1. pete's lunch. by far pete's was my favorite place to eat in provo. i never felt more at home at a diner than when i was at MY table at pete's. i wish i could uproot that whole little microcosmic community built up around pete's and take it with me wherever i go. i'm confident i'll find similar diners in salt lake, and i'm sure the fare will be good, but i have a hard time believing that i'm going to find another waitress as good as julie, or chicken fried steak/hasbrowns/toast/2 eggs over medium as perfectly made as the way pete did it. call me nostalgic, but goddammit, for my money no one has ever made me breakfast as good. and guess what, his burgers are up there with the best of them. so is is meatloaf. so are his omeletes. there are a few people who might disagree with me, but they are few and far between. and i usually ignore them. i'm trying not to get too nostalgic over this, because i'm hoping some dumb hungry kid with a little extra cash wanders in pete's, who is kinda shy and makes his way over to the west wall, stops to check out the old prospector (stinky pete) painting and sits down at table 9 so he can get a commanding view of all the other tables and so he can watch a happy chinese guy do what he's been doing with perfection for eons, fall in love instantly with the waitress, and hell, the whole scene and never wants to go eat anywhere else. then he gets his food and it seals the deal.
2.el salvadoran. el salvadoran only comes in second because they don't have pete cooking. i fell in love with salvadoran food because a guatemalan classmate insisted she make me pupusas one night. she made them from scratch, which wasn't hard because she'd grown up making them. thanks karla! it was a while before i had the craving for a pupusa after that, but i was making my way down center street once and peeked in the window and saw what everyone was eating. so i went back a little while later and got myself some, i hate to say it but el salvadoran's were better than karla's pupusas. i kept going, and i became friendly with joe, the really big guy who looks really scary. he isn't. his name is joe. i'm going to miss el salvadoran because of joe, and the little grandmother who makes all the pupusas and tamales. and everyone else who works there and eats there. el salvadoran doesn't need me to keep their business going, they have a strong community of people who go there because they know they'll see other salvadorans.
3. nicolitalia pizzeria. no brainer. my heart is tied to this place in the weirdest ways. i love nick. i love nick's pizza. i love how he does everything wrong and yet, still manages to get everything right. the place is one of the conundrums of the universe. if and when nicolitalia pizzeria goes out of business, the soul of utah county will go out with it. you'll never meet a more honest businessman than nick dellacioppa. you'll never eat better hand tossed pizza, you'll never be more annoyed ordering it, you'll never laugh harder waiting for it, you'll never want the music to change more, and you'll never forget the time nick innocently mispronounced your name, got your order wrong or remembered who you were as you walked through the door.
fuck you provo, you broke my heart. i'll still come back for the food, though.
hello salt lake, just got here, still figuring everything out, but so far you haven't disappointed. i've been frequenting a littl indian market down the road from where bryan and cassie live. they sell a indian soda called limca. it is lime flavored. it is delicious and very refreshing. i've also discovered their pakoras and potato patties and spinach paneer triangles to be totally killer. big daddy's pizza is the best $5 pizza i've ever had. i'm fully expecting my adventures in food to be varied and fruitful. here's to whats coming, y'all!