One of the coolest eateries I’ve set foot in during the past year or more is WB’s Eatery in Ogden. It anchors The Monarch on Historic 25th Street and while I’ve enjoyed takeout meals from WB’s in the past, this was our first dine-in experience and it was terrific. WB’s – which is a combination wine cafe, bar, bodega and coffee house – is open for in-house dining but also provides meal kits for online delivery, subscription lunches, and quick curbside pickup service for customers who want it.
It is the creation of Amy Wanderley-Britt (hence, WB’s, which also stands for “wine & bites”), who also owns the Pig & a Jelly Jar restaurants in SLC, Holladay and Ogden. Not unlike Pig & a Jelly Jar, WB’s is fun, funky, eclectic, kitschy and creative – all of those things in spades.
It’s a truly unique spot to enjoy a snack, meal, cocktail, glass of wine, cup of java and much more. There’s also lots of cool merchandise to browse and maybe take home, from CBD products and custom WB’s “Hangry” lunchpails to tote bags with the inscription “NO ONE IS NORMAL” and books such as the Stoner Coffee Table Book, plus free Wi-Fi. But alas, we came primarily for the food and drink and we sure weren’t disappointed.
At WB’s you’ll stroll up to the front counter where a very friendly cashier (actually EVERYONE at WB’s is exceedingly friendly) takes your order. Then, grab a table and the food and drink is delivered to you. There’s no waiter/waitress service per se, which adds to the casual, kicked-back atmosphere. Don’t be surprised to hear reggae on the sound system, which totally fits the WB’s vibe.
Our party of four first shared a WB’s Meat Board ($12.50) consisting of a generous selection of cured meats – thinly-sliced prosciutto, salami and pancetta – plus toasted baguette slices, a bowl of olives, whole grain mustard, pickled shredded veggies similar to coleslaw, and delicious herb butter. A perfect start to an exceptional evening.
A glass of Ave Grace Rosè ($10/375 ML can) was a nice accompaniment for a twist on the classic tostada: a trio of crispy tostadas topped with chile-spiced fried Brussels sprouts, pickled red onion, crema, serrano peppers, cilantro and cotija cheese. Very tasty tostadas, indeed.
WB’s offers a quartet of bruschetta options including Balsamic Strawberries, Tomato Salad with sunflower seed pesto, Chickpea & Olive, and the one we enjoyed: Fig & Pig. This was grilled baguette pieces topped with fig jam, local honey, delectable triple cream cheese and fig jam.
As well as a cafe, WB’s is also a bar and serves up craft cocktails such as the Sunflower, made with Dented Brick Distillery gin, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice with an absinthe rinse. There’s also a selection of “Whimseys” – non-alcoholic cocktails – as well as wine and beer.
One of my stepsons enjoyed a crisp and refreshing Killer Grove Blood Orange Honey Wheat beer ($9) from Ogden’s Talisman Brewing Company. Since Amy and her team at WB’s Eatery strive to support other local businesses, all of the beers there are from Utah breweries, including Kitos, Park City Brewery, Uinta, UTOG and the aforementioned Talisman.
One of my favorite menu items at WB’s is the Chimichurri Steak Bocadillo ($12), which I’ve enjoyed in the past and my stepson Jeremy ordered on this visit. It is 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 bocadillo bun. Alongside was a tomato/red onion spread and delicious kettle-style potato chips.
I decided to opt for the WB’s Burger ($13.50), which was an excellent choice. It was a melt-in-the-mouth, juicy grass fed burger topped with torched manchego cheese, red onion, arugula, and a tangy romesco sauce, all on a light and airy bun provided, I believe, by Rotella’s Bakery in Nebraska. It may just be the world’s best bun and the burger, well, it was bodacious.
There is a salad at WB’s that my wife really loves: Tin Can Tuna ($11). It was a hefty portion of chili-spiced flaked albacore tuna on a bed of mixed greens with tomato, olives, hard boiled egg, and drizzled with a somewhat spicy chili-lemon vinaigrette. There are few things more comforting than tuna salad – am I right?
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, vegetable lovers will surely enjoy the Grilled Veggie & Avocado Mash ($9.50) at WB’s. It’s a bocadillo stuffed with marinated vegetables, red onion, avocado, radish sprouts, grilled pineapple (a nice touch) and white balsamic dressing.
WB’s Eatery is truly a community gem, and one that is dedicated to being a giving part of that community and partnering with nonprofits. Amy Wanderley-Britt and her team provides meal donations twice weekly to Volunteers of America, donates socks to the Women’s Shelter, supports Nuzzles and Co. no-kill animal shelter, and much more. They limit tipping on bills at WB’s to 18 percent – if you want to tip more the additional money goes to charity.
All of that is just more incentive to love WB’s, which is already easy to do given the warm atmosphere, friendly staff, and killer food and drink there. It’s a spot that is fun, funky and fab.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week:
“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” — Paul Prudhomme
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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.
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