A week after the world met the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Lisa Barlow —the owner of high-end tequila brand Vida—has fully embraced her role as the Diet Coke-slugging, Cheesy Gordita Crunch-munching #FastFoodQueen of the interwebs. The memes and tweets and Instagram posts about “the best” Taco Bell (apparently it’s the 1300 East and 12300 South location in Draper).  

Here hankerings for soda have kept social media alive with praise for Barlow’s realness. Remember, she hit her fave fast food joints in a Porsche. 

But we don’t drive Italian sports cars. (Subaru Forester and Toyota hybrid, in case you were wondering). We do, however, like food. And Salt Lake City, so while this glam housewife gives you a tour of southern Salt Lake County’s finest national chains, we’re here to offer the far superior, local alternatives.   

Instead of Taco Bell… Head over to a Salt Lake original and fave for decades. Lone Star Taqueria feels like you just stepped off a bus in Mexico. Instead of that cheezy, crispy fast whatever, order What the Boys Eat”—steak adovada and fresh chopped veggies on two soft white corn tortillas, topped with shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onion and lime. They’ll put cheese on it if you want it. 

Instead of Wendy’s… Salt Lake City is home to some of the best burgers in the country—Pago’s burger, Copper Onion’s burger, HSL, all high-end restaurants, serve incredi-burgers. But if you gotta stay in the car, go to Hires Big H, another Salt Lake original. You don’t drive through, you just pull in, turn on your lights and wait for the cute girl to take your order and bring your burger. Don’t quibble, any girl bearing fresh onion rings is cute. 

Instead of Sonic… This, it seems, is Barlow’s stop for Diet Coke. Soda runs aplenty in Utah, so hit any number of shops (Swig, Fiiz, Thirst, Sodalicious) and do it like a local—pop mixed with just about anything(except Vida tequila or any other booze, of course). The Founder—Diet Coke, sugar free coconut syrup, fresh lime and coconut cream—is a top seller and runs about a buck more than your average drive-thru Coke. 

Instead of Crumbl… C’mon—another national chain?? What about our homegirl Ruby? Rubysnap Fresh Cookies makes 18 different kinds of cookies every day, and they all have cute names like Snickerdudette, Trudy, Suzie, Audrey (cute if you don’t think Little Shop of Horrors and start worrying the cookies might eat you.) Anyway, Rubysnap uses good healthy ingredients including lots of sugar, which is why you’re eating a cookie. 

We were happier with the dining choices in this week’s episode (no. 2, if you’re not keeping track). Jewelry designer Meredith Marks and husband,  Seth, made a date to squabble about their separation at Park City’s Handle over cocktails made with, what else, Vida Reposado. Now that’s good eating. 

 

Contributions by: Mary Brown Malouf

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