Ogden Restaurant Week: Discovering Ogden’s hidden treasures

written by: Mary Brown Malouf

Who knew? Wataru Misaka was born and grew up in Ogden. Misaka, a Nisei, was born in 1923. Tall for the time (5 foot 7 inches) he played basketball, leading Ogden High School to state and regional championships in 1940 and 1941. He went on to become the first non-white player and the first player of Asian descent in the NBA (known then as the Basketball Association of America. I first heard of “Wat” when I was standing in the place he grew up: a basement under Historic 25th Street. Back then it was the lower level of Wat’s father’s barbershop. Now it’s Tona Sushi’s garden, where owner Tony Chen grows herbs and sprouts under artificial light.

I had never eaten at Tona Sushi before either. But checking out participants in Ogden’s fifth annual Restaurant Week, I sampled excellent food and learned a little 25th Street history at the same time.

Specifically celebrating independent restaurants in downtown Ogden, Restaurant Week invites diners to enjoy a two-course meal for just $10 and/or a three-course meal for $17—both options are a steal, whether you opt for an artisanal pizza and an unusual beer at Slackwater or a more highbrow meal at Hearth. The restaurateurs love it. “Restaurant Week allows us to showcase specials,” says Chen. “Our job is to push diners out of their comfort zone and get them to explore the menu beyond their favorites. Restaurant Week prices allow them to feel comfortable doing that.”

Across the street at Zucca Trattoria, chef Geraldine Sepulveda feels the same way. “We grow our own herbs, make our breads and pasta—even make our own hamburger buns. Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to educate our diners and let them know we go way beyond pizza and spaghetti.” This year, Ogden Restaurant Week runs from April 6-April 15.

For a full list of participating restaurants, go to visitogden.com.

written by: Mary Brown Malouf

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Maloufhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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