What We Ate: Salt Lake City Snowstorms and Hot Wings

I told my family I was making a quick trip back to Salt Lake to see them and see the opening night of Black Swan at the Capitol Theater. That was only part of it. Like 12 percent of it. I was actually missing the hell out of a good pile of hot wings.

I love the food in Portland. It’s insane. But I haven’t found a place where the wings have incredible sauce options on top of perfectly cooked chicken bits. It’s a big town, you’d think someone would have perfected the wing situation.

If you’re in Salt Lake, go to Trolley Wing Company. They have several locations, none of which is in a trolley. They were originally in one of the old trollies at Trolley Square, hence the name.

Insider tip: get the Jamaican Garlic Parmesan and the Smoky Ancho. One is kind of sweet, the other savory, and we’ve tested all the flavors to know that these make the best combo. They balance each other.

Get the blue cheese dressing – there are actual chunks of blue cheese in it. Like, the size of a marble. It’s amazing. Also, you can get the sauces to go, so if you have to drive 12 hours back home and you are already missing Trolley wings, you can buy some plain wings while you are on the road and have a taste. Not that I know this from experience.

We also went to my “last meal” restaurant: Takashi. Hands down, no question, if I’m on death row, I’m having Takashi brought in for my last meal. Takashi makes the best sushi in Utah, no question. There are places with better fish and places with better rice and places with better atmosphere, but I’ve never found a place that combines all of these elements as perfectly as Takashi does. Get a seat at the bar, give your sushi chef free rein and get the spicy mussels to start.

I was too busy in fish heaven – barracuda, sardine, and uni that was so rich our chef formed it on rice instead of wrapping it in seaweed – to take pictures. I was literally swooning over the food too much to remember my camera. So here’s a generic picture of sushi:

If you read my adventure in Chicago, you know I had a run-in with some awful weather. That trend continued. We arrived during the worst storm of the year in northern Utah and left to arrive in the worst storm of the year in Oregon. The weather was so bad that they closed the freeway and we spent half the day stranded in La Grande. The rest of the trip was a slow-crawl in white-out conditions with black ice and packed snow coating the freeway.

We stopped in The Dalles to get some dinner and the town had essentially shut down. They clearly don’t have snow often enough to warrant a full-time fleet of snowplows, so we had to make our way down the packed, rutted streets to find the only thing open: Dairy Queen. I like Dairy Queen, so it’s cool. But the conditions… It was like four-wheeling on unused roads after the desert monsoon season carves ruts in the dirt, only it was snow and ice in the middle of a small town.

We let the dogs run out their pent-up energy in the empty parking lot of the Petco while we shared fries and chicken before finishing our crawl home. Verdict: sushi and wings were worth the deadly drive.

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