Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Pago SLC

Given that we've been enjoying Sunday brunch at Pago nearly every weekend since they first expanded their lunch and dinner service in June, I don't have a good excuse for why it has taken so long to report about 9th & 9th's new hot spot. Perhaps I was subconsciously afraid that any additional praise will make it even harder to score a table for dinner! Drive by on any given night and Pago will likely be packed, with a minimum one-hour wait. (Which is GREAT news, just make sure to plan ahead and take Pago up on their willingness to accept reservations.) However I still find that when I rave about the brunch menu, people are surprised to learn Pago serves brunch. And it simply wouldn't be fair to keep a good Sunday meal option in town a secret.

Owner Scott Evans and co-executive chefs Adam Findlay and Michael Richey are committed to providing a farm-to-table experience at Pago, carefully seeking out quality locally-sourced products, including: beets from East Farms, heirloom tomatoes from Traces and wall art from talented Salt lake City-based artist Zach Hixson. The menus are altered seasonally and based on availability, but two brunch favorites admittedly make us wish summer could stay forever:

Pago SLC Almond French Toast
Almond French Toast - Almond Crust, Berry Compote, Vermont Maple Syrup - $9

The berries were at their peak for this sweet plate of comfort food. Almonds nestled within the slabs of toast added some crunch to the otherwise soft bread, giving the added benefit of helping to lower one's blood cholesterol--which may come in handy after a meal like this one.

Pago SLC - Pago Salmon
Pago Salmon - House cured salmon, heirloom tomatoes, blini, yogurt - $9

During our first brunch at Pago I had the Croque Madame, but after that it has been purely Pago Salmon, Pago Salmon, Pago Salmon, with a side of eggs over easy ($3) and a glass of prosecco ($7), of course. Each time the tomatoes have been slightly different, and the cucumbers have ranged from being chopped, sliced or (once) MIA, but always this dish is fresh and savory--and doesn't feel like a heart attack on a plate.

I do wish Pago's wine markup was a little more accessible (the $7 glass of prosecco is five ounces of Adami, which retails for about $14/bottle at the DABC) but I can also respect the fact that Evans is in business to turn a profit--and not simply fulfill the dreams of all who have long awaited a neighborhood spot this cozy, intentional and refined.

- K

878 South 900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

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