into the light-filled atrium at the recently renovated Slickrock
Café, I felt transported from the arid desert into
a tropical paradise. A three-tiered fountain, lush foliage
and an airy spaciousness give the atrium a relaxed island
The most noticeable feature is the almost floor-to-ceiling
windows overlooking Main Street and the snow-capped LaSal
Mountains beyond. The coolest (in every sense of the word)
aspect of these enormous windows is that they roll up garage-style
and transform the atrium into an enclosed terrace.
Last year, owner Hans Fuegi, a Swiss restaurateur who also
owns The Grub Steak in Park City, became the sole proprietor
of the Slickrock Café after many years of partnership,
giving him a chance to incorporate his vision of sprucing
up the twelve year old restaurant.
His desire to make the place “refreshing, light and
fun,” manifested itself in extensive renovations over
the winter and have culminated in a lovely ambiance and
attractive restaurant. He has managed to incorporate the
influences he discovered in his extensive travels through
the Caribbean and South America.
historic building that dates back to 1907 certainly lends
itself well to the open airiness and appeal Fuegi envisioned
for Slickrock Café. During renovations, constructors
uncovered beautiful brick walls hidden behind plaster which
now frame the atrium on the north and south sides. The two
story high ceiling gives the space light and openness and
the rotating palm-leaf fans contribute to the tropical allure.
Modern features such as air conditioning and the moveable
windows allow Slickrock to control the temperature, an important
feature in the desert where temperatures soar and plummet.
The atrium features a dozen or more tables for dining and
a full-service bar which includes six local beers on tap.
A fully-trained bartender oversees this area of the atrium,
which includes top-shelf liquors, wine, beer, appetizers
as well as breakfast items, such as bagels, muffins and
Slickrock Café offers a breakfast menu from 7:00
a.m. to 11:00 a.m., at which time the restaurant switches
over to the lunch and dinner menu. Realizing that many visitors
in town either skip lunch and want a reasonably priced dinner
or eat a sizeable lunch to fuel themselves through an active
afternoon, Slickrock Café decided to offer one menu
for both meals, making both the portions and prices satisfying.
Catering to families with children is another aspect that
Fuegi wanted to emphasize in his restaurant, which features
a kid’s menu, an arcade and games to keep them patient
The menu is an eclectic selection of ethnic dishes, incorporating
influences from the Caribbean, South America and Asia. Slickrock
still includes traditional American staples such as hamburgers,
fries and wraps, but many of the entrees and appetizers
feature exotic flavors such as Creole sauce, Argentinean
Chimichurri sauce, Jamaican jerk spicing, and Japanese Miso.
decided to breathe new life into Slickrock Café,
inside and out, by hiring new, energetic staff, including
Chef Jeffrey Navarro, who has helped to create fresh new
tastes for the café.
Another brilliant addition to Slickrock is General Manager
Mika Golding, a two-year resident of Moab. Golding manages
the extensive operation with a slickness easily associated
with the restaurant’s name. She exudes energy and
hospitality, the very traits Fuegi wants associated with
Having wide experience in the restaurant business, she felt
up to the challenge of running the expanded restaurant and
its accompanying gift shop and cyber café, which
includes five state-of-the-art computers.
The Authentic Critter Gear collection, an original brand
of merchandise only available at the Slickrock gift shop,
features T-shirts, playing cards, Frisbees, sunglasses,
and sundry memorabilia. A map located at the rear of the
gift shop attests to the popularity of the Critter clothing
by using pins to represent sightings around the world of
the Slickrock Café T-shirts. The multitude of pins
spans the entire globe, from longitude to longitude and
latitude to latitude.
For Fuegi, a world traveler who speaks four languages, there
must be a certain satisfaction and amusement in the way
he is literally leaving his mark on the world.
Slickrock café is located at 5 North Main Street
and opens at 7 a.m, closing at 10 p.m. and can be reached
at 259-8004 or www.slickrockcafe.com
(where Authentic Critter Gear can also be ordered). Entree
prices range from $7 to $ 15..
of the Month
recipe by Chef Jeffery Navarro
1 1/2 oz. sliced red onion
2 oz. red and green bell pepper mixed
6 oz. pre-cooked Mexican Chorizo sausage
1 oz. olive oil
1 oz. roasted garlic paste
4 oz. vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
9 oz. cooked Orecchiete (shell-style pasta)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 oz. chopped green onion for garnish
Sautee onion and peppers in oil until
almost soft. Add the Chorizo sausage, cooking until
warmed through. Now add the vegetable stock and Cajun
seasoning. Reduce stock by half. Then warm pasta in
separate pot of warm water. Add the warm pasta and
butter, tossing until butter is melted and mixed in
well. Plate and garnish with green onion.
Optional: You may add grilled chicken
or grilled shrimp