brio & a blend for blend.

by Janetha on March 16, 2012

in BLEND,eating out

are you doing your friday dance? i don’t/can’t/won’t even dance but and i am doing mine in my head. i think that whole giving up coffee thing has finally caught up to me this week, i’ve been more tired than usual. although, that could have something to do with the fact that i have been staying up til 1 AM every night catching up on my turns on draw something.. hmm..

i went to dinner last night! yep, i left my house on a weeknight. that’s adventurous for me. there was no special occasion in particular, but i had been trying to get together with my friend lindsay for weeks and we kept canceling on each other for one reason or another. we are busy people! busy being boring, that’s for sure. last night we were finally able to nail down a set time to get together for dinner. our friend allie joined us, too. i hadn’t seen these ladies since december!

we decided to try a new-to-us (and new-to-salt lake city) restaurant, brio.  word on the street is that it is a chain, but since i’d never been before i was excited to try something new.

we started with a fancy bread basket.


after a glance at the menu and seeing that prices ranged from $15-$30 for entrees, we decided to take advantage of the weeknight dinner deal which was a three-course meal for $20. hey, can’t blame a girl for being thrifty.


plus, that left money for us to split a bottle of wine.


there were a three salad options on the dinner special and we each ordered one of them.

i had the chopped salad.


allie had the bistecca salad, complete with steak knife.


and lindsay had the caesar.


there were five entrees to choose from on the special menu. allie and i went with the shrimp verduta.


angel hair tossed with shrimp, garlic, sundried tomatoes, roasted artichokes, feta, and spinach, topped with pesto bread crumbs and fresh grated parmesan. it was DELICIOUS.

lindsay had the chicken limone, which is brio’s version of chicken piccata. i was surprised to see it come with red sauce. that’s a fun little twist!


traditional piccata style with white wine, lemon and capers. served campanelle florentine.

the portions were really large (those plates are huge) so none of us finished our entrees. hooray for leftovers! of course, you’re never too full for dessert. there is a special compartment set aside in stomachs specifically for sweet treats.

the waiter brought the dessert spread out for us to select from.


lindsay and allie chose the caramel mascarpone cheesecake.


i went with the apple bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream.


the desserts were the perfect size! not too big, not too small. when we got our bill, the desserts were extra. we were under the impression that they were the third course in the three-course special, so we asked our waiter about it. it turns out, the desserts included in the special were the small shooter desserts (pictured above) but he didn’t point that out when we were making our selections. because of this, he happily took the desserts off the bill. i snagged marshall a baby tiramisu to-go, which he ate in about 1.5 bites flat.


isn’t it so cute?! i love mini things.

my experience at brio was wonderful. the service was quick—even though some of the guys were a tad on the uh, odd, side.. one said we were looking “fly”—and the food was really fantastic. i think that if i go again, it will definitely be on a weekday again so i can take advantage of the $20 special, i feel like that was the perfect way to try a little bit of everything without breaking the bank. they also offer a $2.95 bar menu on weekdays that includes a range of items from a burger to ravioli, so that would be fun to check out on the cheap. brio gets two thumbs up!


how about a little blend talk?! i cannot believe that the blogger retreat is less than fifty days away! there is still time for early registration. tickets are $75 right now. check out this post to read everything that comes with a ticket! on april 1st, ticket prices will go up to $100. nope, not april fooling. take advantage of the cheaper rate between now and march 31st!

one of our fabulous sponsors for blend is nuts about granola. i love this company so much. they are ridiculously generous and played a huge role in raising money for susan’s chemotherapy in the great fundraising act.  for the retreat, they have generously offered to create a brand new CUSTOM BLEND of granola for BLEND!


oh man. a blend for blend? i love word play.

nuts about granola has created a survey with a plethora of tasty ingredient options. they will be collecting votes between now and april 15th. the ingredients that receive the most votes will be combined to create blend retreat’s custom granola blend. the granola will be included in all the swag bags! and, not to worry, if you can’t make it to blend retreat, this custom blend will be available for purchase on the nuts about granola website following the retreat.

and now the fun part—and where we need YOUR help. please take a minute and take this survey to help decide what the custom blend will include!!

