I’m in Ogden, UT to see my friend Suzan, but my dinner this evening far eclipsed today’s travels so I’m leading off with that. Whilst chatting on the phone with my friend John on the drive in (hands free of course) he suggested that I visit historic 25th street in downtown Ogden for dinner. I did a Google search once I reached the hotel and came up with a couple of restaurants that sounded promising. Before I found my targeted dinner spots, I happened upon Jãsoh!, a restaurant and brew pub. I wandered in, took a look and the menu and immediately knew I had found my dinner establishment for the evening. Jãsoh! was named “Best Restaurant in Northern Utah” by Salt Lake Magazine for reasons I soon discovered. The bread was served with infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Now, I’m not a fan of oil/vinegar for bread dipping. I always ask for butter. Tonight’s oil/vinegar paring was Tuscan herb olive oil with red apple balsamic vinegar. I couldn’t pass it up. The combination was amazing: herbaceous, sour and sweet all at the same time. It danced on every part of the tongue.
The salad course was pear and goat cheese over mixed greens with sherry vinaigrette and pistachio nuts. An inventive change from the usual pear and blue cheese salad that just worked.
The entree was Chicken Tagine with preserved lemon sauce, ratatouille and creamy polenta. The crispy skin on the chicken crackled as it yielded under the pressure of my knife. The bitterness of the lemon rind and the salt of the preserving fought a duet in my mouth; mediated by the creaminess of the polenta. I was in heaven.
195 (historic) 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
Now to the travel: I decided it was time for a road trip with the dog: her first. My original plan was to head to San Antonio, TX to visit Suzan. Route planned, hotel reservations made and Suzan called to let me know that she had to make an emergency trip to Ogden, UT to see her mother. New route, new hotel reservations and I am off to Ogden, UT.
My travels took me over the snow capped Sierras to lunch in Truckee, CA and finally to Elko, NV for my evening stay. I had planned to hit up a Basque restaurant in Elko for dinner but Morgan seemed a bit on edge being in unfamiliar surroundings. I opted for dinner at the hotel restaurant and an evening of belly rubs and ear scratchies for Morgan to sooth her frazzled nerves.
Today we headed for Ogden via Promontory, UT. For those of you who actually stayed awake in your US history classes you may recall that Promontory, UT is the site where the golden spike was driven thus connecting the east and west legs of the transcontinental railroad.
There isn’t much there now other than the visitor’s center but I’venever been so I had to go.
I opted for the back route to get there versus traveling on the interstate. I took roads that I’m guessing no one other than locals traverse. To say I went through remote areas would be an understatement. I traveled 119 miles and nary another vehicle was encountered. I saw lots of cows though: some grazing, some nursing their newborn calves and many just wandering across the road. Morgan was not amused and barked her displeasure of their road manners. Cell service was only a dream. No Verizon, I could not hear you now.
Tomorrow is breakfast with Suzan (and hopefully her mother) and then off to Mexican Hat, UT and the Monument Valley in southern Utah. I hear it is beautiful. Even if it isn’t, I will always have the memory of dinner at Jãsoh!.