Rita’s Italian Ice

The place: Rita’s Italian Ice, just down the parking lot from Pizzeria Limone, at 11348 S. State Street, Sandy, UT 84070

Contact info: online at www.ritasiceutah.com, on Facebook, by phone at (801) 569-2324

Reservations: No

Hours: 

  • Ice Ice Baby Time: Mon – Fri / 11 – 10, Sat / 11 – 11

About: Our popular chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, made fresh daily with real fruit, available in over sixty-five flavors, Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard, Milkshakes, Sundaes with Unlimited Toppings, Light Custard, Frozen Custard Cakes, Custard Cookie Sandwiches made with OREO®, layered Gelati as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini® creations. Since 1984, “Ice, Custard, Happiness,” has been the brand’s motto, and almost thirty years later, Rita’s is still dedicated to serving up a big dose of happiness with their freshly made, delicious, custom treats, in a fun-filled atmosphere. (Source: Rita’s Italian Ice on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/RitasItalianIceCompany/info)

The ambiance: You know, it’s like an ice cream shop, except you can get Italian Ice and custard, which is just that much closer to God.

Image courtesy franchiseexpo.com

Image courtesy franchiseexpo.com

The Munch: A friend mentioned Rita’s once to me, so when went made our trek to Pizzeria Limone and I saw it just right there, I decided I’d need to try it out with Mom. After all, Italian ice sounded intriguing, and who doesn’t love frozen custard. I ordered:

  • Gelati: Juicy Pear topped with Chocolate Custard
I know, the bright green and brown are kind of an off-putting color combination.

I know, the bright green and brown are kind of an off-putting color combination.

Mom said it was weird that I ordered Juicy Pear with Chocolate, and it’s probably not for everyone, but I think that’s an underused flavor combination. The Gelati is one of several different iterations of Italian Ice and/or Custard you can order at Rita’s, and it’s just ice with custard on top, giving you the best of both worlds. The ice flavors vary from day to day, but the custard flavors are pretty constant, and they are: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and orange cream (at this particular location).

The Italian ice is somewhere in between a Sno-Cone and Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and it’s AWESOME. I loved the flavor and texture, and then when you combined it with a spoonful of thick, creamy, indulgent frozen custard … mmm. I want to go there right now, but it’s Sunday and 1. I don’t patronize businesses on Sundays and 2. it’s not open anyhow.

The bill: ~$4 – $4.50. This was another Mom treat, so I’m unsure about the exact cost, but I don’t recall looking at the menu board and thinking, “Whoa that’s expensive.” Plus they have a punch card system (it’s an app, and a brilliant one at that), so after eight purchases, you get one free.

Total score: 8/10 — I wish there were more frozen custard flavors, but the Italian ice flavors are plentiful (and creative), so that makes up for it. I’ll definitely be hitting Rita’s up regularly during the summer months!

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Pizzeria Limone

The place: Pizzeria Limone, surrounded by other yummy eateries and close enough to Scheels you could probably throw a rock and hit a car in the parking lot, at 42 W 11400 S, Sandy, UT 84070.

Contact info: online at pizzerialimone.net, on Facebook, by phone at (801) 666-8707

Reservations: No

Hours: 

  • Lunch/Dinner: Mon – Sat / 11 – 10
  • Lunch/Dinner: Sun / 11 – 8

About:  Here at Pizzeria Limone our passion is to create for our customers the best Neapolitan style pizza on the planet and deliver these pizzas in a warm, inviting fine-casual dining atmosphere.  We began this journey by carefully creating our signature hand stretched dough that produces a lightly blistered crisp crust with a gentle crumb, and that’s only the beginning.

Then using only the finest ingredients we could find, we thoughtfully created sensational, mouthwatering pizzas that stay close to their Italian roots, but that are also innovative and delicious. We call this style of Pizza, “Neopolitan Revival”, where we believe we improve on an already legendary style of pizza.

Our journey to create the best pizzas in the world is far from complete as we continue to create exciting pizza combinations that will be sure to please the tastes of our discriminating clientele.  Please come in and enjoy our incredible pizzas and you will agree that our passion has made its way into every aspect of Pizzeria Limone.  Benvenuti! Source: Pizzeria Limone website, http://pizzerialimone.net/our-passion/

The ambiance: It reads a lot like a Chipotle for pizza — nice, open seating, loud music (that varies from Italian operettas to Pharrell Williams, which was weird, I’m just going to say that right now).

The Munch: Having now moved about 45 minutes away from our favorite pizzeria (Pizzeria 712, of course), I was really on a mission to find something that would be similar. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to find an exact fit, I’ll admit that I went into Limone with lower expectations. Shame, shame, shame on me. While it’s not as impressive with an ever-changing seasonal menu and a menu made up entirely of local and/or in-house made goods,  the pizzas and salads are innovative and delicious. We ordered:

  • Tre Sorelle salad (half-size)
  • Insalata Caprese
  • Margherita Pizza
  • Pera Pizza
  • Limone Gelato
  • Limone Brownie

Okay, so Mom was in town, which meant more food and more wild abandon because she was paying for it. That being said, the prices are so reasonable, it kind of makes you wonder upon ordering whether it’s going to be top quality. Don’t question it — just accept that some places don’t use fancy china and silverware and then pass those savings on to you, while serving up high quality, delicious food. <—- the snobbiest thing I’ll ever write in this blog, I promise.

