In the Great State of Utah there are these open air mall’s that are becoming quite the billion dollar crazes in hip and posh neighborhoods. These open air malls can be quite pretentious and kind of give the patron the sense of being hipster giving one the impression they need to wear skinny jeans and fake glasses.
What I enjoy about the Station Park iteration in Farmington, Utah is the fact there is real food joints. Yes, I give you the fact that any place that has food it technically considered a food joint. However if you use my standard of “Food Joint” they have to use fat in their cooking. Fat is the universal conductor of flavor. Let’s just face the facts that if we didn’t eat this type of great food, life would be just a little less worth living. Well, if your a nature organic eater then maybe you should hold off reading the rest of this post.
The Station Park is a new construction project so there isn’t a strong sense of what will work in this particular open air concept mall. There are several eateries surrounding the fountain, Bandito’s Taqueria, Johnny Rockets, Settebello, and Stone Park. However, the one I want to talk to you about is Twiggs Bistro and Martini Bar.
In Utah the name Bar or having liquor in your name can be an automatic shut down offense. Particularly, if you are going to base your operations in the LDS hot bead of Davis County. Unless you place your establishment in a destination location, right across from the Apple Store (note the hipster reference).
Like most open air malls the parking is horrendous. Small 2 – 3 car parking strips line the shop entrances, forcing the patrons to walk a block or two from the massive parking lots on the east or west of the shops and office fronts. However, once you get into the interior you will find yourself starting to relax with the soft sound of water hitting the pool in a synchronistic rhythm and the sound of kids playing on the provided jungle gym out door play area.
So, if you are going to shop and eat at an open air mall, I would suggest eating good food and eating at a place like Twiggs. Twiggs is warmly decorated with browns, reds and blues in muted tones with a mixture of textures that would help you wind down after a hard work week (day for some of you). Towards the Bar area the support beams have flat screen televisions all turned to ESPN – and if you eat at lunch time, like we did the space is filled with light from the open air play area.
I ordered a pretty straight forward lunch of an Moroccan Beef Appetizer, Bruschetta Flat Bread, and the Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Burger. What impressed me with placing my order was I didn’t get the obligatory response from my waiter, “Ah, great choice that’s my favorite too”. I can’t tell you how much I hate that. I realize why they do it, however it’s still annoying never the less. I tend to like to order off the menu or like this review, I want to order what they are supposed to be good at and if they tank it – they don’t get my review. Clearly, you can see they didn’t tank.
What I liked was the waiter stated a reason, a reason for why he liked the “Roasted Gorgonzola Burger” which I appreciate. I appreciate it because it was clear that either he ate at the establishment he worked at, or the Chef and General Manager were doing their jobs by having all staff taste ever dish. By tasting every dish your wait staff can make recommendations based on your likes or dislikes.
The Strongest of the appetizers was the Moroccan Beef App. It had a velvety texture and the gorgonzola fondue was insanely satisfying. I did think that both appetizers were just a tad bit over dressed with the balsamic glaze as if a 1st year art student was given a crayon and went to town!
I ordered my Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Burger (yes that is two things with Gorgonzola on it, let’s not judge one another. I suppose I was on a cheese kick) medium-rare (red to pink center) and what I got was a medium-well (pink to grey center). The burger mixture must have been a 70/30 (meat to fat ratio) as the over cooking didn’t impact the fact it was still juicy and the toppings were really good. When I think of roasted garlic, I imagine it being actually deeply roasted like this:
However, it was given a very blonde roast. It was roasted to just the point beyond the harsh garlic raw flavor and that’s the point I suppose. However, if your selling me roasted garlic take it to the deeper amber color and let those amazing flavors really develop.
Overall, the cooking was very well executed and the menu theme was thought out, restrained and they used fresh ingredients. The atmosphere balanced the comfortable energy with out being hipster and I couldn’t imagine eating a burger elsewhere in Farmington.