I moved (back) to Utah in June, after being out of state for a few years (LA, Detroit, Atlanta) I'm living in Utah County, aka Happy Valley. As a Salt Lake County elitist, I have only limited knowledge of the local non-chain joints in the biggest college town in Utah. I had seen @SammysCafe showing up frequently on my Twitter feed, and I heard some good things from friends. Once I heard that they had sweet potato fries...I made a stop at Sammy's on Friday.
I ordered the weekday lunch special - burger, fries, and drink for $6.99. You can have you choice of any burger on the menu, and I went with the Sammy's Masterpiece. The burger consists of 1/4 pound burger with provolone, sauteed onion and mushrooms, bacon, guacamole, BBQ sauce, lettuce and tomato. (Hold the onion)
The burger was better than most chain restaurant burgers. The meat was flavorful, the thick patty was a tad pink but not raw enough to send back. The lettuce, tomatoes, and mushrooms were tasty, and the provolone was melted just right. The BBQ sauce was my favorite part; dark, rich, tangy and sweet. I'd love to get a bottle of that stuff. Between the burger juices and the BBQ sauce, the bun softened pretty quickly. I had two complaints of the burger: 1) The guacamole LOOKED good, but it ended up being bland. Needed a little spicy pick me up. 2) The burger was supposed to include bacon, but it was omitted from my sandwich. I wouldn't have noticed, except I reviewed the menu before I left and noted the omission. I was bummed I didn't get bacon, but even without it's a pretty loaded burger.
The sweet potato fries were stellar. Warm, crispy, and invitingly orange. I sprinkled on some salt and dipped it in their house fry sauce. They also have some pretty tasty looking thick-cut seasoned fries, that I'll likely try on a return visit.
The cafe has a fun ambiance. Diners eat up at a bar on stools, and the friendly employees chat with you as they make they dress your burgers and prepare pieshakes and cupshakes. I talked to the other diners as I ate, mostly college students, and learned a pretty thorough history of Dr. Pepper from a Texas native.The back wall has a myriad of Polaroid photos of Sammy's diners - not sure if you can just post pictures of if you have to eat something to get the honor.
I liked the combination of ingredients on my burger, but it wasn't the greatest burger I'd ever had. I liked the sweet potato fries so much that I talked a friend into joining me at Sammy's the next day. I wasn't terribly hungry when arrived at Sammy's after attending after Bijou Market in Provo (where I met Megan from Sweet Tooth Fairy) , so I split my food with my daughter. We had a ham and cheese grilled sandwich, sweet potato fries, and a strawberry shortcake "cupshake." The sandwich was grilled golden-brown, with a mild buttery flavor on the bread. The cheese was well-melted, with a decent slice of ham. It was a pretty basic diner-fare sandwich, but sometimes you just gotta have a greasy-spoon grilled cheese! The sweet potato fries were a tad burned, but still yummy. An employee suggested dipping the fries in caramel sauce....and strangely, I loved it.
The "Cupshake" has been getting some recent buzz over Twitter and Utah Loves Cupcakes. They use fresh cupcakes from The Sweet Tooth Fairy, and blend them up with vanilla soft-serve ice cream. The available flavors were strawberry shortcake, raspberry lemonade, carrot, toasted coconut, lemon, key lime, and peanut butter chocolate. Rosie and I are already big fans of the strawberry shortcake, and had no hesitation of ordering that cupshake. I ate the first few bites off the top while waiting for my food, and it was pretty dang good. Rosie took the next few bites and handed the cup back to me on the way home. By then the ice cream was melty and I was towards the bottom of the cup. The shake must have not been mixed thoroughly, because that is where the bulk of the cupcake resided. It was at that point that I ravenously devoured the cupshake. It was cool sweet bliss, reminiscent of a place of birthday cake and ice cream once it's melted and mixed together. There's something truly magical about that strawberry frosting. I can't wait to go back and try more flavors.
Nicole Rates It...
Sammy's Masterpiece Burger 7/10
Sweet Potato Fries 9/10
Grilled Ham and Cheese 6.5/10
Strawberry Shortcake Cupshake 8.5/10