old and new discoveries of slc

After several days over the weekend of extremely cold and wet snowy weather, Hubby and I decided to take advantage of yesterday’s emerging sunshine revealing such pretty patches of blue sky. We took the afternoon off for a little R&R and final Christmas shopping spree. I tucked my camera in my pocket, dressed in layers that included my new warm hat with the feather in the side, jumped in the car and headed for downtown. One of my aims was to take a few pictures of the holiday scenes around town.

The first place I wanted to drive by was the storefront we’d passed by chance on the way to the Christmas concert last Friday night. It was still quite slushy out, so Hubby drove around the block once and we parked right outside the storefront so I could roll down the window and take a picture without getting out of the car. Guess what kind of store it was? The featured lamp seems to be just waiting for a Ralphie’s dad* to come by and take it home to surprise his wife.

Though it was only a four-block walk back to our car after the show Friday night, our two friends and we had ducked into a burger joint along the route for coffee and cocoa, and the chance to thaw out a bit from single digit temperatures before resuming our walk to the parking garage. It turned out to be a fortuitous move. Otherwise I might never have discovered my new favorite burger joint. Crown Burgers started in 1978 by immigrant brothers from Greece. Today there are several locations around town and two in Colorado. Otherwise it’s exclusive to SLC, and reminds me a little bit of mom&pop fry joints in the south except that sweetened iced tea doesn’t seem to be on the menu.

What makes  Crown Burgers good for me is that fact that they serve two or three non-meat sandwiches, as well as fries, onion rings, and a large variety of other hot sandwiches so that Hubby can get something too. Otherwise not many burger joints have much to entice non-meat eaters so we don’t stop at them very often. This place, being local, also has its version of the regional condiment fry sauce, which you’ve probably never heard of unless you’ve lived or visited in SLC. It’s a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise and spices. The nearest I can describe it is something between a Thousand Island dressing and a shrimp tartar sauce. It’s apparently an acquired taste, as I love it now but hated it the first time I tried it.

Their primary location is decorated like a European hunting lodge with a large fireplace. Other locations–like this one–have a medieval theme complete with tapestries (on the wall corner and other places about the large room) as well as heavy iron chandeliers. Isn’t it apparent what any bibliophile would find appealing about this decor? Quite out of the ordinary from a McDonald’s or Wendy’s.

In spite of the more upscale decor, customers still place their orders at a counter in front, and pick up paper-wrapped food when their numbers are called. As you wait to order you can see see pastrami being freshly sliced.

Since a stomach disorder had kept me from eating most of the day Friday, I couldn’t resist trying the Halibut Fishburger along with my cocoa that night, so I decided to try an ordinary hamburger this time–with mayo, lettuce and tomato, and shared a large order of onion rings with Hubby, who ordered a veggie burger. Someday I may work up the nerve to try the artery clogging “Crown Burger” which is a regular charbroiled burger piled high with a mound of fresh sliced pastrami on top.

After well-fortifying ourselves, we decided to drop by our favorite haunt, the city library. Here Hubby enters the library complex several feet ahead of me as usual. The store that has the Ecuadorean creche I wrote about a week or two back is up a ways on the right.

I rather like this picture–the quality of which is admittedly poor because the reflection in the glass interferes with the composition–because somehow it encapsulates for me the glittery excess of the season. Oh, and there on the right are the Ecuadorean figures I told you about in that prior post. Let’s see if I can get in a little closer without the shop’s owners getting their knickers in a twist.

There, much better in this position! By the way, the price tag for the set, without the wooden dough bowl, is $74.95. Not as bad as I thought. I can’t quite figure why I love these little people so much. I love the Fernando Botero sculptures in Washington DC’s Sculpture Garden. Lots of people I know don’t like them because they think Botero is thumbing his nose at fat people. On the contrary I like them because they seem so at home in their bodies just as they are without apology. Botero himself said artists are attracted to various art forms without ever knowing why. I’m perfectly content with explanation myself.

Here are some other ladies in waiting that I like. There’s also a lot of Alice in Wonderland memorabilia on this display that I like also. Isn’t it fun to windowshop? Almost as much fun as people watching!

Hubby leaves me to go into the library to check the holdings of foreign and classic old movies. I assure him I’ll be along directly, but sometimes I get so engrossed checking out the books in the library store discounted book shelves that I never make it into the library itself. This is one of those days. I see there’s a man on his knees between the short stacks so I try not to encroach his staked out territory and find an Oprah bookpick, SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM by Nigerian author Uwem Akpan. It’s a trade paperback and the spine isn’t even bent and it’s only $4. SOLD!

After the library complex expedition, we decide to head to Temple Square and see what we can of holiday magic. Here we are headed through the SLC street landmark iron eagle drapery at the west temple street crossing. When you see this, you know you’re close to the Temple.

There it there, on the right. Squint a bit and you’ll be just barely able to see the new angel Moroni statue standing at the top of the spire in the center. The old statue was struck by lightning on June 13, 2009 and replaced in August as it was scorched beyond repair.

There’s one more rather boring stop to make before we end our browse-about, to the grocery for cookie and candy making items for a full day of baking tomorrow, plus a final run through Toys-R-Us for one last purchase.  But that will be really boring, so I’ll leave you here for now. Tomorrow, besides our holiday baking, we have to think about wrapping presents and addressing cards. With any luck, we may just be ready–barely–for Christmas by the 24th. Hope you’ve enjoyed the drive-about of SLC. I’ll be along again in a day or two. Hope you’re enjoying the season as much as we are.

*Ralphie and his dad are characters from 1983 movie, The Christmas Story.

We’d attended the Christmas program on Temple Square Friday night. It was so cold during our walk back to our car after the show that we ducked into a burger joint to keep from freezing. Otherwise I might never have discovered

8 thoughts on “old and new discoveries of slc

  1. Oh, simply lovely….you did a me and took your camera along with you. I’m charmed by the Peruvian cheer…..for round is also happy. I love the dolls, and I adore library book stores. Both G and I drove around and around the Temple last time we were there, but it was our dinner time and our timing was terrible.

    Thanks for the trip. 🙂

    • Next time you come to SLC and plan to visit the Temple, you should try the Lion’s House restaurant nearby. It used to be the home of some of Brigham Young’s wives. His house was where he lived was and is literally around the corner. The food is down home comfort and served in the rooms along the hall, all decorated in the mode of 1800s and really interesting.

  2. Loved the tour. I visited SLC many years before that mall was built. There was nothing much except Temple Square. The dolls are great; I can understand why you like them.

    • Oh Ruthe, time for another visit. Things are still changing around there! Soon (?) the city canyon mall will be finished, hopefully, with no car traffic–another potential window shopping venue.

  3. I live near the area and still loved the tour, along with your commentary! Plus, I stayed warm! I also think Crown Burger onion rings are to die for! Thanks, my friend! rbs

    • I didn’t know you were so close! When you’re desperate for a buddy to share some greasy food with, you’ll have to remember me.

  4. Oh my, your description of Crown Burger makes me positively homesick! Remind me not to read your blog while I’m waiting for dinner to finish in future. 😀

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