The Old Dutch Store in Sugarhouse

Sometimes it takes driving past a store a hundred times to wonder what they do in there. Sometimes it takes a sign saying “fresh stroopwafels.” And sometimes it takes a big-ass windmill on the roof.


This little gem is on Highland Drive and just north of 27th S (that’s 2700 S, come at me anti-grid bros). And on Wednesdays, they make fresh stroopwafels, which are two thin waffle-pressed cookies held together with a smear of caramel.

Yesterday, they made them into hearts for Valentine’s Day. Of course I told them to keep mine as circles because let’s not be wasteful.


As a reasonably (I thought) seasoned Norwegian, I thought I could roll in here and appropriate that joint up. NOPE. If I could identify 8% of what that store sells I’d be impressed with myself. At the back of the store is a deli case with all the northern European cheeses and meat products you could hope for.


Deli sandwiches, named “The Bavarian,” The Copenhagen,” and “The Transylvania.” Or make your own, with meats as pedestrian as Turkey and as wild as Cervelaat (no clue). Cheese? Gouda to Butter Kase (again, no idea but I like the sound of it).


Of course I spent $10 on a jar of pickles. It’s like you don’t even know me.


German Pretzel Mix! German Bee Sting Cake Mix! Butter Cookies! Yes, ok this island I can figure out.


Not this one. Hello, culinary horizons, PREPARE TO BE EXPANDED.


And this! WTF is this? “Salmak powder, salty,” contains licorice root extract, sugar, ammonium chloride, rice flour and salt and ought not to be used by people with high blood pressure. I have actually eaten Lutefisk and I don’t have a clue what this is. There is so much googling in my future.


A huge chocolate selection of course, including Icelandic brands. And now I know where people are getting their decorative clogs and Oktoberfest hats from.


Verdict: Crazy place, full of nostalgic products and I’m sure impossible to find ingredients.

Was I out of my element? Yes.

Did I order $30 in stroopwafels? Yes.

Will I be going back? Yes (after I google some stuff though)

Do they sell Lutefisk? No. But they do get some requests for it around Christmas.

Happening upon Hidden Hollow

I got trapped in a cliche this weekend. Imagine, stumbling on a little hidden wooded oasis in the middle of a vibrant gentrified social center. Even the name is earnestly unironic: Hidden Hollow. IT’S TOTALLY HIDDEN IT’S A HIDDEN HOLLOW


HiddenHollow-5 This little slice of heaven is next to the Petco/Bed Bath and Beyond/Whole Foods complex and surrounds the river. Huge trees! Bridges! Ducks! Many woodland species and associated informative plaques. HiddenHollow-3

Look, I come to this complex weekly. At least. I drive past it daily. I had no idea this was here. I mean honestly, be less obtuse Kristina. Just because there’s the gigantic Sugarhouse Park across 13th East from this spot why wouldn’t there also be a little slice of wooded heaven right here in between all these businesses.
HiddenHollow-1 Look at this historical plaque! You know I love this stuff. Did you know “Sugar House” was known as the Furniture Capitol of the West? NEITHER DID I AND I AM BIG ON BOTH FURNITURE AND THE WEST. HiddenHollow-2

Like, there are two restaurants in this little cluster of walkable hipness OF COURSE THERE ARE. Just downstairs from fabulous new construction condos and just to the left of thriving commercial and office space. Surely there’s parking for them someplace and some sort of street frontage, there has to be. Right? That I’ve driven past twice a day and just not noticed? Right?


The moral of this story? There is literally cool stuff around every corner if you can just be bothered to slow down and look around. Also I need me some Vietnamese food.

Game Night Games

I arrived, dressed in a sci-fi cartoon graphic tee and immediately knew my street cred had fizzled. Wearing a sci-fi tee and being engrossed in gaming culture are two very different things and I’ve only managed to be proficient at the former. The board game concept is nothing new of course, but there has been a hardy resurgence in recent years. Not only is getting together with other people to play games okay, it’s cool. And to play board games of the sci-fi/fantasy ilk? Ice cold and possibly with some manner of hazing ritual. Details unclear.GameNight-5

What I came in for was a cribbage board, and the minute the air conditioning whooshed by me as I opened the door I knew I was punching above my weight. Boxes filled an entire wall, alphabetized, and I arrived at the 3-D puzzles in the corner without having recognized anything. Cards Against Humanity was on the top shelf, in its unassuming black boxes, high above prying eyes. I imagine they keep plain brown paper bags behind the counter for those sales. What I came in for is a game with pegs and cards. Pegs and cards. Lord only knows where that sort of thing is kept. Past the figurines? What is a board mat? Do I need more than one? Why do they sell paint? I kept walking, pretending to be such a connoisseur that I had to inspect every shelf. Why am I not part of this world? Is the “and” in Dungeons and Dragons an ampersand? AN UNEXAMINED LIFE. Continue reading “Game Night Games”

Emigration Market (it’s a Harmons!)

The other day I was running around Salt Lake and decided to try and find a Harmons grocery store for one of their dynamite salad bar lunches.

In .5 miles, turn left. *looking*

You have arrived. *looking frantically*

Make a U-turn. *looking back*

This is not a Harmons. Right?

Right? How could it be the beloved traditional giant grocery store of my youth?

Continue reading “Emigration Market (it’s a Harmons!)”

Caputo’s: Fine Pickle Purveyors


“Hi Kristina”


Look, I’m not sorry. The minute the snow melts all I want on this earth is vinegar in all its forms. Salad dressings. Bread dipped in vinegar and oil. Sipping vinegar with seltzer. And of course, pickled things.

ALL of the pickled things. If there is a better way to improve a vegetable I haven’t found it.

Continue reading “Caputo’s: Fine Pickle Purveyors”

A Cutie on J Street in Salt Lake City

I had the chance to preview a home in Salt Lake City, Utah, this morning on J street. Up on the northeast side of the valley, up behind the University of Utah (the Greater Avenues) area. Homes in this area are old, beautiful, often perched on a hill and frequently they have larger lots and tree-lined streets. I APPROVE.

428 J St-1

This house (428 J Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103) is coming on the market in the neighborhood of the mid-$500,000s. I’ll update you here as they firm up the price.

Continue reading “A Cutie on J Street in Salt Lake City”

Kristina’s Top 5 Tips For Owning an Old House (that you won’t find on TV)

As a Realtor, I have the inside line if you will on terrific properties. So when the opportunity arose to buy a one-owner 1955 home in Salt Lake City for a great price in a good neighborhood I jumped on it. But an older home will come with challenges. This is the price we pay for established trees, a piece of history, and a charming home. Nevertheless, this has been a great refresher course on what you should keep in mind when you buy an old house. Here are my top 5 tips you won’t find on TV.

1. There will be good surprises.

Kristina House-Hardwood

Original hardwood floor under the carpet. THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL.

Continue reading “Kristina’s Top 5 Tips For Owning an Old House (that you won’t find on TV)”