Thursday, November 5, 2009

2 Exciting Prospects: Pot Roast at Communal Restaurant in Provo, Me On Live TV in Provo

Unless there is a mudslide
propelling down Rock Canyon, through University Parkway, slipping across University Avenue and southward to Center on Monday morning, I will be in downtown on LIVE TV. Turns out they want to do a little segment-o on this humble blog of mine, you know--c jane's guide to Provo--and show me showing off downtown.

Oh Miss Molly! Live TV.

(To self: call Ashlee. Get an appointment for Monday morning STAT.)

Once I played a bit part on a little show called Oprah, I've even done KSL, KSL radio, ABC 4 Utah and a small thing called NBC's Today Show, but this being LIVE DOWNTOWN? New one for a veteran like me. I better look hot. Brush my teeth.

(Self again: call Ashlee. This is your second reminder.)

When: Monday morning, 10ish.
Show: Studio 5
Who: c jane & Brooke Walker

By way of total research, Chup and I hit up Communal and ordered almost everything on the menu. We sat at the bar so as to get the constant commentary from Joseph the co-chef and co-owner. It was a good thing too, he talked Chup out of his "medium/well steak" to a "medium steak" even though he promised he'd be "supportive" either way.

Not to confuse anyone, but I used to be vegetarian. Now I am not. I celebrated my freedom from restricted foods by ordering the pot roast which came to me more tender than my pregnant feelings. We also had the frisee salad (with GOOD GRAVY the best pork belly sampler on a nest of lettuce and local apples), a starter with sweet onions and cured meat--speck, I think they call it-- and their house bread.

In fact, I was eating a slice of this bread when Colton (co-chef, co-owner) came by in a plaid shirt to say his howdy. I said, "Colton why does this bread taste so flavorful?" and he told me, "Kalamata olives." Then we discovered our paths will be crossing on the new committee for the spice-ification of downtown Provo. I think Communal should donate a pot of butterscotch creme for every board meeting. Don't you Sue? Sue?

I almost ate the entire bowl of mashed potatoes. Why didn't Chup order his own? Or were they his to start with?

I also like the mushrooms, which Chup will not eat, so no sharing required. They were salty, just like my old man Steve Clark makes them on warm Sunday afternoons.

Chup and I took our time
to be aware of the whole experience. We even debated about the art work on the walls (all local artists from Kershisnik to Mark England), and complimented our friend and neighbor Susannah Furr (of Pronk fame) who navigated the interior look of the place. I mean, Susannah wasn't there with us, but her sister's in-laws were there (is this getting random?) We think the hanging lamps would feel at home in our Retro House.

(Call Susannah. Help with Retro House.)

I drank Coke with lemon. The Black Juice never tasted so good. This is not some dramatic PR I am trying to sell you on, I am just saying it was a good-tasting Coke.

What I liked most of all about Communal was watching the communal table. The communal table--the restaurant's namesake--is a long family-style table were random guests can be seated next to each other. Although we were at the bar, Chup and I relished in watching strangers become friends by meals end.

"People bond over food." Said Joseph as he seared Chup's steak. "People love the communal table."

"Are they shy at first?" I asked.

"It might be a little awkward at first, but friends are made, couples are created, marriages occur."


Only in Provo.

Or . . . only at Communal?

You decide. Go there yourself.

102 N University Ave Provo, UT 84601-2820 (801) 373-8000

3 Things to Note:

1. Get reservations, I will only say this once! Get reservations, okay I said it twice.

2. Communal is now open for lunch. Chup and I intend to go back for the bleu burger--the rolls for which come from the Provo Bakery down the street.

3. Communal uses top quality, mostly local food and beverages. You will be paying for the total experience, Hello Provo, Welcome to Fine Dinning. Don't complain about pricing in my earshot, or else you'll get an earful. Okay?

okay, one more

4. Don't you think we need to come up with a name for these boys? First Pizzeria 712, now Communal. We should have a name by now. Like the 712 Boys or the . . . I can't think of anything clever right now. But I think you catch my drift? Help?

*photo taken from the
Communal Blog.