Dinner at Afterward….Twice!
Having very close friends who live in Heber City and others who have a second home, I’ve road tripped to Utah several times over the past two months. This past trip, we dined on the patio at Afterward, a delightful restaurant in downtown Heber, twice. The first night was Saturday and there was a duo doing live music. It was such a treat to listen to great tunes while dining, especially this summer. We started with cocktails and I went for the “naked in the river” one. It’s reposado tequila, cointreau, honey lime chili, lime and peach. I found it to be a nice twist on a margarita.
My friends quickly ordered biscuits for our small group. Drench your mini buttermilk biscuit in their honey butter and you’ll wish you had the whole basket to yourself. We ordered a few of their appetizers – deviled eggs and Maine crab fritters – to start. I love mountain trout so I honed in on the Idaho Mountain Trout for my entree, partly because it’s served with hominy grits and sweet street corn. It was delicious! In one meal, I quickly saw my friends love the newest restaurant in town and are regulars.
A couple of nights later we went back. Wanting a light sip, I ordered “the valley spritz.” It’s prosecco, aperol, lillet blanco and fresh orange. An aperol spritz is my go-to cocktail when I want something light and refreshing. My friend Pam and I split the burrata summer salad and fresh bartolo’s pasta buscatini. The salad is beautiful and a wonderful mix of flavors with watermelon, beet, tomatoes, mint and lemon verbena gastrique. The pasta is tossed in a basil pine nut pesto, smoked parmesan and dandelion gremolata. It’s good but both of us thought some toasted pine nuts and/or sun-dried tomatoes would elevate the dish.
My other picks for dinner in Heber are Back 40 Ranch House Grill, The Junction and Spin Cafe. The salmon tacos at Back 40 are excellent. So are the burgers, sweet potato fries and margaritas. The Junction is the spot for pizza. Indulge in the onion rings or gelato at Spin Cafe.
I love breakfast food and could eat it for any meal. I also love to go for a great hike and have a well-earned late breakfast or brunch. After hiking part of the Aspen Grove trail at Mt. Timpanogos, we stopped in Betty’s Cafe, a fairly new breakfast and lunch place in Heber. Really hungry after a tough six mile hike, I went for the #8 with eggs, potatoes and a biscuit (you can get toast or pancake). Pam and Earl also ordered breakfast while Christy went for their fish and chips, which were really tasty too. I devoured my freshly cracked eggs quickly. I had asked for my potatoes to be done extra crispy and they were cooked to perfection. The biscuits are huge! I could only eat half of mine topped with their wonderful homemade strawberry jam. I happily left in a food coma.
If you’re a bagel fan, the Bagel Den is a must. Their bagels are super light. I always order the vegetarian one with one egg, cheddar, tomato and spinach. I’ll usually go for a salt or everything bagel. I did make one bagel run during my most recent trip.
I was going to grab a bagel for my road trip but as I was packing up my car, one of my friends’ neighbors stopped to chat as he was driving to Dottie’s Kolaches Co. for “good coffee and cinnamon rolls.” My friend Pam said it’s good too. On my way out of town, I stopped for a coffee for the road and a kolache to have before hiking in Vernal as a road trip break. As I looked at the menu of their drive-thru, I decided to order a couple of the vegetarian kolaches. They’re filled with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella. Boy, was I glad I ordered extras to take home as they reminded me of the Tex-Czech pastry I used to get as a treat in the Texas Hill Country when I lived in San Antonio. They’re about the size of dinner roll and are light, savory and so good. I also decided to order two Penelope cookies so I could have one as a post hike treat and one to take home. It’s a peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate. It’s heavenly!
Author Jennifer Broome frequently visits her friends in Heber City. For another unique brunch spot near Heber, check out blog on Woodland Biscuit Company. For a family-friendly hike near Heber, read blog on Bloods Lake.