On February 18th, I was craving Cafe Rio and needed to be talked down from that craving. The last few times I’ve visited the CR drive-thru I’ve come home with a burrito missing meat, a salad missing dressing, or crunchy rice and beans. Chances were something similar would happen if I went again. But the craving persisted, so I took to Twitter and asked users to share their negative experiences with what was once Utah’s favorite fast caz, because turning to the internet has never been a bad idea.
I was expecting a couple people to share experiences similar to my own. What I got was 166 anecdotes featuring random objects in salads:
severe food poisoning:
hours long waits:
near death experiences:
and a lot of missing dressing:
And I know that if I were to ask for stories about any restaurant, someone somewhere would have a negative experience to share. But all these stories, coupled with my own experiences, make me think Cafe Rio has had a true fall from grace. Rebbie Brassfield wrote about the chain’s demise in “Deseret Pork,” a piece I think about every time I get the hankering for sweet pork, which is more often than it should be. And that’s the thing. I know I’ll have a disappointing experience every time, but I keep going back. Even after reading all 166 stories about bugs in salads and projectile vomiting, I still wanted a salad. UNTIL. I was recording with my cohost Emily and she told me her Cafe Rio story in which she found a ventricle in her burrito. It’s a story she told while gagging repeatedly. That’s when I finally lost my appetite.
For burritos. Not for Bridgerton Episode 6, which Emily and I cover on this week’s patreon exclusive episode.
We also discussed the second hour of the RHOSLC reunion, which had a lot of unwanted details of Mary’s marriage.
Nick, Eli, and I dug in on the Golden Globes best drama list starting with The Trial Of The Chicago 7.
Sorkinisms aside, it was a good primer on the summer of ‘68, which I knew nothing about. I watched Judas And The Black Messiah soon after, and I have to tell you, I feel betrayed by my American history textbooks which failed to include some pretty important details about our American history.
Irene and I discussed Chris Harrison’s missteps and the brutal seventh episode of The Bachelor.
After you’ve listened to the episode, be sure to make your predictions for tonight’s show here.
In the world of Utah food, we have two delicious pieces from Hive Mind contributors this week. The first from Spencer Anopol, who has created a guide for feeding out-of-town guests when they visit our state.
“I've found that I can remove much of the stress by thinking of myself more like a safari guide giving curious tourists a safe look at animals in their natural habitats. Your job as a guide is to keep the guests safe while giving them an entertaining and informative look into the natural habitats and practices of the native species. Get too close, and they may come face to face with a lion—which for the sake of this poorly thought-out metaphor is a particularly pushy sales bro in a tight corporate branded tee, or they may be surrounded by a pack of hyenas—a group of young children who were let loose by their Diet Coke sipping moms in Zupas. However, get your job right, and you can leave your guests a bit educated, entertained, and with a full belly, while preserving our habitat of locally-owned restaurants that badly need our help.”
And the second from Christy Gilbert- This Is The Place (For Burgers, Fries, and Shakes)
“Utah has its peculiar foods. We eat Jell-O salads at big family functions, but we also call deep-fried pillows of roll dough “scones” and order them as appetizers at our favorite diners. (Scones originated in the UK; over there, they are lightly sweetened, biscuit-like baked goods served with jam and clotted cream. The takeaway here is that anything called a scone is something you should eat.) We do Miracle Whip, cheesy casseroles, and a host of local products like Bear Lake raspberries, Brigham City peaches, corn on the cob, honey, and squishy sandwich bread.
What we do that I love most is the classic burger, fries, and milkshake combo. That particular meal is not, of course, solely Utahn. You can get burgers and fries all over the world, add a milkshake almost as easily, but the Beehive State has a couple of great edges on the market. “
Coming This Week On Hive Mind
Madi from The Bad Broadcast joins me and Eli to talk Promising Young Women, Irene and I discuss tonight’s episode of The Bachelor, and Emily and I conclude our RHOSLC coverage for the season and cover the seventh episode of Bridgerton.
Contributor Alisha Ann interviews local drag queens about the current season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, and contributor Kia McGinnis highlights three cottage bakeries who have grown their business and kept us fed during the worst year of our lives.
Around The Internet
I just learned Stanley Tucci has a show about him eating pasta all around Italy and this is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time.
I did not NOT name my son Stan after Stanley Tucci.
We had to cancel a trip to Italy last March. I know. boohoo. There are people with real problems. But it still hurts, and watching Stanley eat noodles with parmesan is the salve I didn’t know I needed.
The Ringer published an oral history of Office Space,a movie I’ve watched probably seventeen times in bits and pieces as a teen whenever it was on tv, and helped shape my troubling sense of humor.
I’ve watched this TikTok a whole bunch.
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