I thought I’d kick off this new year of restaurant reviews with a place you’ve never been to. I know, because I eat there frequently and I haven’t seen you there. Well, OK, you I’ve seen in the corner with a cup of hot java'but the rest of you, I haven’t seen.
I count No Worries CafÃ© & Grill among my favorite eateries. Not just because, for years, it’s been the one located closest to my home, but because No Worries is what we’re all looking for in a restaurant: good food, friendly service and fair prices. Why is it that this combination is so hard to find that you’d consider trekking all the way to Summit Park for breakfast or lunch? Beats me. But once you’ve discovered the subtle joys of No Worries CafÃ© & Grill, you’ll be a convert, too. And while you might not be tempted to drive up from the valley to No Worries just for a meal, it’ll become a permanent breakfast or lunch stop'they’re not open for dinner'en route to places like Park City, Deer Valley, Heber, Coalville or Cheyenne. Indeed, No Worries CafÃ© & Grill provides everything you need to sustain you on a long road trip on Interstate 80.
Even after all these years, I get lost every time I visit Summit Park. Thankfully, No Worries CafÃ© & Grill is easy to find. Just take Summit Park Exit 140 from I-80 at the tippy-top of the Parley’s Summit, and you’ll find No Worries at the bottom of the hill, right next to the Sinclair station.
No Worries CafÃ© & Grill specializes in the wholesome sort of home cooking that you used to be able to find only in good diners and great truck stops but with much better ambience. Originally hailing from Hawaii and Australia respectively, owners David and Renee Higgins have created a no-nonsense eatery that'although it’s buried in snow for a good portion of each year'has an “island” sort of vibe. Although service is quick and efficient, there’s an unhurried, laid-back atmosphere at No Worries CafÃ© & Grill. The small, cozy restaurant is decorated with Native American artifacts, antique skis and locally produced art. Even the handcrafted oversize coffee mugs come straight from a local kiln.
I think the secret to No Worries’ manager/chef Dante Eggan’s superb fare is that he keeps things relatively simple. Breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, pancakes, French toast and customized omelets round out much of his breakfast menu. A nice array of soups, salads and sandwiches can be had for lunch. But while Eggan’s food might be considered simple, it’s also consistently sensational. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t try to turn No Worries into an “everything for everyone” eatery. That’s probably also why they don’t serve dinner there.
Breakfast prices at No Worries range from toast or English muffins for $1 and hash browns for $1.50 to “Dante’s Inferno” ($8.95), which is a massive frittata made with hot Italian sausage, sirloin tips, spinach, tomatoes, cheese and garlic tossed in green-pepper sauce and topped with Hollandaise and Cajun “dust.” It’s no wonder that Dante’s Inferno is a favorite starter among workers who spend the day laboring at Park City’s ski resorts. But I’ve also seen svelte Park City realtors eat the Inferno on occasion.
Lunch is typically a little less busy than breakfast at No Worries, but every bit as satisfying. The slower pace means that Eggan often roams the tables saying hello to folks who have been to his restaurant 60 times and to those who’ve been there once. When I commented recently on how scrumptious I found his lunch special to be, Eggan said, “Well, the specials of the day are usually just whatever I’m hungry for.” Luckily, on that day, Eggan was hungry for tender, thin slices of pastrami served on toasted marble rye with grilled red onions and a hint of “Dijonnaise” dressing ($7.95). God almighty, that sandwich was spectacular!
You’d be hard pressed to find a better burger, too. The $6.95 No Worries hamburger, cooked to order with one-third pound of Black Angus Beef (also available as charbroiled breast of chicken or veggie-garden burger), is called “50 Ways to Make a Burgerâ€. Actually, though, the possible permutations for your customized No Worries burger probably runs well into the hundreds. For starters, there’s a choice of 10 different breads (including cheesy garlic baguette, Texas toast, hoagie bun, flour tortilla and the classic Kaiser bun) along with standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle). Once you’ve chosen your bread, you can select from among nine cheeses for a cheeseburger (call me a stick in the mud, but I prefer good old cheddar). The dozen sandwich/burger dressings range from simple mayo to basil aioli, curry, teriyaki and blackened spices. Then, if you wish, you can pick from a menu of additional items to add to your burger or sandwich'everything from Canadian bacon and Italian sausage to a fried egg, avocado, roasted red peppers, sautÃ©ed mushrooms, pineapple, green chilies and sauerkraut. Now that’s what I call “having it your way.â€
Dining doesn’t get much more “high-end” than at 10,000 feet. At any altitude, Summit Park’s No Worries CafÃ© & Grill is a breath of clean, fresh air.