Ogden Restaurant Week is finally here! I am so excited to tell you all about Roosters and what they have to offer this week. Together, Kym and Pete Buttschardt own and operate Roosters. Pete, the Chef, is fond of gooey, saucy food. He likes to have a sauce with everything; I’m sure you’ll notice this as you peruse the menu. His favorite food frequently changes as he is often trying new things though lamb and beef are among his favorite meats. Pete has fond memories of his friends vying to come to dinner to experience the cooking of his mother, a German immigrant. He and his friends would feast on Hungarian goulash and spaetzle. Years later while he and Kym were in college, they traveled to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico where they experienced the joy of street tacos for the first time. On a dirt road far from town, they ran across a man with a taco cart. The tacos were topped with a lime salsa, radishes, and cilantro. While those flavors are popular now, they were relatively uncommon at the time. Years later, after the stress of college and the fun of Mexico, Kym and Pete opened Roosters.
When you dine at Roosters, you can count on fresh, local foods. Among their favorite local sources are Parker Produce, Pepper Lane Preserves, Linda Weiskopf (produce), and Beehive Cheese; they were even one of Beehive Cheese’s first customers. I could taste the difference these local sources made as I sampled a few of the dishes they will be serving for Ogden Restaurant Week. Pete has specially crafted his Restaurant Week Menu to have something for everybody, be affordable, and not make you wait all night for your meal.
The menu for this week has some unique offerings that will only be served during restaurant week. Instead of their usual Naughty Fries, they will have Naughty Pretzels! Soft, fresh made pretzels smothered with Pepper Jack sauce, Gorgonzola sauce, and Louisiana hot sauce. I’m especially excited to return and taste the Barely Buzzed Meatloaf. This entree gets it’s name from Barely Buzzed Cheese created by (you guessed it!) Beehive Cheese. Barely Buzzed Cheese is rubbed with lavender and espresso, and I can’t wait to see how Pete works those flavors into the meatloaf. Since Roosters serves only the freshest foods, I wasn’t able to taste these when I stopped by. Instead, I sampled a variety of their delicious staples that will be available during restaurant week.
I was promptly seated on the patio with a relaxing view. As I enjoyed my meal, I was able to enjoy the shifting light from the slowly sinking sun. Even if you aren’t seated on the patio the beautiful bricks of this building, built in the late 1800s, are soothing after a long day.
Throughout my meal, I was served by Caitlyn. She has waited on my friends and me on previous occasions, and she always takes excellent care of her guests. She is attentive, and the food is always delivered quickly. From the time I was seated until the check was signed my three-course meal lasted a leisurely 50 minutes. The house-made root beer that sparkled with hints of wintergreen never emptied. I’m glad to know that Kym and Pete strive to create a family atmosphere with their staff and to part as friends if a staff member moves on to pursue other endeavors.
Course I: Deep Fried Beehive Cheese Curds, served with Cajun remoulade and Louisiana hot sauce.
I’ve never been a fan of cheese curds, that squeak on the teeth; it just isn’t my thing. But these cheese curds are one of my favorite items on the menu. Served screaming hot, they are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The dipping sauces are fantastic though I prefer the Cajun remoulade for its subtle spiciness and nuanced flavors. The Louisiana hot sauce packs a punch though so if you’re in the mood for spicy you won’t be disappointed.
Course II: Kym’s Chicken Capellini
I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t expecting much from this dish. The ingredients sound rather dull on paper, but the craving for pasta took over. Boy was I wrong about this entree being dull! I like to think that the reason this dish was so good is because Pete created it for Kym (love is a flavor, right?). The roasted tomatoes were some of the best I’ve ever had. They were bursting with flavor and melted in my mouth. Then there were massive hunks of tender garlic that added a divine texture to the soft tomatoes and pasta. The soft and flavorful bread was perfect to sop up the soupy goodness on the bottom of my plate. It was a struggle to leave room for…
Course III: Caramel Bread Pudding
This is one of my favorite desserts in town, and that is saying something because I love desserts (I have a sweet tooth from hell). This soft, chewy, bread pudding with hints of cinnamon has the perfect amount of crunch on top. Add cold, melty ice cream and the phenomenal result will leave you satisfied for the rest of the evening.
After your meal, you can rest easy knowing that Roosters is more than just a business. Roosters have become an anchor of the Ogden community. In fact, they were heavily involved in the grassroots movement to create Ogden Restaurant Week, and they still serve on the committee. Instead of being threatened by their competition they have accepted and encouraged all independent eateries. When I asked where they liked to dine outside of Roosters, they couldn’t answer because they didn’t want to hurt other Ogden restaurateurs by not mentioning them. This compassion for their competition extends to the community at large. They often donate their time and provide food at cost to neighboring nonprofit organizations like the Ogden Nature Center; there was even a fundraiser for the Soroptimist Educational Grant the same night I interviewed them. I hope as you enjoy the many restaurants participating in Ogden Restaurant Week that you will make Roosters a priority.
Ogden Restaurant Week runs from April 7-17, 2016 and many restaurants recommend reservations.