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Family-owned Penny Ann's Cafe Nails Comfort FoodNicole Mangino - May 4, 2012 at 8:23AM
I had never been to Penny Ann's when we had the pleasure of stumbling in one afternoon. This hidden gem can be found on Main Street, just south of 1800 South, adjacent to the Terrace Apartments. Don't be fooled by the inauspicious surroundings, Penny Ann's serves up all your comfort food favorites, and incredible homemade pie to boot!The interior is humble and has a very homey feel. You can choose to sit in vinyl booths at the back of the restaurant, classic diner style tables at the front, at the counter stools, or on the patio. Penny Ann herself was our server, which gave our dining experience an extra dose of authenticity. The service was great—personal and efficient, just what you expect from a family-run diner. The first thing I noticed about the menu, besides the massive selection, was the value. For example, you can get a cheeseburger for $3.99, or a full entree, such as Chicken Parmesan, for $8.99. There are not many places around Salt Lake City where you can eat a full portion meal for those prices. The menu ranges from your classic diner starters and sandwiches (sweet potato fries, fried ravioli, mozzarella sticks, reuben, BLT, grilled ham & cheese), to open face sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more. My boyfriend ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sub and I ordered the Eggplant Roulade special. Both tasted delicious and came in a hearty portion size—I was happy to have leftovers for lunch today. At the last minute, we decided to split the Cookies 'n' Cream homemade pie. I sure would have been disappointed if we hadn't tried it. It was amazing. Seriously. You should go to Penny Ann's if only to try some of her pie. I personally am a sucker for whipped cream, so I was very pleased that Penny Ann's Cafe wasn't skimpy with the toppings. The filling had the perfect consistency: creamy yet firm, cold yet not straight out of the refrigerator temperature.Penny Ann's Cafe is located at 1810 South Main Street. You can visit them online at www.pennyannscafe.com or on Twitter @pennyannscafe. Support a small local business next time you're craving a diner classic! Follow Nicole Mangino on Twitter @nicolesnowbunny.