Monday, February 14, 2011

The Beehive Tea Room

I don't eat out a ton, but I did get the chance to try out a new restaurant recently. I'm a member of the Utah Civil War Association and we had a Ladies Auxiliary Meeting and Tea Party earlier this month.

Here we are in all our finery!

Our tea party was held at an adorable little place, The Beehive Tea Room, in downtown Salt Lake City. After I received my invitation to the party I immediately checked out their website and saw that "Vegan and gluten-free selections may be substituted for an extra charge..." So I gave them a call and found that for an extra $5 they would be more than happy to accommodate my diet.

I should have taken pictures of the food, unfortunately it was a meeting so I was alternating between talking my head off, trying to take notes, and stuffing my face!

Our first course started with drinks, we had a choice of lots of different beverages. Several kinds of tea, French press coffee, hot chocolate, and Italian soda. I opted for the almond Italian soda and was not disappointed, it was huge and it was incredibly tasty! I'd never had Italian soda before, so when I asked the waitress what to do she told me I was supposed to stir the syrup (at the bottom) and the whipped cream (on top, of course) into the Perrier and drink it all together. What she failed to mention is that I was supposed to stir it slowly. I tried to whip the whole thing together like I would sugar in tea or whipped cream in cocoa. The result was something from a bad science project! It foamed everywhere and made quite a little mess! I'm such a klutz! Lucky for me it didn't get on anyone's dress.

Our waitress was an absolute doll! Hi there Tori! Other than being totally helpful with the soda mess, she was very aware and ready to help with my diet needs. She didn't make me feel at all like it was a bother or that helping me was too much for her. I've had lots of waitresses who either roll their eyes at me or act like I have some incurable disease. Tori treated my diet as important, but not irritating. It was very nice. To top it all off, after we were done eating she went outside and took pictures for us! Total sweetheart.

After we all had our drinks they brought out the scones. Just not for me. I got a salad. I have to admit I was pretty disappointed. Everybody else had two beautiful scones (I remember one had white chocolate in it!) and jam, and there I was with a little salad. To the shop's credit it was a very nice salad with pine nuts and a tasty vinaigrette, there were even tomatoes which are generally unheard of around here in February. It was just a little sad to be the only one not eating a pastry.

The sandwich course mostly made up for missing out on the scones though! I had lovely finger sandwiches with all the same fillings as everyone else, the crusts had all been cut off in decorative ways. Mine was just on (slightly dry) gluten free bread instead of the more colorful rye and white that the others had. The fillings were really excellent! We had cucumber, and two others. I wasn't paying attention when the waitress told us what kind they were (I'm sorry, I was busy socializing!) but they were very tasty. My favorite one was a circular sandwich which had been rolled in pine nuts. It was really, really good.

Dessert was also fabulous. They had gluten free cookies for me, along with fresh fruit with cream and sugar for dipping. Not just cheesy, cheap fruits either. There were real raspberries! In February!

I had a really good time at the Beehive Tea Room, and it was really nice to eat out with friends. The shop is adorable, the waitress was awesome, and the staff was really great about accommodating my diet. (They must have been really careful, I didn't have any kind of reaction later.) The price was a little high for my frugal budget, but as a special occasion treat I think they're worth the trip.

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