SLACKWATER PIZZERIA & PUB

ADDRESS: 1895 Washington Boulevard, Ogden, UT 84401

After we finished gorging on the dozen donuts that we had bought from Madbrook Donut Company, Tina and I decided to head out and attempt to walk off those donuts on the Ogden River Parkway. The trail itself spanned over 17 miles, but we only tackled a small stretch that we picked up near their apartment. It also gave me the opportunity to break out the DSLR camera I had brought with me to capture some of the beautiful outdoor scenery in that area.

By the time that we finished our walk, it was pretty much getting close to lunchtime. We decided to stick to a nearby spot that both Tina and Mike had been to before: Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub. Pizza and beer, no matter where I’ve gone, always seems to be a winning combination.

Slackwater is situated in a pretty good location right by the main highway running through the town of Ogden, where it also borders the Ogden River Parkway trail that Tina and I had been on earlier. The restaurant has both an indoor and outdoor seating area; since the weather was really nice, we opted to sit outdoors, where you could also partially hear/see the river. I’m not sure if there was some initial confusion on who would be covering our table, since it seemed like a little while before anyone stopped by. But once our waitress came over and welcomed us, the service was smooth after that.

Naturally, one of this place’s specialties was their variety of pizzas, complete with creative names and intriguing ingredient combinations. We were hungry enough though that we decided to start off with their smoked pork nachos and follow that up with some pizzas. In an effort to manage my gout, I went with a vegetarian option and ordered the Piper Pesto, which consisted of a pesto cream sauce, roasted garlic, a mix of cheese, tomatoes, and pine nuts. They went with the Italian Job, loaded up with pepperoni, salami, capicola ham, and some pepperoncinis.

One of the unfortunate things that rather slipped my mind was to get a flight of beers to sample while at Slackwater. I usually like to try the variety, rather than commit myself to a whole pint if I hadn’t tried something yet. It wasn’t before long that our nachos arrived to get things started. A plate of tortilla chips topped with some house-smoked shredded pork, smoked poblano and Anaheim chilis, diced tomatillos, cilantro, a three-cheese blend, chimichurri, and pico de gallo, these nachos certainly pack on the flavor as well as the heat. You definitely get the smoky flavors coming on from a combination of the ingredients, and I think the tortilla chips were actually finished with a light sprinkle of paprika as well that complimented everything. It was certainly a good way to get the tastebuds going.

The kitchen was on top of cranking out the pizzas, because we didn’t actually get to finish all the nachos before they arrived at the table. The pizzas themselves were actually a relatively good size (even for a personal portion), about the same diameter as a large dinner plate. The aromas started to creep up from the pizzas; I didn’t need any more convincing to dive in for the first bite. The crust came out just the way I like it: a slight crisp on the outside with a chewy inside. I think they had the roasted garlic oil brushed on the pizza before they dropped the pesto cream sauce on there, because the way those flavors layered up was really nice. Even though the pine nuts provided a texture contrast to the rest of the pizza, I was a little ambivalent on having them added on there as a topping from a taste perspective. I did like that the feta cheese provided that flavor contrast from the rest of the ingredients as well.

With a nice, casual atmosphere and a wide selection of things to eat & drink, Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub is a great place to hit up whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or relaxing on the weekend. I’m a person that definitely appreciates some crazy combinations when it comes to food, and quite a few of the other pizza options that were on Slackwater’s menu really sounded fascinating (I’m looking at you, Taste of Thai or Tikka Masala). The next time I come out to visit, a pizza sampler (coupled with a high amount of resulting leftover pizza) should definitely be on the agenda.

Let’s now take a look at the Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.

** Char-Tipped Smoked Pork Chili-Verde Nachos **
Shredded house-smoked pork, smoked poblano and Anaheim chilis, tomatillos, and cilantro over a plate of tortilla chips. Finished with a three-cheese blend, chimichurri, and pico de gallo.

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** Piper Pesto **
Pesto cream sauce and roasted garlic base, topped with a three-cheese blend, diced tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta cheese.

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** Italian Job **
Garlic infused olive oil and tomato sauce base with pepperoni, salami, capicola ham, and three-cheese blend, finished with pepperoncinis and a Parmesan herb vinaigrette drizzle.

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And finally, here are my rankings for Slackwater Pizzeria & Pub:

Food: 4.5 / 5

The plentiful selection of pizzas is sure to keep you occupied with eating through their menu for a while. On top of the wide range of options, the food tastes great as well.

