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GUIDE TO DINING

ISSUE Nº 5

SPRING/SUMMER 2019

SAINTS & DINNERS

How local favorite Bam Bam’s BBQ scored prestigious gig feeding NFL team CULINARY CABARET

Dessert trends provide meal tickets PG. 16

REFINER’S FIRE

Los Hermanos turns tragedy into vision PG. 7


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From the editor

TEAM

hile I have lived in Utah for nearly a decade and consider myself thoroughly Utahn, I was born and raised a Texan. I mention this because there’s nothing that quite excites me like smoked barbecue and Mexican food. I considered them the two major food groups growing up; come to think of it, as an adult I’d still categorize them on MyPlate that way, too. After all, what’s better than moist, savory brisket cooked to perfection or a damned good bowl of chips and salsa? If salsa runs through my veins instead of blood, then brisket is my body’s muscle. Too much? With an innate hunger for these things, it’s easy for me to introduce you to our Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Taste of Utah Valley. Our Daily Herald features reporter Sarah Harris will bring you up to date on one of the area’s most endearing Mexican restaurants, Los Hermanos, and how the family who owns the business is moving forward after a tragic fire destroyed the Provo location in February.

RHETT LONG

W

Our cover story this issue stars Bam Bam’s BBQ, a business run by Cameron Treu, that has called Orem home since just 2013. But in a short time, word has spread across the country of the deliciousness of Bam Bam’s BBQ located in our own backyard. The story of its success is as savory as the meat smoked each day and includes a sprinkling of local and national sports stars. (Without exaggeration, in recent years nearly every time I’ve had a hankering for lunch at Bam Bam’s, the restaurant is full of BYU players or coaches from various athletic programs. You might as well play BYU bingo.) With our stomachs all gurgling in anticipation of barbecue now, we hope you enjoy this issue of Taste as we head into the sunshine of spring and summer and all the delicious food we associate with my favorite seasons.

Publisher

EDITORIAL

JORDAN CARROLL Executive Editor DOUG FOX

Features Editor STACY JOHNSON Online Editor

ART

DAVID REVILLA

ADVERTISING

CRAIG CONOVER Retail Manager

WRITERS

KARI KENNER

SARAH HARRIS JORDAN CARROLL

KURT HANSON

PHOTOGRAPHY EVAN COBB

On the cover A plate of Bam Bam’s BBQ is pictured on April 1 in Orem. FOOD BY

BAM BAM’S BBQ

PHOTOGRAPHED BY EVAN COBB

ISAAC HALE

TASTE OF UTAH VALLEY MAGAZINE 86 N. University Ave. Suite 300 Provo, UT 84601 801-373-5050

Spring-Summer 2019

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Index 6 Un milagro

Decades-old restaurant Los Hermanos regroups after devastating fire

10 Hog wild Residents, and particularly athletes, are crazy about Bam Bam’s BBQ

16 Sweet spot Dessert trends come and go, but these businesses have risen to the top

21 Some like it hot Dial up the summer heat with these local restaurants that deal in spicy

22 Under further review A second look at a few local restaurants

4

Taste of Utah Valley


Alisha Nuttall, owner of Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes, finishes up packages of Strawberry Cheesecake cupcakes in the kitchen at the store on March 29 in Pleasant Grove. Spring-Summer 2019

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Los Hermanos is pictured on Feb. 12 in Provo. A fire started in the basement of the building and enveloped the restaurant.

Despite recent fire, local restaurant

STILL HOT Los Hermanos rises from ashes to remain Utah County staple WRITTEN BY SARAH HARRIS

T 6

PHOTOS BY EVAN COBB, ISAAC HALE

he Witham family had just sat down to eat dinner on Feb. 11 when the phone rang. Before they could take a bite, they were informed their Provo restaurant, Los Hermanos, was on fire.

Taste of Utah Valley

“We all jumped up from the table and didn’t eat the dinner and jumped in our van and drove as fast as we could to downtown Provo,” owner Lisa Witham said in an email. “The restaurant had smoke pouring out of every door, window and crack, and fire trucks surrounding it.” The family stood on the streets of downtown Provo, watching the fire burn for several hours. “We cried, we shook, we were in shock and devastated,” Witham said. “(We) couldn’t believe that our 30-plus years of business was being burned to the ground.” They gathered behind the building around 1 a.m. the next morning crying and praying, determined to do whatever it took to get Los Hermanos up and running again. “Not only for our family, but for our wonderful and loyal and dedicated employees who have worked for us for decades and our wonderful customers,” Witham said. Just over two months later, the Utah County staple has reopened its doors from a new location at University Place in Orem. “We’re so happy, so excited, and we’ve had so


many people help us and we believe miracles and miracles, just doing this, and our family’s come together,” Witham said through tears at the restaurant’s soft opening. “We just don’t believe in quitting.”

