ESPN recently announced a list of NBA-approved restaurants in each state, and only three places made the cut for Utah. Red Iguana, Valter's Osteria and Manoli's are officially sanctioned by the National Basketball Association for use by basketball players visiting the state. According to NBA guidelines, approved restaurants must have an outdoor space or private room that doesn't share air space with the rest of the restaurant, secure exits and entrances for players and servers that wear face masks. The NBA guidelines seem pretty straightforward, so I'm surprised more places didn't end up on the list—but, if you want to get a chance peek at some NBA ballers, try hitting up one of these places on game day.
Rio Grande Café Moves
Though the Rio Grande Café was forced to close due to damage sustained during the March earthquake, the team recently set up shop near the University of Utah. The new location (258 S. 1300 East) occupies the space that used to be Porcupine Pub and Grille, Rio Grande's sister restaurant. It's bittersweet news to be sure; we're glad that The Rio Grande Café, which has been in operation since 1981, has a new home, but it's also tough to see Porcupine close down. Diners can expect the same tasty menu of Mexican favorites in the new location, and it's a welcome addition to the U of U area.
Toro Ramen Opens
The Fort Union area in Midvale recently welcomed Toro Ramen (7194 S. Union Park Avenue, Ste. A, 801-996-3365, facebook.com/Toro-Ramen) to its ever-expanding ranks. Their selection of ramen looks to be traditional—chashu pork with tonkotsu, miso and shoyu broths are on the menu in spades. I'm personally excited about the appetizer menu, which includes staples like gyoza, steamed buns and karaage with slightly more unusual fare like takoyaki which are spherical, deep-fried bites of octopus goodness. Toro Ramen is also sporting a dessert menu that is cheesecake exclusive—looks like there are green tea, mango and strawberry cheesecakes for diners to choose from. Sounds perfect after a big bowl of spicy karai ramen.
Quote of the Week: "If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it's the restaurant business." –Anthony Bourdain