15 Minutes | Urban Living
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15 Minutes

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Legend has it that the phrase "15 minutes of fame" originated with a comment by Andy Warhol at his 1968 exhibition at the Morderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

There are plenty of Utah restaurants that have shared the quarter-hour spotlight. Among those featured on shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man v. Food Nation are: Aristo's, known for classic Greek dishes like grilled octopus and lamb tacos; Blue Plate Diner in upper Sugar House, loved by all who want a big ol' breakfast; The Burger Bar in Roy ("Home of the Big Ben") that features buffalo and elk patties; Maxwell's East Coast Eatery offering Italian-American food based on Steve Maxwell's mom's recipes; Moochie's Meatballs & More for magnificent cheesesteak sandwiches; Oh Mai's banh mi salads and sandwiches; Pat's BBQ (I'm in the background of that episode trying to have lunch with a friend); Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon; Asian-Texan fusion joint Sammy's Bistro in Park City; Silver Star Café also in Park City; Bruges Waffles & Frites; Tin Roof Grill, Lone Star Taqueria; and, of course, probably Utah's most famous restaurant, Red Iguana.

Restaurants chosen to be on a program by a TV celebrity like Guy Fieri might get a "surreal boost in business," reports restaurant-hosptiality.com. It's called the "Guy Fieri Effect," and food purveyors dream of being on his show. People reportedly will drive hours to eat at one of the featured eateries, and the reruns keep the momentum going, bringing in new fans every time a place reappears on TV.

For us locals, seeing TV cameras set up at one of our favorite spots means a boom for the owners but doom for us. When Chef Adalberto Diaz Labrada, owner of a little SLC pastry shop called Fillings and Emulsions, competed on Best Baker in America, people across the country wanted his macarons. Local patrons had to start standing in line to place orders. Viet Pham, who just opened Pretty Bird, serving Nashville hot chicken, hasn't had national Food Network celebs show up at his new joint, but his fame from being on Beat Bobby Flay and Iron Chef has people standing in line down the street for his chicken sandwiches.

We've got plenty of famous folks and places in our fine state. Now everyone appears to want to move or visit here (75,000 people visited Zion on Memorial Day weekend!). Utah's 15 minutes of fame aren't up—they're just beginning.