Archive for August, 2014

Aug 29, 2014

A Day in the Life: Mountain West Burrito


Preparing the Basics

Cooks arrive @ 7 AM

We begin our day by preparing our meats that are featured in almost every dish we serve. From the tender steak to delicious carnitas or our awesome new Achiote chicken, we take special care to make them as flavorful as possible.  We then move on to preparing things like our fresh pico de gallo (usually made by our fearless leader, Joseph McRae), black beans, rice and our special red and green hot sauces (the green is the spicy one!) We also roast veggies for our vegetarian and vegan dishes—red and green peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, red and yellow onions. We try to keep our chips as fresh as possible and the cashiers fry them right before the restaurant opens. We get our stations set up so that we’re ready to roll when the guests arrive.


Family Meal!

Like most restaurants in the Heirloom Group, we really enjoy taking a moment to eat and converse with each other before we start making foods for guests. Sometimes we eat burritos and other times we eat nachos! Crazy, I know! At the Provo location, at times we’ll trade some burritos for the amazing waffles from Waffle Love next door! Family meal is a great time to share any pertinent information about the food and menu or special circumstances of the day. We also get to laugh and joke around with each other for a bit, which helps us blow off some steam and get ready to focus more fully on our work later.

Mountain West Burrito mural


During this time we get excited about creating truly great burritos, tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, nachos, and salads for our guests. We try to accept feedback and stay up to date on our recipes so that all of our food tastes the best that it can. We’re very flexible in catering to our guests preferences. Can’t decide between the meats? Order a half and half version of any of our items and you can try any two meats in the same dish.  We also have vegetarian and vegan options with our delicious rice and bean burritos; or try our roasted veggies in any of the above incarnations you choose! We even have vegan cheese and sour cream! We have also started to offer a selection of substitutions such as: whole-wheat tortillas, spinach tortillas, refried beans, pickled jalapeños and brown rice. During service, we have two cooks working. When we’re busy, both will come out and help roll burritos and fry chimichangas. Otherwise, it’s a one-man-band, while the other cook continues prepping food and keeps everything clean. Our cashiers are always there to answer any questions about the menu, take orders, fry chips and generally be a liaison between the guests and the kitchen. Our Provo and Lehi locations open at 11:00 AM Monday through Saturday and are open throughout the day until 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Provo is also open a little later, until 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, while our BYU campus location is open Monday to Friday 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

mountain west dining room

Clean up

After the day is over we get our meats marinating and beans soaking. We clean everything from top to bottom, ensuring everything will be ready for tomorrow. The cashiers stock sodas and paper products and clean up the dining room.  We enjoy our jobs and take pride in keeping a clean, inviting and artistically inspirational space, while providing the best fast, fresh, and local Mexican food in Utah County.

MWB LehiMWB_cinco_de_mayo-5982

Aug 20, 2014

Fresh Wednesdays


Join us tonight for the first Fresh Wednesday of the season from 6-9pm. We are partnering with Downtown Provo to continue the tradition of holding a farmer’s market behind Communal, which we began last year. Each Wednesday night of the market, we will run a dinner special at Communal highlighting some of the ingredients available from the producers that evening.

Tonight’s special is an herb roasted chicken with sweet corn purée, swiss chard, and cherry tomatoes, featuring sweet corn and cherry tomatoes from Larry Beck and cherry tomatoes from La Nay Ferme. We are looking forward to the first market tonight and Wednesday nights to come and hope you will join us!

Aug 15, 2014
Shaky Leaf Café Banana Cake

A Day in the Life: Shaky Leaf Café

Every day at the Shaky Leaf Café, the cafeteria located in the building, we prepare two proteins, think meatballs, pork loin, balsamic chicken, or pulled pork; two sides, like mac and cheese, herbed barley, or lemon risotto; and one vegetable, such as sugar sweet corn or roasted zucchini. A soup is concocted, a popular choice being the broccoli potato cheddar. We also prepare a special for our grill. Recent specials have included chicken tacos (especially tasty with our house-made cilantro ranch dressing from the salad bar), Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and delicious chicken sandwiches. We also feature cheeseburgers and hand-cut French fries every day. We have pre-made sandwiches and salads in our grab-n-go section. We feature a different dessert every day, as well as cookies and brownies. The dessert most often raved about is definitely the house-made banana cake with a sour cream frosting. People are often disappointed on days that it’s not featured, and we don’t like to disappoint!

Shaky Leaf Café

Arrive @ 7 AM

Prepare food for lunch service

Our Chef, Tiffani Bishop, and the first cooks arrive at 7 AM. Almost all of the food listed above is made from scratch, so we arrive early to ensure plenty of preparation time. Assignments are handed out and the kitchen is soon abuzz with people mixing, chopping, marinating and roasting. We really enjoy this time of creation and try to make something innovative to help expand the palates of Ancestry employees and their guests.

Family Meal - Shaky Leaf Café

Family Meal

As known as our favorite time of day. One of us will prepare something to eat—it’s often breakfast foods since we take this break around 10:30—and we gather around a table to connect with each other about food philosophy, our lives, and generally take a moment to relax, reflect on the day thus far and prepare for our guests to arrive. Lately on these beautiful summer days, we have our meal outside in the courtyard near the compass fountain.

Shaky Leaf Café salad bar Hand-cut French fries & chicken tacos–Shaky Leaf Café


From 11:30-1:30 we serve about 200 of Ancestry’s 600 employees every day. One of our favorite parts is that we get to see a lot of the same people and we really develop personal relationships with our guests. We know what they like and sometimes send them home with food for dinner! They come bustling in for the lunch hour, some quickly grabbing food to take to their desks and others ordering from the grill, passing through our freshly stocked salad bar, grabbing a banana cake, and enjoying their meal in our modern dining room or outside patio. The two hours go by in a flash and suddenly we’re almost empty again with only a few guests coming in here and there to grab soda, coffee, fruit and cereal that are offered free to Ancestry employees at any time of day.

Shaky Leaf seating

Break down

From 1:30 to about 3:30 we are breaking down the different food stations, cleaning up the dining room and kitchen, beginning preparations for tomorrow’s lunch and making everything once again sparkle like it did when we arrived. Tiffani takes care of menu planning and food purchasing and heads home around 4 PM. We enjoy our regular schedule of 7-4 as many in the food service industry don’t get a normal day schedule like we do. It’s just one of the many perks of working at The Shaky Leaf.

Aug 05, 2014

August Farm-to-Table Dinner

Jacob's_Cove Jacob's_Cove_tomatoes

For the August Farm-to-Table Dinner, chef Newman wanted to feature a variety of farms to highlight the many people behind the ingredients we use everyday in the restaurant.

Our menu for August 11 features several local farms and purveyors, including La Nay Ferme, Sugar Sweet Corn, Jacob’s Cove, Allred Orchards, and Caputo’s. Each course highlights ingredients from these farms: produce and herbs from La Nay, Sugar Sweet corn, tomatoes from Jacob’s cove, Allred peaches, olives and olive oil from Caputo’s. View the full menu below.

Jacob's_Cove_blue door Jacob's_Cove_farm

First Course:
Sweet Corn Risotto with Baby Squash, Peppers

Second Course:
Heirloom Tomato Salad, Burrata Cheese, Basil Pesto, Torn Croutons

Third Course:
Ahi Tuna with Green Beans, Red Potato, Swiss Chard, Olive Vinaigrette

Dessert Course:
Peach Cobbler with Oat Crumble, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

The four-course fixed menu is $38/person and the dinner is 6-9pm. Space is limited—reservations are recommend. Reserve your place by contacting 801-373-8000 or We hope you will join us for this dinner!