Longest title ever.
I have a whole lot of Blend 2014 recaps coming for you. I thought I would try to focus on topics that would be interesting to all readers instead of do a giant photo dump just to get all of my pictures off my phone. It’s possible that a giant photo dump would have been easier, but I tend to do things the hard way.
For those of you who don’t know, Blend Retreat is a blogging retreat where bloggers who have likely been blog-stalking Lindsay, Janetha and/or Lauren (the lovely hosts this year) can come together and meet in person. (HUGE thanks to these ladies for making this whole weekend possible! I am so grateful for all of their hard work!)
This is kind of a scary thing for most bloggers who are accustomed to hiding behind a computer screen. It’s scary to meet all of the blends (blogger friends) for the first time, but trust me…it’s so worth it!
Blend Retreat, although not specifically specified in the title or anywhere else, consists mostly of food and fitness bloggers. So what did we do all weekend? Eat and workout. And take a ridiculous amount of selfies. (<-but that is for another post)
Here are just some of the restaurants in Utah I dined at while attending Blend 2014.
Buckle up! This is a long one!
Thursday Restaurants in Utah:
[ Red Rock Brewery ]
After meeting up with Katie at the Salt Lake City airport (she was sweet enough to wait for me!), we grabbed our rental cars and headed to Red Rock Brewery where we met up with Alyssa, Mollie, Julie, Alex, and Lindsay. It took me awhile to get there because I couldn’t figure out how to start my freaking car! As it turns out, you start it by pushing your foot on the brake and hitting the start button. Who knew?
I indulged in Red Rock’s new Barbecue Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. Turns out in Utah, those sweet potato fries are actually yams. Weird.
After we got all checked in and settled at the hotel in SLC, we had a guided tour of Temple Square from Alyssa who happens to be Mormon and knows all about the Mormon faith (more to come about that), rushed back to freshen up and change to head to…
[ Gracie’s ]
where we all hung out on the rooftop and had some tasty drinks with Becky and Katie and French Julie (she is from Canada, is bilingual and has the most adorable French accent). Erica also joined us since she lived in the area. She is super sweet.
I opted for the skinny margarita (so fresh and delightful) along with Lindsay. If you haven’t met this gal..she is freaking hilarious.
It was a great atmosphere with live music, tasty drinks and a cool, laid back staff.
We collectively decided it was time for dinner at about 8pm and attempted to eat at Squatter’s but there was an hour long wait! We kept walking and found a pizza place called…
Kimmy joined us all at the Pizzeria which brought our number up to 12. Julie (one of my newer Blend BFFs…we didn’t hang out much last year and I am so glad we did this year!) and I split the meatballs which basically came like a dissassembled meatball pizza, and a side salad for a bit of freshness that I was craving.
The food was pretty good, but the service was awful. We arrived close to closing, but ordered right away. When it came time for the bill, the waitress dissapeared slash would avoid us at all costs. It definitely put a bad taste in my mouth..and I’m a waitress! I know it’s annoying to have people arrive “late,” but it was 8:30pm…come on!
Friday Restaurants in Utah:
Breakfast was complimentary at the hotel and as with everything in life…you get what you pay for.
After breakfast, we packed everyone into two cars and headed to Park City, Utah. By the time we were all checked in and hauled all of our swag up to our ginormous hotel room (we got a suite with 10 gals!), hugged as many blends as possible (oh how good it is to hug someone whom you’ve shared ups and downs of life with via the internet!), we were all starving.
My original plan was to go to Cafe Rio ASAP upon landing in Salt Lake City because I remember how delightfully fresh and amazing it was last year. We attempted to dine at the location in Park City, but the line was out the door. That is when it was decided. We were going to have to conform to a healthy living blogger stereotype: eat at…
[ Whole Foods ]
I got a huge turkey sandwich with delicious pesto, swiss cheese and spinach. I scarfed down half of it and had half of it left for later in the weekend when I needed real food ASAP (we were all super active all weekend, like 14,000 daily steps on the fitbit and only had snack bars readily available).
I also tried out Steaz, which is something we carry at the cafe and it was just what I needed–caffeine, flavor and carbonation.
