What I’ll Miss

July 3, 2008

Published in the April 24th edition of QSaltLake.

With my impending graduation and relocation I’ve been thinking a lot about Utah and the things that I’ll miss the most once I’m gone. The main things being: work, school, the terrain, and the people. 

The Dodo Restaurant

When I was a little boy I used to think that it would be fun to be a waiter. A year and a half ago I was getting sick of my current job and looking for a change. I had a friend who worked at the Dodo Restaurant downtown at the Gateway who suggested that I come work with her. I did. 

Now, I’ll tell you that a year of waiting tables was probably enough. The thrill is gone. But I’ve stuck with it for two reasons. 1) Because I didn’t want to bother trying to find a new job so soon before graduating and relocating, and 2) because I really love the people I work with.

One of the things I’ve become aware of while working at a restaurant that’s been locally owned and operated for the last 25 years is that Utahns love their national chains. Don’t get me wrong, The Olive Garden has it’s place in our economy, but I think it’s important to support locally owned and operated businesses. 

I should probably say that neither the owners nor the management of the Dodo Restaurant know that I’m writing this. But I value business owners who value and support our community. And the owners of the Dodo certainly do that. The management and staff are an eclectic and accepting group of people. In fact, they’re some of the best people I’ve ever met. 

Apart from the Dodo at the Gateway, a new location will be opening May 1st in Sugar House on about 1400 East and 2100 South across from Sugar House Park. The food at the Dodo is good, especially the Baked Cream Cheese appetizer, but it is the desserts that truly set the Dodo’s menu apart. My personal favorites are the Chocolate Coffee Toffee Tort, the Banana Cream Cheese Pie drizzled with caramel, and the most popular dessert on the menu, the Tollhouse Pie. But really, you can’t go wrong. (Alright, so I’ve always been really honest in this column, so I’ll tell you that the Lemon Chess Tart is just a glorified lemon bar and the Hazelnut Raspberry Tart has never really thrilled me. It’s not that they taste bad, I just need more “wow” with my after dinner cup of coffee. But other than those two I don’t believe you can go wrong.) Now if only you people would stop being such homos and order some dessert once in awhile!

Westminster College

When I tell people that I go to Westminster College they’ve either never heard of it or they say something about how expensive it is. The truth about Westminster is that it is more affordable than people realize. The campus is beautiful. The learning atmosphere is exceptional. And it’s the furthest thing from BYU (see previous sentence.) Sometimes in life you do get what you pay for. 

The Terrain 

Utah is undoubtedly a beautiful place. I’ve come to appreciate views of the valley that I never noticed before I knew I was leaving. Have you ever looked out at the twinkling valley lights from the Avenues or East Bench on a clear night? Have you seen how those same twinkling lights are ampliphied by a reflective blanket of freshly fallen snow? Or have you ever noticed how the diverse mountains that make up the Wasatch Range look remarkably different depending on your vantage point in the valley? And all of this is saying nothing for the beauty of Southern Utah or the uplifting experience of looking out from the top of any of the elevated mountain peaks found throughout the state. I think it’s true that the more you’re surrounded by something the less you see of it. 

The People

But what I’ll miss the most about Utah is the people. Because it’s the people you share your meals with that make them truly beneficial to you. It’s the people you go to school with that make the hard work bearable. And it’s the people you share the view with at the top of the mountain that make it memorable. It’s people we miss, not places. 

Sometimes I don’t appreciate what I have until it’s gone. But I’ve found that more often I don’t appreciate what I have until I realize that I can’t keep it forever.

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