by M. Lewis Barker
This is a music blog, but I would like to take some time out to discuss some places in Provo that have been doing a lot to support culture in Provo.
For the past few months, The Parlor has been my number one pizzeria. I can barely remember what other pizza even tastes like. Located at 80 West Center St. in Provo, the Parlor often goes unnoticed as it is wedged between different Asian restaurants. But it has the best pizza in town, and it’s affordable for poor college students like me. They have a variety of great specialty pizzas, like (my favorite) the meat-lover’s Aleman or the delicious buffalo chicken Boyer. Plus they have the best buffalo wings around, along with many great desserts. I know this whole paragraph sounds like an ad for the Parlor, but trust me, I’m not getting paid to do this. I just really like the pizza and want you to go.
Marie Heywood, owner and manager, does a lot to support the local music scene here in Provo. A couple weeks ago, she stayed open until 3 AM so the Chasing Kings/Eyes Lips Eyes show could have an after party. The Parlor stays open for local shows quite often. On many nights, they offer discounts for people that come in with a stamp from Velour or Muse. And on Wednesday nights, they host a concert night where local musicians can perform. I’ve seen Archie Crisanto, Casanova Frankenstein, and Tighty Willis play live shows there. I myself have performed inside. And I have seen Marie and her employees at a number of local shows, enjoying the music. Marie even judged a night at Velour’s Battle of the Bands last winter!
Unfortunately, the Parlor is preparing to close on April 30. Despite being completely awesome and extremely delicious, it has not had all the exposure it deserves. That means that you have three weeks to eat there, and I suggest you go at least once a week before it closes, starting today. So go with some friends, a loved one, or even have them deliver it to your house so you can eat it in your undies as you stream Netflix on your X-Box.
Around the corner from the Parlor is Sammy’s, which has some of the best shakes in town. Their pie shakes use actual slices of pie. The sweet potato fries are delicious. And the burgers are greasy as hell, just the way I like them. Sammy’s has a cozy little spot at 27 North 100 West. It’s a very small burger joint, so I tend to go there much more in the summer where I can sit at an outside table. On warm summer nights, I’ll grab a shake or Italian soda at Sammy’s once or twice a week.
Sammy’s also works as a free venue in the warmer months. A few weeks ago they blocked off the street to host a huge outdoor concert with Fictionist. But lots of local acts have the chance to play there on weekend nights. (Though I personally find the stage to be a little scary.) Fans, burger-eaters, and passersby alike all have a chance to see a band for free. It’s a great way to build a reputation as a band, and get practice performing. And Sammy’s is just across from 100 Block so it’s only a short walk from Velour, Muse, or the Deathstar if you’re attending another show.
And for you college kids with Starving Student Cards, Sammy’s always has some great deals on there.
Saigon Noodle House
This is Provo’s hidden gem. At 440 West 300 South in Provo is the most affordable, most unknown Asian restaurant in this wonderful town. For $5, you can get a huge plate of a great food, along with egg drop soup. Plus they have some spicy stuff. They don’t do anything for local music as far as I know, but it’s such a great little place that I want people to know about it. Seriously, try it out.
I know this was a rather unconventional post, but there’s a lot going on here in Provo that people need to know about. There are some I left out, like Guru’s which is another great place, but I’ve only been a couple times and am therefore unqualified to discuss it (great quesadillas though). Go to these awesome places, especially the Parlor before it closes! And don’t forget all the wonderful shows this weekend.