PROVO BEGINNINGS

Owners Craig and Lisa Witham, both California natives, met as theater students in a production of “Our Town” at Brigham Young University. By the time Craig Witham was about to start a graduate program, they had a few children and were looking for “a little house to buy,” according to Lisa Witham. “The guy that owned the house said to us, ‘Do you want to buy a restaurant too?’ And we said, ‘What restaurant?’ It was Los Hermanos,” Lisa Witham said. “It was a tiny little operation on Center Street and it was our favorite restaurant.” The Withams charged up all of their credit cards and borrowed from a relative to buy the Provo restaurant.

A photo shows the interior of the Los Hermanos restaurant at 71 E. Center St. in Provo the day after a fire gutted the building on Feb. 11.

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The nacho supreme is pictured March 28 at Los Hermanos in Lindon.

“We absolutely love Provo and Utah County and we had always thought we would go back to California, but we knew this was a wonderful place to raise a family and we never left.” ­— Lisa Witham “We absolutely knew that we could do something wonderful with Los Hermanos,” Lisa Witham said. Craig Witham developed all of Los Hermanos’ signature Mexican dishes, including the fajitas, specialty drinks, fried ice cream, and street market and seafood items, according to Lisa Witham. “He is a true creative and also loves to eat,” Lisa Witham said. “We never change our chips and salsa or our core menu items. We feel that they do not belong to us, they belong to our customers, and always try to be consistent with those.”

of the money they earned at Los Hermanos back into the restaurant and expanded into several more buildings on the corner of Center Street and University Avenue. “We absolutely love Provo and Utah County and we had always thought we would go back to California, but we knew this was a wonderful place to raise a family and we never left,” Lisa Witham said. About three years after they started the Provo location, the Withams came upon an opportunity to convert a 150-year-old Lindon farmhouse into a second Los Hermanos restaurant. UTAH COUNTY EXPANSION “It was an actual working farm Lisa Witham worked as a sales with corn and chicken and cows and manager at Sears in Provo to put her a barn and a farm family when we husband through school and support bought it,” Lisa Witham said. “It was her family for the first four years they a very quick success and we have owned Los Hermanos. They put all lots of loyal customers in Lindon.” 8

Taste of Utah Valley

The Withams’ family grew along with the restaurants, and they now have 18 “one-of-a-kind” children, nine biological and nine adopted. “Because of Los Hermanos, we have been able to support and raise these children,” Lisa Witham said.

UP IN FLAMES

About 30 years later, less than two hours after Los Hermanos’ office manager had locked up the Provo restaurant for the day on Feb. 11, the building was engulfed in flames. “The fire marshal said it was a complete freak accident and that one million stars had to line up in order for this to happen,” Lisa Witham said. The restaurant had been closed for a few days while a contractor installed new hardwood floors, which no one ever got to walk on. “We are so grateful that no one


was hurt,” Lisa Witham said. “Had the restaurant been open, we would have had our full staff on and be in the middle of a dinner rush.” Five large trucks poured water on the top of the building to stop the fire, leaving the basement flooded with 6 1/2 feet of water. “Our entire dish room and half of the kitchen fell into the basement,” Lisa Witham said. “The beautiful offices above us received severe damage and the roof was totally gone.” Though the fire destroyed most of what was in the Provo store, the Withams were able to restore an old piano, a buffalo head decoration, an antique cash register and some stained glass, which are now on display at the new Orem restaurant. “While it is extremely difficult for any of us to go back to the fire scene or even drive by our old store, as we get a pit in our stomach and heart, we

have a wonderful opportunity in front of us that has come together quickly,” Lisa Witham said.

MOVING FORWARD

The Witham family has been “working tirelessly” on Los Hermanos’ new Orem location since the fire, according to Lisa Witham. “The University Place has been so good to us and we are excited about this new chapter for a Los Hermanos,” Lisa Witham said. “In this beautiful building, we think we will be able to expand our catering, and we have lots more places for a wonderful gathering for families and businesses.”

Lisa Witham said she thinks customers will feel at home in the Orem restaurant, which features past favorites from Los Hermanos’ original store, including a recreation of the garden room and the “early West feeling and vibe” of both of their restaurants in one of the large dining rooms at the new location. “We are excited to be a part of this vibrant community here at the University Place and can’t wait to see our customers again, eating bowls of chips and salsa and all of their other favorites,” Lisa Witham said.