The salads were fantastic — the Tre Sorelle features freshly shaved parmesan cheese atop a bed of fresh greens, blackberries, thinly sliced pear, and pistachios, all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette, which I can say pretty confidently was one of the best salad dressings I’ve ever eaten. The Insalata Caprese was very similar to those I’ve eaten at other restaurants — fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, but they also added pistachios to the top and the added textural difference was a nice change-up from the usual.

I love a good brick-oven baked pizza, and theirs did not disappoint at all. The crust had a good chew to it, while being extremely thin and crisp along the edges. The Margherita had mozzarella, basil, and halved grape tomatoes, and it was really delicious. The Pera (a difficult decision for me to make, since I wanted to try all of them) had five cheeses, thinly sliced prosciutto, pears, red onion, pistachios, and basil atop an olive oil base rather than sauce, and the sweetness of the prosciutto and pears was a lovely change from more savory pizzas.

Pera Pizza

Pera Pizza

The flavor of the gelato was akin to frozen lemonade, and was extremely refreshing, though I was disappointed that it didn’t have the usual thick creaminess gelato has (if it’s going to include that much butterfat, I want to experience it). I would order it again, however, based upon taste alone, but it read a lot more like a sorbet. The brownie was moist, rich, and fudgy, with a perfectly sweet/tart lemon buttercream under fudge ganache. I was at first skeptical about the combination of lemon and chocolate, but it was delicious!

The bill: ~$40, based upon the prices listed on their online menu (I believe the Insalata Caprese is a dollar more these days, however). For all the food and different tastes we experienced, it was a fantastic deal!

Total score: 8/10 – I do wish they had a more seasonal menu (I’m curious what the offerings with blackberries are like in, say, November), and as aforementioned, the gelato could have been creamier, but I’m excited to return to try out the rest of the menu!

I’ve moved!

I’m no longer in Utah county, so the blog will get a bit of an update, and you’ll start hearing about my culinary escapades in Salt Lake county instead! (You know, when I actually get it together and blog about all the delicious foods I eat.) I’m excited to start searching for my next favorite restaurant near my home and hope you join me on my journey. (Just the cheesiest thing I’ve ever typed you’re welcome.)

Cupcake Chic

The place: Cupcake Chic, in the strip mall kiddy corner to Sprouts Market, at 1361 S. State Orem, UT 84097

Contact info: online at cupcakechicinutah.com, on Facebook, by phone at (801) 607-2968

Reservations: No

Hours: 

  • Dessert: Mon – Thurs / 10:30 – 8
  • Dessert: Fri – Sat / 10:30 – 9

About:  A dream that started in our home kitchen turned into Cupcake Chic. Originally a cupcakery, we have added cakes, cookies, bon bons and other treats to our gourmet treat menu. So, stop by and get something great to eat. Source: Cupcake Chic website, http://www.cupcakechicutah.com/aboutUs.html

The ambiance: It’s small and bright, with exceptionally clean glass cases featuring all of their delicious goodies. They have a few seats, but this is more of a grab and go type of place, which is probably for the better since you will feel compelled to buy one of everything and eat it at home in your stretchy pants.

The Munch: If you yourself don’t have incredible self-discipline, you’ll need to take someone with you who does. In my case, it was Husband, who despite my pleadings wouldn’t give in to our each getting one treat for the evening. I knew I didn’t want anything gluten-free because I don’t have celiac, and I was pretty certain I didn’t want a sugar cookie since they’re particularly known for their cupcakes, but narrowing it down to one flavor was extremely taxing. Husband, on the other hand, walked in, glanced around, and knew precisely what to get himself. We ordered:

  • The Classic cupcake
  • S’mores bar

Photo courtesy Cupcake Chic on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CupcakeChicUtah/photos_stream

I really dislike dense cupcakes, and that’s what I’ve tended to find in Utah county. So when I bit into my Hostess-themed cake and was met with a deliciously fine crumb, I was very pleased. The cake and frosting were both made with high quality chocolate (the frosting was actually ganache, so ’nuff said), but they weren’t so dark that they were bitter. Nor were they cloying — they were perfectly chocolate. And inside the center, rather than an ambiguous white “cream,” they had piped in their homemade marshmallow creme, which was divine.

Divine.

Photo courtesy Cupcake Chic on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CupcakeChicUtah/photos_stream

Photo courtesy Cupcake Chic on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CupcakeChicUtah/photos_stream

Husband raved about that s’mores bar for days. As he was eating it, he kept remarking how delicious it was, when he finished it, he remarked at how delicious it was, and I’m not sure a day has gone by that he hasn’t brought it up in casual conversation. The bar part was made with graham cracker crumbs but was soft like a cookie (and not crumbly or messy), the chocolate spread tasted like a big melted Hershey bar, and the marshmallow creme on top was just as divine as in the Classic cupcake. Though rich, it was definitely finishable, and it wasn’t cloying.

We agreed (more or less — I brought up this idea, and he didn’t say no) to buying a treat from Cupcake Chic every week because it seemed like the right thing to do.

The bill: $5.12, plus a free punch because I missed the free birthday cupcake sign-up and it was my birthday week. I like that kid a lot. And that total? For two delicious, gourmet homemade treats? They’re practically giving it away.

Total score: 10/10 — I mean, I plan on going back every week, so.