[note: you are seeing two halves of the sandwich. I did not cut one of those in half to save ha!]
Next it was time to head out for the group run (more on that later) and shower and get ready for cocktail hour (more on that later as well).
Saturday Restaurants in Utah:
I attended the bootcamp bright and early with my fellow blends followed by a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Then it was time to get ready for the hike!
I took a delicious shower (we were all dusty from the hike) then I proceeded to mow down the other half of the Whole Foods sandwich since we never had a real lunch. There were snacks and smoothies at the hotel, but not a real meal. Glad I was prepared!
We hung out by the pool a bit and then headed to one of the rooms for some much needed yoga.
(More on all of this later! So much to recap!)
Then it was time to head downtown for some dinner and fun.
Our first stop, was at High West where everyone just planned on getting a drink and maybe some apps. I ended up ordering a salad that was ginormous, fresh, sweet and filling enough with goat cheese, apples and walnuts to be my dinner to go along with some whiskey samples.
Yes. This girl sampled some whiskey along with Meighan and Julie. I can now tell you that I am not a fan of the smokey flavor in whiskey, although Laura adores it. I liked the one with a caramel flavor, but they were all pretty hard to drink…especially since the 3 of us were sipping them.
Then we headed to..
[ Purple Sage ]
..which we kept trying to call Purple Haze or Purple Rain. I ordered a glass of Kung Fu Reisling and my first ever chilled soup. Chilled potato soup. It sounds super weird, and it kind of was…but the flavors were amazing. Heather B was nice enough to order two meat and cheese platters (which I don’t even see on the menu??) for the table and I about died when I tasted the sausage. Someone passed some sort of pork down the table later and I again almost died. The food was that good.
Then we all headed back for some of Janetha’s mom’s scones. I stayed a whole 10 minutes, but long enough to hear some encouraging words from Lauren about not really using our NASM certifications. What can I say, I love where I’m at now and am not ready to shake things up quite yet!
Sunday Restaurants in Utah
I slept through the Sunday bootcamp since I got terrible sleep (and was pretty sore), but did venture down for some oatmeal at breakfast. After lots of hugs and more selfies, we packed up the car again and headed out for some lunch!
I really am glad I decided to get in a day early and book my flight super late (8pm!) so I could really get some extra time with some of the ladies. The Julies and I finally made it to….
[ Cafe Rio ]
and it was everything I remembered from last year. It’s like Chipotle, only somehow better. I got the salad which still had a tortilla (which was ah-ma-zing) with chicken, pico de gallo and a bit of cheese, beans and tortilla strips. I want to go back right now and dive in!
We then headed back to Salt Lake City downtown to wander and discovered everything was closed on Sundays (the Mormon Church owns the mall?). Finally we found a place to sit down and chug some water (among other things).
This time when we went to Squatters we only had 3 gals so we just snuck into the bar. It’s quite the happening place! The Julies and I just sampled some beer and I gratefully chugged some water (holy moly it’s dry in Utah!) while we waited for some of the other ladies to head to dinner.
I tried a strawberry blonde beer and even though I’m not a beer gal, I LOVED it. Now I know if I ever go out for a beer to request a BLONDE.
[ Red Rock Brewery ]
I finished up where I started! Since Brittany couldn’t eat at our original choice of restaurants (food allergies), we joined with Ari, Nicole, Candace, and Erika at Red Rock. Of course I would have liked to try a new place, but seriously, Brittany is the sweetest person in the world so we were all willing to do anything we could so she could enjoy her dinner allergen-free.
This time I tried out the shrimp salad with yellow sweet potatoes (so good! less sweet than orange ones!) and left the grapefruit on the side for my friend Candace. Nom.
And there you have it!
This post took about 5 hours. Maybe (maybe) slightly less since I had to break to eat and clean up the apartment, read some Blend recaps (still have yet to do laundry), but yeah.
It takes time to link to all my lovely blog friends and the great restaurants we dined at (and to virtually dig through hundreds of photos..then edit them!), but I think it will be worth it to look back on AND if you ever decide to visit Salt Lake City and/or Park City, you now know of a few great restaurants in Utah.
Have you been to Utah? Where did you eat?
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