The mission to explore takeout dining during Utah’s COVID-19 restaurant closures continues. This week, we traveled up to Ogden to WB’s Eatery located at The Monarch on 25th Street. I should note that WB’s – which is a combination wine cafe, bar, bodega and coffee house – is open for in-house dining but is also providing quick curbside pickup service for customers who want it.
WB’s is the creation of Amy Wanderley-Britt (hence, WB, which also stands for “wine & bites”), who also owns the Pig & a Jelly Jar restaurants in SLC, Holladay and Ogden. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and customers can order everything from full meals to trail mix, energy bars, coffee mugs, T-shirts and CBD products from the bodega/cafe. A coffee house by day, WB’s morphs into a wine bar at night. It’s a well-lit space that’s very pleasing to the eye, filled with contemporary art by local artists.
I found that ordering online for our takeout meal was a breeze – WB’s online ordering system is very well organized and there is no additional fee for utilizing the curbside service. In fact, I received a $5 discount on my order since it was the first one I’d placed with the service called ChowNow. In addition to ordering food, drink and bodega goodies online, you can also choose to “Pay It Forward” by making a donation toward meals for COVID-19 healthcare workers if you’d like. When you come for your takeout order there are designated curbside delivery parking spots right in front of the restaurant. I pulled up and immediately an employee brought our order out to my car. It couldn’t have taken more than 30 seconds.
I have to say that I was shocked at the food prices at first – shocked how low they were! WB’s offers “Market Meals” to take out, priced at a mere $19.99 for meals that feed two people. There’s a Breakfast Skillet Market Meal; one with a Shrimp Protein Bowl and Street Corn Salad; an Antipasto Market Meal and Berry Salad; and one featuring WB’s Tin Can Tuna Salad along with a Fruit Salad on the side. We chose to order a la carte, and our order with two entrees plus two side dishes came to only $41, including tip! I couldn’t have made our meals in my own kitchen for that price.
We began by sharing an order of Skillet Shrimp ($9), which was tender, tail-on, perfectly cooked shrimp with grilled bread and a heavenly butter/shallot/lemon/garlic dipping sauce with spices and herbs. The grilled shrimp at WB’s is also available as a Shrimp Bowl, which includes farro, corn, black beans, greens and pineapple-white balsamic ($10).
For my main course, I selected the Chimichurri Steak Bocadillo ($12), which was absolutely awesome – one of the best steak sandwiches I’ve ever gotten my lips around. When ordering, there’s an option to order your steak cooked anywhere from rare to well done. I chose medium rare and was pleased to find that my steak was cooked exactly as requested. It was a generous portion of oh-so tender grilled flank steak with chimichurri (a dry “sauce” made with parsley, garlic, oregano and olive oil), and fresh arugula on a Spanish-style bocadillo bun. Alongside was a tomato/red onion spread and delicious kettle-style potato chips.
I’ll definitely be back to WB’s for another of those sensational steak sandwiches. However, next visit I’ll probably try the WB’s Burger ($13.50), which also looks excellent. It’s made with grass-fed beef and comes with arugula, “torched” Manchego cheese, Romesco and red onion.
A side dish that my wife and I shared is totally addictive: Street Corn Salad ($5). OMG! It was Mexican-style street corn bathed in garlicky mayonnaise with cotija cheese, scallions, greens and chili spices. It’s similar to the corn on the cob that you buy from carts in Mexico, but served in a bowl.
For her main course, my wife – who is a hardcore tuna lover – chose the Tin Can Tuna Salad ($11). It too, was excellent and generously portioned. Flaked albacore tuna salad is served on a bed of fresh greens, olives, and cherry tomatoes, topped with a hard-boiled egg and chili-lemon vinaigrette. On the side was a serving of those killer kettle chips.
I didn’t think it would travel well, but when we dine in at WB’s I’ll definitely want to try the Banana Sundae or Chili Chocolate Pot de Creme for dessert. There are also Churro Donuts on the dessert menu with cinnamon orange zest and salted dulce de leche.
With the current state of affairs, I doubt many folks are looking to open new restaurants. However, when/if we ever get back to somewhat normal, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find additional WB’s Eatery locations popping up in neighborhoods the way that Amy’s Pig & a Jelly Jar has done. WB’s is a fun, funky and fab place to enjoy top-notch food and drink that won’t blow the budget.
I want to sincerely thank the generous sponsors of Utah Bites and Utah Stories advertisers for their continued support during this very unstable time. We are extremely grateful. There would be no Utah Bites without sponsors; they are vital to its survival. Please support our wonderful sponsors now and in the future. We wouldn’t be here without them.
Culinary quote of the week:
“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” — Elsa Schiaparelli
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.