In a time when people are traveling less, the Heber Valley has a new little gem providing a huge variety of worldwide flavors. Global Grill is just that — a global food experience unmatched in the area. Their slogan “Come Taste the World” says it all.
The unique menu is listed by the type of food, but also by origin. Patrons can order a bowl from Japan, India, Indonesia, or Cuba. Pasta dishes are available from Italy, Argentina, Thailand, and Mexico. Burritos are listed from four different areas of Mexico: Cancun, Zacatecas, Michoacán, and Sonora. Burgers celebrate ingredients from Korea, America, Mexico, and Persia. And there is a variety of multicultural kids’ meals and desserts too. There are even daily specials to add a little more flavor, from Polynesia, Greece, and the Gulf Coast!
Owners, Rick and Elizabeth Moreno created the concept, and the menu, specifically for the Heber Valley. They looked at what was already available in the area, and they decided to create something entirely different. “I created the menu this way because I can see people two to three times a week,” explained Rick Moreno. “Today, you may want an authentic Mexican burrito, but tomorrow you may want Indian food.” The same idea applies to an office lunch setting. “They come in, and they can get a burger, and they can get pasta, and everyone’s happy,” said Moreno.
The Moreno’s are well-versed in the restaurant business. “I’m a chef,” said Rick. “My background is in restaurant executive management. My family has had restaurants since 1951 back in California.” Moreno also worked for large companies, such as Hilton Corporation, to gain even more experience. He also created restaurants, menus, and bars for casinos in Montana before moving here.
Elizabeth has been working in restaurants since 1999. She was a sous-chef at the former Mayan restaurant in Sandy. In fact, that’s where they met. Rick was creating recipes and consulting for the massive, cliff-diver restaurant.
“[The Mayan] could seat a thousand people, and had three levels of kitchens,” Rick recalled.
One night, Elizabeth was the kitchen supervisor over multiple cook lines. The restaurant was so big that they had eight cooks for each line, so 24 cooks total. The servers were complaining that the food service was getting slow. Finally, Elizabeth went to the cook line, moved all the cooks out, and started preparing the food by herself. Rick shared, “The servers were saying, ‘tell her to slow down. We can’t keep up with her!’”
“They needed their food right away, so that was my mission,” laughed Elizabeth. Originally from Sonora, Mexico, Elizabeth learned from Rick’s mother, who ran a restaurant in California, and shared her recipes with Elizabeth. She has also worked for Chevy’s and Café Rio.
The couple lived in Utah during the 2002 Olympics, and during that time, Rick created the restaurant Guru’s Cafe with two partners in Salt Lake. They eventually had four locations. His original recipes were used at the restaurants. The Food Network even did a show on Guru’s, where they showcased one of Rick’s recipes.
Recently, the Moreno Family was living in Montana until they unexpectedly relocated to the Heber Valley last year. They had planned to move to Texas, moved their RV there, and then went back to Montana to pack. The couple’s older daughter was already living in the Heber Valley, and they decided to stop for a visit on the drive back to Texas. While visiting here, the Moreno’s found their current restaurant location and decided to stay. They created the Global Grill, opened in December 2019, and then the COVID pandemic hit. While it has slowed down the business, Global Grill is going strong. The food is full of variety and flavor, and the portion sizes are huge. Rick explained, “I did [large portion sizes] purposely because I wanted to make sure that, everyone’s getting the value for their money. And most people take part of it home.”
He continued, “We also have family meals. People can call us every day and ask for an Indian family meal, burrito, or whatever. We have two sizes; small is for four to six people, and large will feed ten to twelve.”
“Just like our portions for our bowls,” Rick said, “We made sure that our family meals are huge.” Value for the money is a priority for the Morenos. “I hate to go somewhere and get a little disappointed with the food portions.”
It’s not only the portion sizes that keep bringing people back. The food is all made fresh, in-house. And many of the recipes can be modified for those with dietary concerns. 90% of the menu can be served gluten-free, and 50% can be made vegan. They will also have alcohol available soon.
The food variety found at the Global Grill is unmatched. “Besides our core menu, we feature other countries as specials,” Rick explained. “We do Russia one day, and we do stroganoff, and then we do Swedish meatballs. On Saturdays, we do Polynesian. Every Tuesday is Taco Salad, and Thursdays is the Greek Gyro Platter…Fridays is the Captain’s Platter.” said Rick.
In addition to the meals, the Global Grill has two core desserts; tiramisu and tres leches cake. However, they also have other desserts available, such as chocolate tres leches, cheesecake, carrot cake, and tropical bread pudding. “The main ones are always tres leches and tiramisu, but I change sometimes,” explains Elizabeth. One day, Rick suggested that Elizabeth offer to make whole cakes, and “now she makes so many of those cakes!” said Rick. “It’s like a bakery too!”
The Global Grill also does catering, but not just this menu. “Because of my background in large casinos, I can do anything. Literally, we can do carving stations or whatever. We can do any country and anything that they want,” Rick explained. “I’ve catered from 15 people to 1000 people.”
The Global Grill fills a niche that the Heber Valley has been missing. And the Morenos are confident that the concept would be a success in other places too. They are preparing to create additional locations for the unique restaurant. Rick shared, “Right now, we’re ready to license them. If someone wanted to do one in Park City, or somewhere else, they could.”
“We’re still trying to do that uphill climb because of COVID, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Rick. “We are very thankful for the support they’ve given us here in Heber. Everyone’s responded really well to the food, and the locals here have been good to us. They keep coming in and supporting us, and we want to say thank you. We appreciate that. Especially being the new guys.”