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TREU CALLING

Bam Bam’s BBQ expands reach into sports catering WRITTEN BY DOUG FOX

S

tumbling across your life’s calling when you least expect it offers mixed odds indeed, but for Bam Bam’s BBQ owner Cameron Treu, it was more of a “remote” eventuality. Cameron was watching television one night 10 years ago when he smoked out his Treu calling. “I was watching a show called ‘BBQ Pitmasters’ in 2009 — and I didn’t cook, grill, none of that,” he said during a recent sit down in the office of his well-known Orem restaurant. “For some reason I was flipping between hockey games and stumbled across the very first

PHOTOS BY EVAN COBB

episode of that show. I bought a little $40 Brinkmann smoker that night.” That was all it took to light a fire under Treu’s passion for preparing mouth-watering, finger-licking, sauce-drippingoff-your-chin meats. “I cooked in the backyard for about a year and just became kind of obsessed with it,” he said. “That’s a little issue I have — when I find something that I like, I kind of go down the wormhole.” That wormhole has led to possibilities Treu could never have envisioned back when he opened Bam Bam’s BBQ in June of 2013. The Orem

A plate of Bam Bam’s BBQ is pictured on April 1 in Orem. 10 Taste of Utah Valley


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restaurant has not only become a Utah County favorite among BBQ aficionados, but has become a player on the collegiate and professional sports catering scene. Treu not only frequently feeds teams and coaches at local universities — including BYU and UVU — but has expanded those connections to land a regular gig grilling up his award-winning meats on game weeks for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who first got hooked on BBQ because he was changing channels on his TV a decade ago. How did he actually make that transition? Turns out it was with a lot of hard work. To state that Treu is a gregarious individual would be tantamount to saying Bam Bam’s BBQ brisket tastes good. Both statements are true, but each is understating the reality. Spend just a few minutes with Treu, and before you know it, you’re conversing like you’re life-long friends. “I hate the word ‘networking’ because it feels like a business,” Treu said of his outgoing personality, “but I get along great with people, and I love people, so I think that’s helped.” 

After Treu got hooked on BBQ, he moved his family from Utah to Arizona — where the BBQ world was a lot more established — to further pursue his growing obsession. “I got into my first competition down there, kind of out of dumb luck, and showed up with a tiny little smoker and my wife’s Nissan Murano. A bunch of TV cooks were there and it was a pretty good competition,” he said. “I ended up coming home with $2,000 and took a couple trophies home. I took a first place in pork. I ended up, my rookie year, 17th in the world at the end of it, and I only did first in pork like one more time after that. To get first in a meat category is a hard thing to do.” After that, Treu was hired by a big retailer in Arizona, BBQ Island, taking a huge pay cut, but devoting himself full-time to BBQ. That company sent him to competitions all over the country, where he continued to do well. It was at those competitions where he made his next big contact. “I bumped into a guy by the name of John Lewis, who in the BBQ world is kind of the king of brisket,”

Cameron “Bam Bam” Treu adds a salt and pepper dry rub to brisket in the kitchen of Bam Bam’s BBQ on April 1 in Orem.

12 Taste of Utah Valley


Cameron “Bam Bam” Treu holds a signed photo of Taysom Hill and Drew Brees in Treu’s office.

“When you have Bam Bam’s cater for you, it’s much more than just being fed incredible BBQ. You are gaining a lifelong fan and a loyal friend.” ­— Cameron Treu

Treu said. “He’s in Austin and worked for a really famous place called Franklin Barbecue. For some crazy reason, he moved over to a restaurant called La Barbecue, which is now a really famous restaurant down there, and we had hit it off in a few competitions and he was like, ‘Move to Texas. You can live at my house for six months, and I’ll pay you $500 a week. I’ll teach you everything I know about the restaurant side.’ I mean, that’s like having Michael Jordan call you and say, ‘I’ll teach you basketball.’ “ With his wife’s blessing, Treu did just that. “I went down there and worked 90 hours a week for $500,” he said. “It was crazy.” But Treu took what he learned during that time and — with the help of a $45,000 loan from a cousin — opened Bam Bam’s BBQ on June 1, 2013, in the Orem location on State Street that used to house The Hot Dog King. They also took over the site next door, knocked the wall down and expanded. “To open a restaurant for under $100,000 is crazy, but $45,000 was a miracle,” he said. We kind of hit the ground running. I know a lot of people here, and I think it was kind of an untapped market.” Bam Bam’s still hadn’t reached its first-year milestone

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when a BYU athletics staff member stopped in, inquiring about the possibility of Treu catering some meals for the football and other university programs, notably basketball, baseball and women’s soccer. “I didn’t have a ton of experience with big catering yet, but I knew I definitely wanted to be involved,” said Treu, who began feeding the football team during the Bronco Mendenhall coaching era. He eventually became friends with pretty much the entire coaching staff. “You know, it took about a year or so, that coaching staff, that’s a pretty tightly run ship over there. But about a year later, it got to where I could just walk in that place like I worked there. We’re very close to this day, that coaching staff and I, and I was really sad to see them go. But now it’s the same here. That relationship is so cool and they’ve always been so good to me. Yeah, I love ‘em to death. The O-line are definitely my favorites.” Treu’s relationship with those from Mendenhall’s staff — which mostly

