by Clifton Tolboe
(3 out of 4)
For those of you that have been trapped somewhere under a rock (at least the Utah residents) the new mega Mormon mall in downtown Salt Lake recently opened and we labbers took the opening as the perfect opportunity to venture out and of the lab and hunt down some more fine vittles. Luckily the new mall is only two blocks from our fine downtown lab headquarters and boasts many new restaurants like the uber-chain Cheesecake factory, 6th and Pine in Nordstrom and Texas di Brazil steakhouse. Knowing this we donned our city gear and hit the street to head northward- Mormon mall ho!
Upon arrival at the new mall a short 5 minutes later, excitement and enthusiasm abounded amongst the team- only to be dashed by the 45 minute wait at all City Creek sit down restaurants. Not to fret, the nice thing about the development of the new massive mall the last few years is that it had allowed for a small, but thriving foodie scene to emerge in downtown Salt Lake and recently over 20 new diners, restaurants and fast fresh concepts had opened in the area! One of these, Blue Lemon, had been receiving quite a bit of critical acclaim in the press as of late so off we marched to the north side of City Creek Center to give it a try!
Blue Lemon, the brainchild of husband and wife team Lychelle and Aaron Day, now has opened three eateries in Utah with the City Creek Center as the flagship location being their second. The restaurant, a fast fresh concept where you order and pay at a counter and then take a number to wait for your food, serves everything from sandwiches and entrees to starters and gourmet desserts. Blue Lemon’s website http://www.bluelemon.com/ is a great resource to learn more about the small growing company and their vegan/raw foods oriented approach.
Overall, the food at Blue Lemon is delicious and packed with a punch of freshness that would make even the most hipster vegan moms happy. The roasted turkey sandwich was amazing, served with fresh roasted turkey, provolone cheese, lemon herb smashed avocados, lemon pesto aioli, crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomato and sweet red onions on white or wheat ciabatta bread. Amazing sandwiches abound at Blue Lemon and the slow braised short rib sandwich served with with fontina cheese, fresh green leaf lettuce, sweet and sour red onions, and horseradish aioli is another sure fire winner.
Entrees at Blue Lemon were also stellar and range from chicken and beef to fish and pasta. For our first sample of Blue Lemon’s entrees we tried the pan seared pacific cod, the firey fish tacos and the Blue Lemon steak griller. The cod was amazing, flaky white fish with a nice crisp skin and served with Mediterranean potatoes and broken basil vinaigrette. The firey fish tacos on the other hand suffered from poor execution- the fish was not crunchy at all (a MUST for true fish tacos), the overall dish was somewhat bland and the fire, well let’s just say there was no fire- smoke maybe but definitely no fire. Luckily the Steak was much, much better and was cooked to a perfect med-rare by the crack kitchen staff. The Blue Lemon steak is served with crispy bacon and gorgonzola cheese melted on top with sautéed seasonal vegetables, roasted fingerling potatoes, and natural jus. Homerun! By far it was this writer’s favorite dish of the night. Blue Lemon is open 7am to 9pm Monday-Thursday, 7am to 10pm Friday-Saturday.