Park City Hotel, Restaurant, & Bar Tips

After attending BLEND Retreat, one thing I promised to talk about that I haven’t quite gotten to yet is Park City itself. I’ve talked about all the food we ate, the exercise we did (OK, mostly the hike, since that was all I was up for!), and the swag we got.

But now I am here to tell you all about this little mountain town that attracts thousands of guests year after year! Albeit several weeks late…but better than never, right?

The only experience I had traveling to Utah was in 2010, when I had a layover in Salt Lake City with my parents. We missed our connecting flight [we were flying from Sacramento to New York] so we had 6 hours to kill at the airport. Naturally, we decided to go on a tour of Temple Square in Downtown SLC.

THE Mormon Temple

That’s another story for another day, but suffice it to say Mormonland is super interesting!

Park City, however, which is about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, is a completely different beast.

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Driving from SLC –> Park City

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In 2002 when the Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, lots of the events took place up in the nearby mountains. Check out these remnants! #olympicsnerd

Hyatt Escala Lodge at Park City

DSC_0514As I’ve mentioned, we stayed at the beautiful Hyatt Escala Lodge. It is one of quite a few hotel-resorts in the Canyon Resorts area of Park City – just a quick drive up the road from “Downtown” Park City.

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we had to walk through several other hotels to get to our hiking trail – they all seemed lovely!

There are tons of ski lifts in this area, which I’m sure makes it a great place to visit in the winter months. We enjoyed walking to a beautiful hiking trail where we got this stunning view:

gorgeousYou can even see the resorts in the distance 🙂

The Hyatt itself was amazing. The grounds were beautiful, reminiscent of a big cabin in the mountains, but also very elegant and modern at the same time.

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The restaurant in the hotel was the location of our breakfasts, and they also hosted our cocktail hour (complete with delicious appetizers!). It is a huge space with giant windows, letting in lots of light. Loved eating meals here!

Now…for the SUITE!

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This is just the living room. And I totally slept on that couch (didn’t even need the pull out)…couldn’t believe how comfortable it was!

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All four of us (Becky, Carly, Arlene and myself) kept saying the things in the kitchen were nicer than our own things at home. Because they WERE. Haha. It was such a nice place to just sit and relax during the few breaks we got throughout the weekend.

All in all, I can’t say enough good things about the Hyatt Escala. The service was also top notch…not to mention handsome, as pretty much every single lady in our group remarked throughout the weekend 😉

Main Street in Park City

There is one main street in Downtown Park City…and it is literally called Main Street.

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It plays host to tons of shops, restaurants and bars. Even a dance club or two! Here are the spots I checked out:

Dining

On Saturday night, a group of us decided to go to Wasatch Brew Pub for dinner before going out on the town. I decided Saturday would be reserved for sampling some local beer! I got beer recommendations from one of the [many] handsome front desk guys at the Hyatt, and off we went to dinner.

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I told said front desk guy that I like hoppy beers, and he told me I had to try Hop Rising by Squatters Beers. It’s a Double IPA [which means STRONG!] and I loved it. I’ve rarely met a Double IPA I didn’t like…I think many breweries take care to keep their double IPAs from getting too bitter and overpowering.

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Paired with a black bean burger and sweet potato fries. Hilariously enough, most people at our table ordered this burger. It was super funny to me that we all ordered the same things [either this or the Avocado-bacon-chicken-lettuce-tomato & Swiss sandwich]…clearly we were all looking for the healthiest items on the menu!

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the whole group! i believe this was stolen from Carly 🙂

All in all, it was a great dinner! Definitely recommend!

Wasatch Brew Pub on Urbanspoon

Going Out

While we were eating our gourmet dinner on Friday evening, our table was debating whether or not to go out for a drink or two. Debra brought up a great point: Who knows when we’ll be in Park City, Utah again…if ever? It was this “carpe diem” attitude that led me, Debra, Brittney [of The Laughing Cow], & Orlando [of Onnit] to go out after dinner on Friday night and see what Park City was like. We went to O’Shucks, a quirky little dive bar, followed by No Name Saloon, one of the more popular spots in town. On Saturday after dinner at Wasatch, most of our dinner group ended up repeating the same two bars that us 4 had been to the night before.

If you’re from out of town and planning on going out to bars in Park City, there are a few things I noticed that were different from most places I’ve encountered in California and elsewhere:

  1. Liquor Laws: Beers on tap are capped at 4.0% alcohol. Unless they’re local, in which case they can be up to 5.0%. I don’t just say this because I want to drink the strongest beers to get drunk faster [although, yes, okay, sometimes I do]…Taste is definitely affected by alcohol content. There’s a reason why Bud Light is only like 4% alcohol. Stick with a bottled beer if you’re going for taste! Mixed drinks are also capped at exactly 1 ounce of liquor.
  2. Closing Time: Bars stay open until 2am, but stop serving alcohol at 1am. I guess to give people a chance to sober up before heading home for the night?
  3. Hipster-Bros: Park City is officially the Mecca of Hipster-Bros. Most of the guys we encountered there dressed like hipsters [e.g. they wore PLAID], but upon talking to them, we soon realized that they were totally just bro’s in disguise:
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PLAID EVERYWHERE

On to the bars!

