Sometimes, good things are worth the wait.
Diners at Ogden's Two-Bit Street Café shouldn't expect a hustle. It says so right on the menu — "We do not prepare fast food, rather we prepare fresh food as fast as we can."
Truth be told, the slow pace of the Two-Bit dining experience tends to be visitors' biggest complaint. This isn't the place to go for a quick bite or a fawning waitstaff. But with a little patience, you're bound to be impressed by the charming café, which has a menu as eclectic as its decor.
It's a place where you can get a pepperoni pizza, steamed clams or Scotch eggs for an appetizer. You can enjoy a basic burger or a fancy wild salmon filet for dinner, along with an occasional magic show (no joke). It has steak and vegan sandwiches and gluten-free pasta. It's one of the only places in Ogden I know of where you can have cactus for breakfast.
Usually, when a restaurant has such a long, assorted menu, it's been my experience the kitchen is trying to make up for lack of skill with distraction of choices. But I've rarely had a dish at Two-Bit that didn't leave me content.
The Roasted Veg Med salad is a perennial favorite. Warm potatoes, tomatoes, crunchy pine nuts and Kalamata olives come served on a bed of warmish greens, tossed with a bright garlic dressing. The textures are an unusual but enjoyable mix for a salad. It feels both hearty and healthy.
Another popular pick is the Toasted Turkey and Cranberry sandwich. It's sweet. It's savory. It's creamy and crunchy with just a hint of tang. The restaurant calls it "Thanksgiving in a sandwich," although it's a gratifying choice no matter the time of year.
One of my favorite breakfast options is the Figg's Special — scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and toast. It's not going to earn any Michelin stars for presentation. It looks pretty bland. But there's something about eating salmon for breakfast that just feels decadent. You can always pair it with a fruit salad to add a little color, especially at the Two-Bit's breakfast price point.
Two-Bit's ambiance is a delight, too, from its gorgeous art-deco bar and woodwork to the old barber chair up front and the grandfather clock in the back. It has a slightly grungy feel that might not appeal to some, but I feel the layer of dust is part of its old-timey appeal.
The restaurant has a full bar with drink specials most days of the week. My favorite Two-Bit vice, however, is their desserts. While I don't usually go for sweets, the cakes have unusual ingredients that pique my curiosity — rosemary or Earl Grey tea, for example — and never disappoint.