*please click here for official contest details & privacy policy.

my picks:

  • nut: pecan
  • dried fruit: cherry
  • seed: chia
  • sweetener: maple syrup
  • fat: coconut oil

sounds like a tasty blend to me!

remember, anyone can vote! you don’t have to be coming to blend to be a part of the fun. however, i really wish you would all come to blend so we could eat chobani and the custom granola blend together. and we could tell scary stories, braid each other’s hair, and gush about cute boys. it will be fabulous. please come!

that’s all i have for tonight! it’s going to be a busy weekend for me. st. patrick’s day is tomorrow and i plan to celebrate with something low-key.. nothing like back in 2006…


…but i will be sure to wear some green.

and then sunday marshall and i are hosting the monthly traveling family dinner! so that means i will be cleaning my house with every minute there is to spare before the whole fam comes over. but i will try to pop in sometime to catch up with you guys.


1. what is your favorite chain restaurant? is that an oxymoron? ha. actually mine is probably chipotle. love that place!

2. any st. patrick’s day plans?

xo. janetha g.

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

My granola vote was almost exactly the same except I chose almonds! YUM!

I’ll be spending my St. Patty’s Day at work which means I’ll probably be dead tired by the evening and in bed by 7… ;)

Anne@BakingMe March 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I have never heard of Brio, it sounds good I will have to check it out. As for St. Patrick’s Day plans, green beer and the parade although not in that order :)

Erica March 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

That is so odd that he didn’t point out what desserts are included! Your apple dessert looks fantastic though. Glad y’all had fun. My favorite chain? Does starbucks count? Foodwise- chipotle or mellow mushroom. No St Patty’s day plans! I was supposed to be in Nashville right now, but Kay was too sick to travel!

Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

your pasta dish sounds like the perfect combo of ingredients! yum. i’ve never heard of brio, but maybe when i get a pay raise i’ll check it out. :) my favorite chain restaurant is a toss up between cafe rio, cheesecake factory, and texas roadhouse. just depends on my mood.

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile March 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I’ve been to brio and it’s really good! I just took the survey, that is awesome that they are blending up a new blend. I still want to go to blend! I hope I can :D

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List March 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Braid each OTHERS hair?? What if I can’t braid?

lindsay March 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

those are some SWEEEEEET deals. the $20 3 course meal, hello goodness! and uh, the granola sponsor… FREAKIN AWESOME. I want to be there. Ugh, i want to so bad. I hope things change and I can come. cross your toes, k?

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I’m glad you got to get together finally! Sounds like a great night! That bread pudding looks so good! I could take a face dive in there for sure! I hope you have a great weekend!

Kaylie Runs March 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I love Chipotle! It’s pretty much my go-to restaurant when I am too lazy to make something at home.

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli March 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm

How awesome is Nuts About Granola?! I still have some of the Warrior Blend that I’ve been hoarding…ahem, I mean SAVORING! ;) I picked almond, cherry, hemp, honey, and coconut oil…sounds so good, I might have to try making it myself if it doesn’t win! I knew Blend was getting close, but when you said 50 days, I was like whoa! I’m so excited and can’t wait to meet everyone. It’s going to be a blast!

Favorite Chain: The Melting Pot or Bonefish Grille (depends on the mood I’m in!)
St. Paddy’s Day: Since I’m JUST now starting to feel better, I’m planning on staying in, but may have a few friends over! Hope you have a great weekend…and don’t kill yourself cleaning (family never pays that much attention anyway!) ;)

Heather (Heather's Dish) March 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

we’ve always wanted to try brio but never have – it just sounds so good!