Atmosphere: 4.25 / 5

The feel of the place is slightly different between the indoor and outdoor seating, but not by much. I found the outdoor seating to be pretty refreshing to enjoy the beautiful weather. They also set up live music and events inside the dining area as well.

Service: 4.25 / 5

Even though the initial waitstaff confusion led to us sitting around and waiting to put our drink orders in, after our waitress realized the issue, she made a point to periodically stop by and see how we were doing. The food also cranked out of the kitchen at a rapid pace as well.

Price: 4.25 / 5

The appetizer pricing might have been a little on the steep side, but I think that the pizza pricing wasn’t too bad, considering the larger quantity of ingredients that they were using to assemble their pizzas.

Overall:
17.25 / 20
(86%)

WICHITA BREWING COMPANY

ADDRESS: 535 N. Woodlawn Street, Wichita, KS 67208

Wichita Brewing Company, Photo 1

The arrival of Labor Day weekend meant trekking out to Wichita, Kansas, where my college friend Lee was hosting a small reunion of our aero engineering friends. It was my second time out to Wichita, with the first being in senior year of college for an RC airplane design competition that Cessna was hosting. Although the first day was absolutely gorgeous for flying the planes around, the arrival of a F4 tornado the second night we were there caused the competition to get cancelled. It was my hope that this second visit would not end the same way the first time did.

Lee and my other friend Dan both work for Cessna and have lived in the area for over three years. I could imagine that they’ve tried quite a few places to eat in the area, so when Lee said that Wichita Brewing Company, or “WBC” as some locals call it, was one of the best restaurants in the area, I had high hopes for the place, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Known for a wide variety of in-house brews, Wichita Brewing Company offers an expansive selection of beers, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers. The east side location is also set in a pretty nice space, with a bar off to one side, a wood-fired pizza oven in the back, booths lining the outside, and tables occupying the space in the middle. There’s also seating outside on the patio for the nicer, cooler evenings.

It was an initial group of Lee, Dan, myself, and my other friend Nanda, but we were later joined by some of Lee and Dan’s coworkers. We started things off with the stuffed jalapeños and spinach artichoke dip appetizers, which were both delicious. The jalapeños were wood-fired, cut in half, filled with cream cheese and Italian sausage, and topped off with some chopped sweet pepper bacon pieces. The spinach artichoke dip was served on the side with their garlic cheese bread, which I now prefer over the normal pita or tortilla chips that I’m used to seeing paired with the dip.

I’ve always been a fan of wood-fired pizzas. There’s just something about that taste you get from the wood-fired oven that you can’t from a conventional pizza oven. Lee made a strong case for me to try their pizza, so I went with the Gregorian Feast. (That recommendation came from him having tried all their pizzas, which is no small feat considering that they have 25 different types.) Italian sausage mixed with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and the sweet pizza sauce makes for a truly delicious combination. The pizza dough was thin, crisp on the bottom but soft on the top. The spicy Italian sausage bits worked well with the sweet & tangy pizza sauce, and the garlic flavor from the chopped bits of roasted garlic scattered around really helped to tie everything together. I somehow managed to chow down the entire 12″ pizza; in hindsight, however, that probably wasn’t the best idea, since that left me absolutely stuffed even four hours later.

It was certainly a fun weekend to get to hang out with the guys again, and I was glad to get to sample some of the local food as well. The last time I was there we ate at chains and a bad pizza joint that conjures up memories of probably some of the gummiest pizza I’ve ever had. I’m glad that WBC was able to redeem my impression of the local pizza. With a tremendous selection of beers and food, a great dining ambiance, and friendly service, it’s easy to see why people enjoy going back to WBC again and again.

Let’s now take a look at the Wichita Brewing Company Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.

Wichita Brewing Company, Photo 2** Wood-Fired Jalapeños **
Wood-fired jalapeños halved and seeded, filled with cream cheese, Italian sausage, and topped with sweet pepper bacon pieces.

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Wichita Brewing Company, Photo 3** Spinach Artichoke Dip **
Velvety cream cheese blended with spinach, artichoke, and spices. Served with garlic cheese bread.

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Wichita Brewing Company, Photo 4** Gregorian Feast **
Hand-tossed artisan crust topped with Italian sausage, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and sweet pizza sauce.

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And finally, here are my rankings for Wichita Brewing Company:

Food: 5 / 5

The variety offered with just the pizza alone was fantastic, with some great sounding sandwiches and burgers that were tempting to order as well. Lee and Dan are both beer connoisseurs, and rank WBC with some of the best selection and quality in the area.

Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5

With ample lighting throughout the whole dining area and bar, and TVs mounted at various points around the restaurant, WBC provides a great ambiance to sit back and enjoy some sports while downing some great food and beer.

Service: 4.5 / 5

Even though our waitress suffered a few spills while helping us throughout the night, she certainly made the best of it. She came back multiple times to refill our drinks and check up on how the food was. The food also cranked out of the kitchen relatively quickly.

Price: 4.5 / 5

The prices for the pizzas were pretty reasonable at the flat rate of $11 each, even with some of them containing toppings like andouille sausage, spicy capicola ham, or caramelized onions. Some other places I’ve been would normally have an upcharge for that.

Overall:
18.5 / 20
(93%)

 Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BURGER TAP & SHAKE

ADDRESS: 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

Burger Tap & Shake, Photo 1

Taking a Segway tour is very, very fun. You see the sights of the city, cover a lot of ground, and all while gliding around on a Segway. I took my first Segway tour of D.C. a few months ago, and since then, I’ve been hooked. While my parents were in town a few weekends ago, we signed up to take a tour from the folks at City Segway Tours and had an absolute blast. Riding around for three hours, however, will make you pretty hungry by the end of the tour. Our tour guide Peter pointed us in the direction of Burger Tap & Shake to grab a bite to eat afterwards.

Burger Tap & Shake (also referred to as “BTS”) is situated right on Washington Circle, and well within walking distance of the George Washington University campus. It was move-in weekend for the school, so the entire area was bustling with students arriving back to campus after the summer break. We got to the restaurant a little after 1:00 p.m., so there was a pretty decent sized crowd eating there already.

I took one look at the menu and already had a pretty good feeling about the restaurant. There was a whole array of signature burgers, each with its own distinct combination of toppings. The shakes sounded pretty good too, and not to mention they serve beer, wine, cocktails, and “shaketails,” their liquor milkshakes. My kind of place, indeed!

Feeling even more hungry now after standing in line and smelling the burgers being cooked, I ordered the Southern Comfort burger paired with the sweet potato fries, and a BTS (Butterfinger, Twix, Snickers) shake to top it all off. It was an absolutely gorgeous summer day, with low humidity and a light breeze rolling through, so my parents and I decided to sit at one of the tables outside. Even though the place was getting slammed with orders, they still managed to roll out our food in pretty decent time. I put the tray of food down on the table and got to work.

What a fantastic first bite to that burger. The meat was moist and had a great charbroiled flavor, the fried green tomato gave things a nice crunch, the pimento cheese oozed out and gave the burger a great savory flavor with a little heat, and the pickles rounded it out with their crisp, tart flavor. There was certainly a lot going on in that one bite, but that made eating the rest of the burger all the better.

The sweet potato fries were also superb, fried to just the right crispiness with a well-balanced amount of salt seasoned on top. I could imagine they would taste fantastic paired with some chipotle ketchup. That BTS shake was no joke either. I honestly didn’t expect the shake to have that many candy chunks in it, but every sip I took had candy in it, and when I got to the bottom, there was still at least a half-inch layer of candy left over too. Talk about the ultimate sugar rush.

What started out a casual burger stop after the Segway tour turned into a pleasant surprise, where I was impressed by both the quality of the burger and freshness of the ingredients. The variety of other burgers and shakes that I haven’t yet tried make BTS a high candidate for a return visit in the near future.

Let’s now take a look at the Burger Tap & Shake Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.

Burger Tap & Shake, Photo 2

Burger Tap & Shake, Photo 3** Southern Comfort Burger with Sweet Potato Fries **
Beef patty with pimento cheese, fried green tomato, sautéed vidalia onions, and bread & butter pickles.

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And finally, here are my rankings for Burger Tap & Shake:

Food: 5 / 5

This category gets top marks, without question. Food quality was great, ingredients were fresh, and the variety that’s offered, for both food and drinks, is excellent for whatever dining mood you’re in.

Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5

Floor to ceiling windows line the outer wall of the restaurant and look out towards Washington Circle, providing plenty of light inside on the nicer days. The menu is handwritten with chalk, accompanied with some neat chalk graphics as well. When it starts to get busy, you might feel a little packed in if you’re eating inside.

Service: 4.5 / 5

The food came out fast despite the large lunch crowd, and one of the staff even came by our table to clear out our trays when we were done eating.

Price: 4.75 / 5

Food-wise, the pricing is very reasonable, especially being a restaurant inside the city. $11 for a burger and fries? That’s pretty good. Shakes and alcohol, as you can imagine, will have a little bit of the D.C. upcharge there.

Overall:
18.75 / 20
(94%)

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