14 Taste of Utah Valley

moved with him for the Virginia job — remains tight. In fact, the staff has a miniature version of the Bam Bam’s statue (the pig out front of the restaurant), which is used to honor their coach of the week. The good vibes were further cemented when Virginia came across the country to play at Boise State in September of 2017. Virginia hired Bam Bam’s to feed the team after the game, where, in a major upset, the Cavaliers handed the Broncos their worst home loss since 2001. Treu has much love for the teams he caters for, but no love lost for the home fans in Boise State’s stadium. “I’ve done something at Boise State for like three or four years straight and it’s like the worst stadium,” Treu said. “Worst fans in the country. Meanest. Rudest. Nastiest.” Treu doubled down when questioned whether he would mind being quoted on that. “Heck no! Boise State fans are the worst. It’s so funny — Logan is tough.


I’m on the field at the (University of Utah), and they can be a little tough, but nobody has anything on Boise State. They’re great fans, obviously, for them, but there’s a group in the end zone, right where you walk out of the visitors locker room, there’s a group right along the end zone where the locker room is that is just, they’re brutal. But you have to respect it.” It was during BYU quarterback Taysom Hill’s senior season in 2016 that he was introduced to Treu by some of his offensive linemen. Hill became a Bam Bam’s regular, and so it was that during Hill’s first year with the New Orleans Saints, that he called Treu with a request. It was about a month before Christmas, and Hill wanted to gift each of his fellow quarterbacks — All-Pro QB Drew Brees and backup Chase Daniel — a smoker. Not only that, he wanted Treu to come to New Orleans to personally teach a BBQ class to the quarterbacks contingent. “And here I am trying to keep my cool,” Treu said of the phone call. After arranging the smokers, Treu called Hill back with an additional proposition. Since he would be coming out to teach the class, what about feeding the entire team? Hill ran the request by the team chef and he was all for it. After practice on a game-week Thursday, Treu taught the QBs everything he possibly could about grilling meat with a smoker. “Of course, a lot of the players and coaches leaked in because they smelled the food coming out of the quarterbacks room,” Treu laughed. “It was really fun. Drew (Brees) took incredible notes. That guy is so disciplined. He took notes like crazy. I’ll never forget it. It was so cool.” The next day, Treu fed the entire team. That Sunday, the Saints beat their main rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints figured they were on to something good. “And so the chef called me the next week and said, ‘You want to come back out?’ “ Treu said. “And so I ended up going out four times in five weeks to finish that season because they won every game.” The deal continued into this season, with Treu feeding the team once a month and helping the Saints march all the way into the final minutes of the NFC Championship game, where a Super Bowl berth was denied largely by a blown pass interference call.  A similar deal is already in place for the 2019 season, with Bam Bam’s scheduled to cater a meal a month to the Saints. “When you have Bam Bam’s cater for you, it’s much more than just being fed incredible BBQ,” said Hill. “You are gaining a lifelong fan and a loyal friend.” An added bonus to Treu’s gig is getting to see Hill’s continued success with the Saints, as he plays more and more roles for the team other than just backup quarterback.

“It’s been really fun to see him out there,” Treu said of Hill. “He’s so loved. I remember the first year he was out there, we’d go out to dinner. ... It’s funny because the first year no one, except really diehard fans knew who he was. This last year, we only went out about two or three times because everyone knows him. You go to the black and gold (team apparel) stores and you see the jerseys: Brees, Kamara, Hill. You’re seeing (No.) 7’s pop up everywhere in the dome. It’s been so cool. He’s the grittiest — I mean, his story of overcoming injury, you know, he’s a special guy. ... I feel fat as it is, but when I’m around him, I feel horrible! It’s like knocking on a table. Dude is cement. He’s just awesome. He works his butt off, he’s so strong. And the team loves him. There’s just very few people that will overcome what he overcame, but then do anything they ask — and succeed.” The typical day at Bam Bam’s actually starts at 3:30 the previous afternoon when meat is put on to start smoking. The cook on duty each day, then arrives at 4:30 a.m. the following morning to season and trim the meat and get it ready for the day. Everything is typically done by 10 a.m. so it can rest. Bam Bam’s is especially known for its brisket — but you would be remiss not to try the ribs, smoked turkey and sausage, in addition to a bevy of delectable sides, as well. Bam Bam’s has become something of a legend in the local market — and beyond — and Treu attributes that to the overall food quality. “I think food will always take precedent over everything else,” he said. “If the food is not good, who cares how cool it is or whatever, nobody’s going to come back. Especially when you have to charge what a BBQ joint has to charge. Because there’s so much labor, and the meat we use is pretty expensive, high-end meat. So to get somebody back in the door to spend $15 to $20 for lunch, you know, it’s got to be good. People need to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. It’s a labor of love, BBQ, that’s for sure.”

