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Eat at Home on Main Street

by art holscher

"It reminds me of my grandma's house." This is a typical reaction to Karleen Reilly's Uptown Fair, located next door to Park City Roaster at the top of Main Street. Pinecones and garlands decorate the exterior, and condensation on the windows hints at the warm ambiance inside.

As one enters the cozy surroundings, spicy aromas swirl and soft music seeps into the ambiance, the sources hidden by herbs, house plants, and books. Undulating ceilings supported by weathered timbers frame the dining areas, while tables are draped with brightly colored tablecloth patterns and salt and peppershakers unique to each table.

Uptown Fare refers to the "Fare of the Day." This translates to what Karleen is in the mood to cook as well as what is fresh and tasty. Soups are the house specialty, changing daily with a vegetarian, veegan, and carnivorous selection from which to choose. The wide variety of hearty stews and chilies are all served with fresh breads and rolls.

When you arrive at Uptown Fare, look to the counter for the menu. It never looks the same. Sunday, after a tremendous powder day, I stopped by for one of Karleen's soups. Her vegetarian selection was a mushroom stroganoff with onions, four cheeses, and whole-wheat noodles. The vegan selection was a Creole eggplant with curry spiced potatoes, celery, and plentiful seasoning. I, however, was there for the chicken soup with homemade egg noodles. The doughy noodles would make an Italian grandmother green with envy.

Uptown Fare also offers gourmet salads and sandwiches. The curry chicken salad with pineapple, coconut, almonds, and yellow raisins is my favorite. The beet, bean, or pasta salads are all a close second. You can also try an old fashion egg salad sandwich, but you better get there early because the egg salad rarely lasts long! Karleen's attention to detail is unchallenged on Main Street. For example, Karleen could not a find turkey to do justice to her sandwiches, so now she roasts her own.

If you clean your plate, Karleen might drop off one of her homemade cookies, brownies, or pretzels dipped in white chocolate at your table. When the sweet tooth calls, however, I would recommend the pineapple upside down cake or Carol's famous flop cake-both provided by Carol Rixey who owns and operates the Star Hotel, located above Uptown Fare. I suggest a little coffee with these or maybe one of the hot-spiced teas.

Decorating the walls of the restaurant are works by local artists. J.P. Max, who used to illustrate cartoons for the Park Record, has a series of wood pieces inlayed with mirrors featuring glow in the dark pictographs. Bill "Kranny" Kranstover has his Assemblege Series displayed. These creative pieces made from brushes, wires, circuit boards, and clocks are sprayed with metallic paint, and glisten on the walls of the restaurant. Adding to the modern art motif is a work by Stefen Coraelius entitled "Sophisticated Lady." The etched metal background is articulated with solder, safety pins, and spiral metal bands to depict the face of a woman.

Uptown Fare offers exceptional foods in a friendly atmosphere. The quality should not come as a surprise, however, as Karleen operated a catering business for fourteen years. Having her own restaurant has been a life-long dream, and what she has created is worth experiencing. Living in Park City since the seventies, Karleen has fashioned a restaurant that reflects intimate knowledge of Old Town and the cozy ideals of resort town life.