My husband and I made a trip up to Salt Lake last night to go visit some friends who are at Primary Children’s Hospital with their 4 1/2 month old who has been there since birth.  We had originally made plans to get together with them to have dinner at our place but since they are at the hospital all the time and would have to rush home to eat with us, we figured it would just be better to go visit them and take them some food.

We had a $25 gift certificate from to use at Stoneground in Salt Lake so we thought this would be a good time to use it.  Our only problem was that on the certificate, it said it had to be used for dine-in only.  With hopes that we could use it even though we wanted to take the food out with us, we went.  We’ve enjoyed the restaurant in the past so maybe they could make an exception.  Besides, up until this point, we have always raved about their restaurant and we wanted to share this with our friends.

We gave them our pity case – our friends were in the hospital with their baby and we really just want to take your food with us to them.  The waitress was nice and understood us.  Plus she was getting a good deal – she would still get tipped but wouldn’t have to wait on us for an hour while we finished all our food.  But the manager stuck to the rules.  We had to eat something at the restaurant before leaving.    He claimed it was all about the dining experience and atmosphere.

Well, to be honest, being made to stay there against our will was not a pleasant experience.  Maybe I’m just being silly but I really don’t understand the point of being there.  If I like the food, I’ll go back and order more food and I’ll tell my friends how much I like their food and I’ll take them there … which I’ve done before with Stoneground.  If I don’t like the food, I won’t be back.  For me, it’s not about the “dining experience” as much as it is the food.  Of course, the atmosphere will always play a bit of a role as to whether I will go back for more food or not (I don’t like to eat when I feel like everything is ghetto), but the food is the main thing that will get me back to the restaurant.  But holding me there like a hostage is not something I enjoy.

We ordered a Caesar Salad, the House Pasta, and the Stoneground Pizza.  In the past, I have eaten their entrees and they have always been really good.  Although the Caesar Salad was spectacular, I was not the biggest fan of the pasta and pizza.

The salad was what we chose to eat there … what we were forced to eat before we left.  It came in a large bowl with full leaves of lettuce with the usual Parmesan and Romano cheeses, a light Caesar dressing, a touch of pepper, and a few croutons.  The flavors were spot on and I could have eaten the entire thing by myself and been satisfied.

We took the rest of the salad, pasta, and pizza with us to the hospital where we could sit and mull over why it was so important that we eat a leaf of lettuce before we left the restaurant.  To dirty more plates?  To make the waitress work harder?  Who knows.

The pasta was interesting.  It was a penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, button mushrooms, and spinach in a smoked mozzarella alfredo.  I generally love all of these things but combined in this pasta, it was a little overwhelming.  I would have preferred a lot less onions and tomatoes because that pasta was packed with them.

The pizza had all the general “combo” toppings with pepperoni, sausage, olives, and onions.  It was a very flat pizza which I would normally enjoy but I felt like there were just not enough toppings.  The sausage was very overpowering compared to the rest of the pizza which made me feel like I should have just bought a sausage pizza since the other toppings just seemed to be in the way.  However the case, I ate the pizza like I hadn’t eaten in ages and enjoyed almost every minute of it.

Overall, I was not very pleased in my experience with Stoneground.  Although our waitress, Selena, was very nice to us, I was not as impressed with the manager and the foods as I have been in the past.  The food is more authentic than an Olive Garden (apparently over 80% of the recipes are from the owners’ grandma … and I always love a grandma’s cooking), but for the price that you pay, I would almost prefer an Olive Garden over Stoneground … not that I won’t be back, however.  Their fries are so yummy!


249 East 400 South, Salt Lake City
Mon-Wed 11am-10pm | Thurs-Sat 11am-11pm | Sunday 5pm-9pm

Located on the second floor across the street from the Salt Lake City Library.

This is a urban-chic restaurant with the option of playing pool after enjoying your soup, salad, sandwich, entree, or pizza.  My favorite place to sit is next to the window – I would say it’s the best seat in the house.

*This is a non-paid review.