If you go

BAM BAM’S BBQ

Where: 1708 S. State St., Orem Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Prices: $3.50-$11.99 Info: (801) 225-1324, https://www.bambamsbbq.com

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A Chocolate Chip Pizookie is pictured March 27 at The Wash in Provo.

16 Taste of Utah Valley


touch

A trendy

How Utah County dessert spots are staying on top, and creating taste and experience WRITTEN BY KARI KENNER

PHOTOS BY EVAN COBB, ISAAC HALE

U

tah County has long been a haven for foodies, with cuisines and specialties from across the globe offering countless unique and authentic experiences. But it’s not just main course meals making a mark on the area’s unique culinary cabaret. Desserts also have played a huge role in shaping the landscape of soul-inspiring sustenance, with each restaurant or shop curating an optimal experience for diners that’s both unique and on trend.

So what are dessert trends?

If you’ve lived in Utah for any length of time, you’ve probably seen an ample number of eateries come and go, especially when it comes to the after-dinner specialties. Through the years, waves of frozen yogurt shops have popped up along the Wasatch Front, mingling with unique ice creameries before being largely overtaken by an insane demand for gourmet cupcakes. And don’t even get us started on soda shacks with their sweet treats. Now, it seems cookies are coming to the forefront, with freshly baked options, late-night deliveries and a hearkening back to the classic comfort of warm cookies and milk. With trends regularly shifting, how do local business owners stay on top? Here’s a look at three unique dessert spots that are going beyond the trends to serve their customers. Spring-Summer 2019

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The Wash

1195 N. Canyon Road in Provo When it comes to desserts, it’s hard to find something more unique than The Wash, a former “car wash turned late-night urban eatery.” Previously the Cougar Car Wash, the venue offers a variety of fries and grilled cheese in the way of food, with an ample helping of mixed drinks and desserts spanning from “Tabletop S’mores” to “Pizookie” (a fresh baked cookie with ice cream), not to mention churro bites and churro ice cream sandwiches. Founded and owned by Sean Kang, The Wash is geared toward filling a void in the culinary scene in Provo. “It’s a highly experience-focused restaurant,” Kang said. “Creating an atmosphere where people could go and be and hang out was something I always dreamed of.” Born and raised in Provo, Kang said there wasn’t much of a shift in social atmosphere when he started going to college there, so when the opportunity presented itself to create something unique with The Wash, especially something that could fill a need, he jumped on it. “It’s business with a personality,” he explained. “There are a lot of big businesses coming in and they’re very efficient and good at what they do, but there’s something about the small business.” Kang’s family has been in the restaurant business for 12 or 13 years now, starting with taking over the existing Yamoto Japanese Restaurant in Orem before opening a series of Pho Plus restaurants that were recently sold within the family. It was recognized across the board that there was strong potential for a great eatery at the old car wash location, but it took just the right amount of creativity and ambition to make the shift to an experience-based business like The Wash. “The Wash is more of a passion project,” Kang said, noting that he also works as an information analyst at a tech company in American Fork with The Wash filling his time around that. “It really comes down to atmosphere. I think the target population I had in mind when I opened the restaurant was college students. … We’ve done really well attracting that crowd and setting that tone, but I would like to see it moving a little bit more of a family-friendly direction – more of the community is the dream that I have, where people say, ‘If you go to Provo, go check out The Wash.’” 18 Taste of Utah Valley

A Kouign-Amann pastry with ice cream, strawberries and other toppings is pictured March 27.