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I love specials like that–I rarely order salad or dessert in an effort to keep my bill down so it’s nice to get it all for a set price! However, as a vegetarian, it is unfortunately infrequent that I’m able to partake :(

And I agree that chipotle is definitely one of the best chains but Le Pain tops it for me!!

Lauren March 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm

How awesome is it when restaurants up their service when they screw up? Always a good sign that it’s worth it to give them another shot.
yay, thanks for sharing the NAG love! We are so pumped to create this special Blend!! :)

Mama Pea March 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Well, you are lookin’ fly…

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva March 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

No plans for st. pat’s day. I’m old and boring. Well i’m not old…but i’m being boring this weekend! Just so tired from a flat out week that I’m gonna be taking it easy

Averie @ Averie Cooks March 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

the caramel mascarpone cheesecake would be calling my name…extra caramel sauce, please!

Nicole C March 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Mmm Brio is tasty and the one here is beautiful too! I always get the pasta brio, so delicious. I usually go there on my lunch break with my Pops. I remember how excited V was when I told him about the cheesecake factory and then you guys got one.

As for St. Patricia Day, id love to say I am going to Ireland but sadly I am not. I will he going to a parade where the doxie club will be walking with all their little wieners. Can’t wait!

Nicole C March 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm

St. Patricia is also known as St. Patrick is the land of auto correct.

Caroline March 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I just found out about draw something today, and am up late playing it right now! So addicting:)

Carly March 17, 2012 at 12:45 am

Yay for Brio! My husband is the executive chef of one of the Phoenix area stores and has worked for the company for 9+ years. I actually met him when I served at Brio in Cleveland, OH!!! Glad you liked it, even though it is a chain. The food is great!

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 17, 2012 at 5:52 am

That granola site is so cool! :D

Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 17, 2012 at 6:10 am

have a fun weekend! :)

Life's a Bowl March 17, 2012 at 6:26 am

When Brio first came to our mall it was my fave go-to restaurant but I think I got Brio-burnout becuase I haven’t been in at least 3 years! My momma loves going to sit at the bar with her lady friends :P

My fave chain restaurant probs is Seasons 52 :)

Lee March 17, 2012 at 6:51 am

We have Brio here in Atlanta and I think it’s pretty good. My favorite chain, however, is Seasons 52.

Jessie James March 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

We have a brio in Vegas and i love it!! It’s a great spot to take friends!

Julie March 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I love Chipotle too. It has been a long time since I’ve eaten there though. In N Out too. I chose almonds, apricots, chia, agave, and coconut oil!

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Okay all of that food just made my mouth water and I just ate dinner.

PS – What is your draw something username? I want to play with yoU!

BroccoliHut March 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I must admit, the whole reason I go to Brio is for those delicious crackers that come before the meal–love those!
As for chain restaurants, I think my favorite is Panera or Jason’s Deli.

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish March 18, 2012 at 1:57 am

I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to attend Blend! Finals end literally the day before, so now it just depends if I can snag a cheap flight before April 1. EEeep.

I love the mini shooter dessert idea, and almost always take advantage of it when they’re available. My favorite chain restaurant is P.F. Chang’s, followed closely by Cheesecake Factory (only because they have an amazing ahi dish that I just discovered a few days ago!).


megan @ muncher cruncher March 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Brio is one of my FAVORITE places to eat! My fam goes there for Christmas Eve every year…and whenever else we can sneak it in. If you ever get back there you should try the chicken and sweet potato risotto. It’s unreal!

Amy March 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

ooo brio’s so good. i love when places have tiny desserts…i dont feel like such a fatty when i order one hah. im goin to Blend!! i cant wait!!

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

Oh man, I blame YOU for my addiction to Draw Something. It’s funny- when I first downloaded it, only 4 of my Facebook friends had it. Now there’s about 50! I guess word is spreading!
I made almost the exact same granola blend as you! Except I chose pepitas (but all options sound good!).
My fave chain is definitely Chipotle, other than that I’m a big snob and really only go to the locally owned places. BUT, we do go to Bonefish occasionally… (do you have those??)

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