O’Shucks Bar & Grill

O’Shucks is for sure a dive bar by my standards. The drinks are cheap, there are peanut shells on the ground, and it’s small and cozy. The highlight for me was…cheap schooners!

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After seeing them on Friday night, I had to come back and get one on Saturday. I had never had one before! I ordered an IPA, thinking I was totally scoring by getting a goblet of strong ass beer for only $7. Of course, this is before I knew about the aforementioned liquor law, and I basically ended up drinking a watered down version of IPA.

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I’d say there was about 1.5-2 pints in the schooner. I decided not to finish it, because I wanted to save room in my tummy for some other [tastier] beers.

No Name Saloon & Grill

No Name is right next door to O’Shucks, and it’s basically a fancied up version of the same concept. We spent a lot of time here both Friday and Saturday nights, and I got the feeling it is a popular hangout amongst Park City dwellers.

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They had a cool upstairs patio, which boasted great views and great people watching 🙂

20130605-103000.jpgI ended up playing Buck Hunter both nights:

20130605-102837.jpgI thought it was the super “Utah” thing to do, and apparently didn’t learn my lesson when I spent most of the game Friday night shooting cows instead of bucks 😉

On that note, I hope you travel to Park City some day! I had a great time, and loved getting to know my Blends better over great food and drinks!

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Us at the SLC airport on Sunday – Carly, Brittney, Becky, Sara and I.

Have you been to Park City or Salt Lake City?

Have you ever arrived at a place where you’re surprised to learn their laws are different than your own?

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Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I have been kind of lacking in the recipe category lately, and for that, I apologize. Sucks not getting home until after dark, because the lighting in my apartment is awful for photo taking. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to make a bunch of food to share over the next week or two!

I’ve been experimenting with lentils and chipotle (um, two of my favorite things!) and I also owe you all a spaghetti squash post…aaaaand a hummus post…. I’ve also been testing out recipes for The Beeroness’s upcoming cookbook, but I won’t be able to share those with you all until her book is published this fall 🙂 So instead I’m bringing you some Friday faves!

Fave Dead Guy: MLK

Partially because he’s the reason for the 3-day weekend…but mostly, I guess, cause he changed the world or whatever. 😛

Fave Splurge: lunch with friends!

source: Yelp!

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I broke my own rule and ate out twice this week. So worth it.

On Wednesday, my friend Kar’lei and I went to Ma Jong’s, which is right next door to my building. Usually, I order whatever is spiciest and I always think it’s just so-so…This time, I ordered Honey Ginger Chicken and it was SO good! They serve huge portions so I couldn’t finish the whole thing (and didn’t want to feel like I needed a nap the rest of the day :-P), but I brought home my leftovers for T-Man to devour.

Ma Jong's Asian Diner on Urbanspoon

Yesterday, my friend Mikhail got me to go to his favorite lunch spot, Crest Cafe, with him. He took advantage of their $9.99 lunch buffet, while I went with a fattoush salad with chicken. I knew that the cafe existed (it’s right next door to Crest Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Sacramento), but I had no idea they had awesome fresh mediterranean/middle eastern food! I looove fattoush salad, I kind of wish they’d had the traditional pita chips instead of pita bread on the side, but I promptly finished my salad anyway!
Crest Cafe on Urbanspoon

Fave Productivity Booster: Organizing my desk

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I’ve been so busy lately that my desk had already gone to s**t by Wednesday. It didn’t stay clean for long, but I did get a lot done that day! It reminds me of in high school and college when I wouldn’t start working on a paper until my room was clean. It’s part procrastination, part OCD 🙂

Fave Politically Incorrect Crossword Puzzle Answer: “sista”

When I was filling out 48-down, I couldn’t help but feel like Stan’s dad in South Park – when he’s playing Wheel of Fortune, the clue is “people who annoy you”, and he has the letters “N_GGERS”. I was like “What? Really? I’m really about to write ‘sista’ right now??”

Fave Uncommon Beer Pairing: Beer and Kettle Chips!

I spotted this pairing list on Twitter and can’t get enough. I love love love Kettle Chips, and beer pairings…but I’ve never thought to put the two together! I think the Salt & Pepper with an American Pale Ale is what I’d want to try most 🙂 The Spicy Thai and Saison sounds interesting too, though….hmmmm!!

Fave new top: PEPLUM!

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Here I was thinking I couldn’t pull off peplum. Found this super simple and cute top at Express – I usually don’t buy stuff full price there, but it was too cheap to say no 🙂 Now I’m stuck waiting until the weather is a little warmer so I can wear it! (Also, please ignore the blurry iPhone photo/atrocious state of my room. That’s one mess I haven’t had the courage to tackle since before Christmas!)

Any fun plans for the three-day weekend? The weather should be nice here (in the low 60’s), so I’m hoping to go for a run and maybe even a bike ride at some point!

P.s. We won our first dodgeball game last night! And all my bones are in tact 🙂

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