cent on our customers and make sure (they) are taken care of.” 586 N. 900 West in American Fork, 1820 W. “Most cookies are served warm and we make cookTraverse Parkway in Lehi, 677 N. State St. in Lindon, ies that are made in real time,” Hemsley explained of 160 E. University Parkway in Orem, 152 W. 1230 North the customer-first approach. “We crack eggs in front of in Provo, 24 Pioneer Crossing in Saratoga Springs, customers and they see us mixing the flour and sugar. 330 N. Main St. in Spanish Fork Not only are they amazing, delicious, warm cookies, but we’re providing an experience for the customers that are coming into our location. It’s a fun atmosphere With 21 stores currently open and 40 total now in for families to come see the process, also young adults the works, including, by popular demand, in Ogden, as they date or even our older crowd who just wants to what started as just a dream between crazy cousins come eat a warm, delicious cookie.” has turned into a pretty delicious and profitable reality. To ensure quality, McGowan said they focus on usCrumbl Cookies was founded in 2017 by cousins ing only the best ingredients, including real butter and Jason McGowan (co-founder and CEO) of Provo and fresh eggs for the best cookies. Sawyer Hemsley (co-founder and COO), who was, at “Everything about our cookies are authentic and the time, attending school in Logan. real,” he said. “Everything is fresh and the highest According to McGowan, “Crumbl began as a small quality because our main goal is to have the absolute cookie shop in the small town of Logan, Utah. It started best cookies in the nation.” with one big dream, two crazy cousins and the perfect With warm cookies delivered until midnight, a catchy combination of flour, sugar and chocolate chips.” logo and design that’s frequently shared by customers After “thousands of dollars in wasted dough” and on social media, and a fresh, quality mindset, the duo recipes that failed to meet expectations, McGowan are revolutionizing the cookie industry. and Hemsley knew they needed to take their business “We call ourselves the crazy cousins that decided to the next level if it was going to survive or thrive. to just start a business – we decided we wanted to do That’s where McGowan’s background in the software something together and thought cookies would be a industry came in to play – the duo began A/B testing fun first start,” McGowan said. “We didn’t even think at the cookies – tweaking just one ingredient or cooking the time it’d be what it is today. … When we set out, we process between two cookies and taking them to local didn’t set out to make a big, huge cookie company – places such as gas stations to get opinions from the we wanted to create awesome cookies that customers public. The final product, they believe, is the world’s love. From that love of pleasing customers we’re where best chocolate chip cookie – a staple, along with chilled we are today in five states.” sugar, on a menu that rotates weekly. “We’re always trying to be different, better and special from everyone else,” Hemsley said. “First, we offered all our different flavors at our Logan location. Then we realized there were so many cookies we couldn’t keep all the flavors in stock.” With that in mind, they now select four additional flavors for each week that rotate every Monday. “We have over 40 flavors with a lot more on the list being tested out in our test kitchen,” Hemsley explained. “We’re always thinking with the team of new, different flavors for people … it’s always fun to keep coming up with them.” But cookie testing and a variety of flavors aren’t the only way Crumbl is staying ahead as the cookie trend Cookies from Crumbl in Provo. takes over Utah County. “With competition, the first thing is we just don’t think about them,” McGowan said. “We focus 100 per-

Crumbl Cookies

Spring-Summer 2019

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The Rainbow Funfetti cupcake from Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes is pictured on March 29.

Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes

early on in Season 3 before fielding resounding success in Season 7, winning a redemption episode and the opportunity to have her cupcakes featured at a VIP party for The For Alisha Nuttall of Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes in All-American Rejects. Pleasant Grove, her highly successful dessert biz actually On Nov. 8, 2012, Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes became started thanks to a passion sparked in high school. a storefront in downtown Pleasant Grove, a personal “I actually took a home economics class in high school dream for Nuttall, and the opportunity to experience magic and I fell in love with baking,” Nuttall said. “I was baking for for anyone that visits. friends and family all the time. After high school, I started “Something that sets us apart is the experience in our doing cakes, brownies, cookies and other desserts. My Pleasant Grove store,” Nuttall said. “We want you to come sister actually said, ‘Cupcakes are getting big, you should in and have amazing products, but also have an experistart a business with cupcakes.’” ence when you come in. I love just watching people come And with the shift of a trend, a heaping helping of in and their faces just light up. I want them to feel like it’s a passion and support from her family and husband, Dave, a magical place.” new business was born. And with unicorns, sparkles, pastel colors, a fun play “I loved the fact you could make so many different kitchen area for kids and wall-to-wall decorations leading things out of a cupcake,” Nuttall said. “Everything we make into a beautiful display of baked goods, it’s safe to say it’s is 95 percent from scratch. Sometimes I wish we could call magic. them mini-desserts rather than cupcakes because I do feel “I like to say that we’re the Disneyland of Pleasant like most of our cupcakes are layers of dessert.” Grove because we’re trying to get that experience,” Nuttall After making cupcakes initially for friends and family, said. “The reason I wanted to do that is my husband’s the requests started rolling in, and with some encouragefamily loved Disney. I hate the rides but love how happy ment from a friend, Nuttall found herself featured on “Cup- my kids are watching parades and everything. I wanted to cake Wars.” Not certain what to expect, she was eliminated create that in our shops.” 93 S. Main St., Suite C in Pleasant Grove

20 Taste of Utah Valley


9

Utah County restaurants that really bring the heat WRITTEN BY KURT HANSON

BOMBAY HOUSE

Nearly every dish on the Bombay House menu can be as spicy as you can handle. Whether it’s the Chicken Coconut Kurma or the Lamb Vindaloo, everything can be cranked up a notch at this popular Indian restaurant. Location: 463 N. University Ave., Provo

