and walking on crunchy shells.

Once we got a table, we we brought fresh, honey-buttered rolls straight out of the oven. This was easily the best part of our meal. I think I could live on those rolls and never complain.

We both got steaks and, while mine was cooked correctly and was fairly good, my wife's was very overcooked. The waiter never did ask how our food was or if our steaks were cooked okay. About halfway through our meal, one of the managers/owners came to our table to inquire about our meal. When my wife explained that her steak was overcooked, the manager took a look at it and agreed. He asked if we wanted a new steak cooked correctly, but my wife declined (as she was already halfway through with her meal). The manager instead gave her a card for a free meal next time we came in. We thought that was a good gesture, and was probably one of the only reasons we gave Texas Roadhouse a second try.

Unfortunately, our second visit was not much better than the first. The peanuts and rolls were great starts once again, but we were disappointed after that. This time, I tried the ribs, as I had heard great thing about them. But when i got them, they were hardly even warm. And I can't think of many things less appetizing than non-warm ribs. I didn't even think the flavor was good either. I ended up taking half of the ribs home, and I heated them up the next day. They were a little better hot than cold, but not enough to change my mind.

The side dishes (fries, salad, baked potato, sweet potato fries) were all okay, and the amount of food should definitely leave you leftovers. Perhaps we just had two bad experiences that are not par for the course, but I definitely do not recommend Texas Roadhouse. While the peanuts and rolls are awesome, something tells me that most people going to a steakhouse for dinner aren't going for the peanuts and rolls.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Smokin' Blues Barbeque

71 East 1200 South, Logan/Providence

After hearing rave reviews about Smokin' Blues Barbeque from my boss, and after experiencing less-than-stellar ribs at Texas Roadhouse (post on that potentially to follow), we decided to go check out this new southern barbeque restaurant in the south Logan/Providence area. Having previously lived in Washington, D.C., we were familiar with great barbeque, such as Red, Hot and Blue and Old Glory.

First off, I love the hours that Smokin' Blues operates, from 11am until they run out of meat! The atmosphere is great, with the meat being smoked right outside the front of the restaurant and a heavy selection of both beer and root beer (though we didn't try either). Smokin' Blues even has a large stage set apart for live music, and that music adds to the laid-back southern atmosphere.

We tried the pulled pork, the ribs and the brisket, along with sides of potato salad and baked beans. Everything was done well - certainly the best barbeque you will find anywhere in Cache Valley. The dry rub on the ribs has a great flavor, and the ribs themselves were tender and juicy. With three choices of barbeque sauce (KC - Kansas City, T - Texas, G - Georgia), you can sauce up your meat to your liking. I highly recommend the Texas sauce (with a spicy, tangy flavor), while my wife enjoyed the Georgia sauce (a sweeter flavor).

We both agreed that Red, Hot and Blue was still our favorite barbeque restaurant, but Smokin' Blues Barbeque is certainly a fitting substitute for the Logan area. If you enjoy southern-style barbeque, we highly recommend giving it a try.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lucky for Logan

This summer my husband and I had the privileged of attending the play, The hanging of El Bandito. It was our very first Pickleville Play and and it made us fans for life. The characters were so funny, and we could tell they actors love doing what they do.

Lucky for the people of Cache Valley they are showing the play at the Ellen Eccles Theater February 13 and 15. This is because it was so popular this summer.

This play also convinced my husband that plays aren't bad after all and he even bought me tickets to the Pickleville Christmas play. We both died laughing in that one too.

We highly recommend this show to anyone who is in Logan that weekend and is looking for a night of side splitting, good acting, fun. The man who writes these plays (T.J. Davis) is such a hilarious man and does such a good job.

We love Pickleville plays and will keep attending them. Keep up the good work!

Come to Cache Valley!

Recently, I have been thinking about the stores and restaurants that I love, but that we don't have here in Cache Valley. I have come of with a top five businesses that I think should come to the Logan area:






Naturally, as a guy, most of my list had to do with food. What are your thoughts? Are there other clothing stores, department stores, restaurants, etc., that you would like to see in Logan/Cache Valley?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Pickville Christmas

(image from iUtah)

The Pickleville Playhouse in Bear Lake is a great summer source for fun and entertainment. During the Christmas season, they bring their unique brand of comedy to Logan for Pickleville Christmas. These North Pole musicals are fun and enjoyable for the entire family. This year, Buster the elf (T.J. Davis, who also wrote the musical) leads an always hilarious cast in Once Upon a Christmas, a memorable musical sure to be filled with laughter, romance, intrigue, and some interesting takes on some of your favorite Christmas songs.

The show will run on select dates from November 27th-December 23rd at the USU's Eccles Conference Center. Tickets can be purchased just for the show itself (Adults=$15.95, Kids [age 11 and under]=$9.95), or you can purchase tickets that include a buffet dinner before the show catered by the Copper Mill restaurant (Adults=$30.95, Kids [age 11 and under]=$17.95).

So come enjoy a new Cache Valley holiday tradition, where you can use the buffet to fill up your belly, then shake while you laugh like a bowlful of jelly.

More information and tickets available HERE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cache Valley Gift Basket

Chris recently received a gift basket as a thank you for speaking at a local conference. The basket was filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies from Cache Valley.

With so many gift giving opportunites coming up, maybe it's time to think local for your next hostess gift, care package, or holiday neighbor gifts.This basket contained Pepperidge Farm Chessman, Goldfish crackers, Wheat Crisps, and raspberry Milano cookies; Deverle's All-Purpose Seasoning; a sampler of Cox Honeyland honeys; Bluebird chocolates; Caspers Salad dressing; a mug from The Beehive Grill; and a yummy candle from Scentinal.

With so many food production operations in Cache Valley, it's easy to fill up a basket with local treats. The options significantly increase if your gift giving allows for perishible food items: bread, cheeses, ice cream, and local produce.

Any other Cache Valley foods that top your list? If you moved away, what would you crave the most? Any non-food specialties from Cache Valley that you live for? Let us know!