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Buffalo Wild Wings is iconic for its wide range of spices and heat. And if you’re feeling bold and brave, take the Blazin’ Challenge: 12 wings in their hottest sauce must be consumed in six minutes or less. Location: 92 N. 1200 East, Lehi

SPICY THAI

The word spicy is in the name of this restaurant. You know it’s going to be hot. With some of the hottest curry around at a fair price, this is a blazing bargain. Location: 3230 N. University Ave., Provo

180 STREET TACOS

Though not all of its unique tacos are spicy, some like the New York Buffalo Chicken and the Thai Fried Chicken are sure to fry your taste buds. Location: 3368 N. University Ave., Provo

CUPBOP KOREAN BBQ

Whether it’s the food truck or one of the brick-and-mortar stores, this Korean barbecue joint is sure to bring the spice. If you dare, try anything with a 10 on their spicy scale, though you may live to regret it. Location: 815 N. 700 East, Provo; 800 W. 1200 South, American Fork

5 STAR BBQ

Whether it’s drizzled over ribs or smothering a pulled pork sandwich, the 5 Star BBQ sauces are legendary. Not only do they have sweet and classic flavors, they also have their own range of spicy barbecue sauce to keep the flavors fiery. Location: 70 N. Geneva Road, Orem; 227 W. Bulldog Blvd., Provo

HU HOT MONGOLIAN GRILL

Since you can completely customize your meal at Hu Hot Mongolian Grill, you can also customize how spicy your food is. Whether you want a little kick from the Mongal Mustard or a scorcher from the Khan’s Revenge, their wide variety of sauces will keep you coming back for more. Location: 693 N. 920 East, Spanish Fork

SE LLAMA PERU

Peruvian food is typically already spicy. So if you’re going to this hole in the wall in Provo, know what you’re getting into. A personal favorite is the Aji de Gallina, chicken in a flavorful, spicy sauce. Location: 368 W. Center St., Provo

TSUNAMI

There are countless sushi bars around Utah Valley, and naming one really shows no preference. Tsunami has all sorts of flavorful and spicy sushi rolls available for any lover of spice and heat. Ask for a side of their mango habanero sauce to really crank up the heat and flavor.  Location: 1616 W. Traverse Parkway, Lehi

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Spring-Summer 2019

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This a main other rised of a m and-sour an ken Soft In tables set in ions. I was d e e t h e T g isa nd I tar chic eetartit een lly comp didn’t d nions a ain betw y decorative p kly and menta t, Korma, is that is less sw olored mango y-based best. It ry with only o e generous, s . e h c r e b e t r ic e c d d u u u e w c e q r a r r s it s e d u b w e e e c y w o h h t r le t t divid ll s a r t w e t e e u n n c and s a yello he lamb piec t of mint a li ’s d the y ased o eet tha s t a greeted menu items b rough the air. in ore sw ld recommen a T h w h . m t t t o a t u e ric me ed u h t es b coled with perused ells wafting t food, I resor , I dish. I wo nd seem r of tim n numbe in the curry her vory a entree is serv ss but brightly as m o s ia s a . d d n d ly e In o b io ic f a s fo t r o s le h ifi sp t w e o n k t e c a v s t a d It ia e in s r n ju d E h a i. t d d In tt It at er ts a When of curry — an complex blen ter e confe d with I’ve had ot to find oth tatoes, carro entrees I speckle nge sort of ric a little charac o n y is he p r t ing h d r t e k e u ’s k r y c is in it li r e r h r o g s p r, t a u d t r y e r ig c w e n r u r v t o to d a t s d e ie e d d n d in y a w h e a ll e d t r r d o eat ctua te it rom e. Ho . Ingr uld be o ouch an suppos c spices that a ne cannot tas oon- sauces were absent f rely had the m . a nice t otherwise wo n e p l ifi s O s u io m c f . r in n r e y n u o e p e t d ned ad of s ond or fo iced . Th ciatio to wha e. st motio rk asso ut after three ing yourself st tried e traces of d y desire in a w ialties o je ju h ic d e e r a e h t e h n m , k t r b t whit ith so d spec und m counte e bite, u’re get way ou sauce w ured on and fo y in the seafoo all in on now what yo On my lay dish at the tiny, colored t r r k n c u e u C nd all tic Iv ith fuls yo authen to a sm h raw seeds a u take about ables w ineapple it d veget tailed yo ializes in I began with hrimp P tion. n w , c S a nd e ly d t s p e into. e s n ll e o fi e tat ec deseeds a and ed in ppar alac menu s , quartered po ks and plump bathing in a India P dian cuisine, oup). It’s serv d dies. A poon of these your n a c ll o e n ut ea hu int rn In en s e an Larg ables ey wer apple c f cocon Northe Shorba (chick a tomato bas n peas a half t and palm them . I did so, ed pine up at me. Th with a hint o n e h t n n e s it e r in a k ie c w G m d ic . h n d h h d en C dis ca n stare runchy uche breat of chick p-sized of India , meshrimp llow curry to rful. th as a hted with a c d u il o m m a teacu diced chunks a mild blend : le e e s delig in of sweet y e I said, wond levels availab ally go with and wa corice flavor. thought. plenty ed onions tie mooth. o ik ic ice w p L p t y s . le t k d t e c s I il e b f e . in n r u o m ic s es uch, I ree e th ort li and m at went dow ntrees, I not eared here ar t for most ent overwhelm th medium s A nice little to rdered T o e h I t . e ally app s s h e t r in m o ’t e o fo ig h n t l r it s spic t a d o g e n u n n o e in n a w itio me urn vie ess d r, I w uly 30, dium After t ango chicken from the trad ed at This re ld on J he hotn rry. Howeve reather. t l a r a o e s ic p H e d is r o e il m cu t tr m rp ab f tr aily differen o Chicken en n and was su of good ’s full o ime for in the D flavors , and it was t k menu that ngo Lassi, ng tio a c e M s s e . in h e ? ie a r t x y 2015 this tim alace has a d ent with a M of mango specialt ed curr umed e chicken as served — r wed my pres of seeing Iw ia P ted d d o is s s e In , n ix s o o n c m le ll w I swa puree which fruit tit orange pectatio what I 26 Taste of Utah Valley


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28 Taste of Utah Valley

ds in n. This t has tauran at Riverwoo s Hot Chicke ho also s e r w A ne Shops ed Lovebird am Terry, w in The d e all opened rovo that is c ght here by A y with Waffl t u P n o u h r as b Nort ah Co ncept w s to Ut Adam new co ed food truck ething m o s , c chicken introdu s fried e r u avor. t e a v e f Lo of my f and idea e . n w h o e t n u is This e his yo ried Chicken bing a bucket ed sinc F r. has lov wn words, ” y family grab icnic togethe o m p r is a n e h e In emb enjoy chick s. I rem n yon to y fried ite food up to the can en inspired b to do my ow d e g e b t k in e n ic d a ’v h a ,I tc he Iw ce then ville ho as right Ever sin n the time w covered Nash ! e is sic and wh f it. Then I d ake on a clas ngster and t o n o w ake ay u versio t a great ne ces as ate my own t h n ie a r h e p cre Uta en. W d by my ex ken in ted to n ic e a h ir c w p t I s In on nt ho of 5. hicken eprese father now a chicken and r termilk fried c buns we t ith on fired envisioned bu ndwiches w , topped a s I . fresh ken Valley nd chic les we make ce the spicy a e n o the b s, pick law to balan urselve bake o amy cooling s song, e simple ct n with cr w o . perfe ing its chicken hing would s to make the ned new t g y nvisio binin Ever rs com ymphony! I e banana o v a fl reat ich s their sandw and a g fun and chicken and fun sides e branding is mpfire l h ca flavorfu for dessert! T f sitting by a o rs at g e lo in n o d o c pud ent ding r e in f if m d e r t Utah e bright, rn Utah. Th eate a perfec ne r co h c in sout n intensities a pure joy to s w a o their lace w ! This p ntion sunset d create. ing atte od and v n lo a e e h o lt ceiv of the f ope you fee I hope o every detail s. Here we h t d in ir we put ent at Loveb you can feel ed. m re environ a place whe ted and warm e r lif t a p to cre d and fed, u un part of ou f e a h is g n bein iatio nour you for e and apprec hot v Thank le lo il With Nashv en!” dream! my take on k t ot Chic n I prese Lovebirds H t that all the , ou chicken also pointed sh and are fre from m a e s u Ad y nts the cratch, ingredie ch day from s For this . a made e e has created ot be the n h s y e a ip m c nique re rices p e r and u h t o v n a o fl s a e re th rth it. st, but cheape ce will be wo xcellent e n experie ds will be an ird and b ir e b v e v lo Lo ur take yo xperience a o t e c or pla to e ndwich e time take th y chicken sa pic great s plate. ent ed cont sponsor


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Taste of Utah Valley Spring of 2019  

Saints & Dinners - How local favorite Bam Bam's BBQ scored prestigious gig feeding NFL team. Plus so much more.

Taste of Utah Valley Spring of 2019  

Saints & Dinners - How local favorite Bam Bam's BBQ scored prestigious gig feeding NFL team. Plus so much more.

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