Z'Tejas will host its fifth annual Chile Festival Sept. 2-21 at The Gateway. More than 1,000 pounds of famous Hatch, N.M., green chile peppers will be roasted throughout the month for items such as Fire-Cracker Green Chile Pork Taquitos, Iceberg Wedge with green chile-blue cheese dressing and Seared Chile Crusted Scallops.

This year, Z'Tejas hosted a dessert contest where locals entered their favorite recipe using chile peppers. Winner Kim Clarken of Holladay will have her recipe, Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding with a Kick, featured on the menu.

For every item ordered off the Chile Fest menu, Z'Tejas will contribute $1 to the Salt Lake City Fire Department. The restaurant will host a special lunch on Sept. 6 for two local battalions who will face off in a chile mud pie-eating contest (456-0450 or visit www.ztejas.com.

Dairy Queen is introducing Iron Grilled Sandwiches at participating locations nationwide. Items include a turkey with Swiss cheese; the Classic Club with turkey, ham and cheddar cheese; and the Supreme BLT with seven strips of bacon. All are served on grilled Panini-style bread. A grilled cheese will be added to the kids menu (www.dairyqueen.com).

Lugano, 3364 S. 2300 East, is hosting a Spanish Wine Tasting & Tapas Night, Friday, 6:30 p.m. The price is $39 per person for dinner, $29 per person for the optional wine pairing (412-9994).

The Mandarin Restaurant, 348 E. 900 North, Bountiful, is featuring dishes made with locally grown produce. For more than 15 years, the Chase Bangerter and Sons family farm a block away from the restaurant has supplied fresh green beans, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers for menu items such as Green Beans in a Black Bean Sauce, Eggplant with Chicken in Garlic Sauce, Hunan Beef and Asian Fusion Mediterranean Lamb.

The Mandarin's homemade dessert menu also is enhanced by locally grown raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, cherries, peaches and apples (mandarinutah.com).

Rockhill Creamery and Amano Artisan Chocolate will be featured at the first Slow Food Nation in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. Rockhill Creamery's owners, Jennifer Hines & Pete Schropp, handcraft cheese of milk from the farm's six Brown Swiss cows. The farm is located in Richmond in Cache Valley.

Amano, based in Provo, is owned by Art Pollard and Clark Goble, and it will be part of the Chocolate Tasting Pavilion.

Food products chosen for the event had to meet Slow Food USA's criteria being sustainable, just and delicious (rockhillcheese.com).

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes has been named America's best buffet chain in Restaurants & Institutions magazine's "2008 Consumers' Choice in Chains" survey. This is the fifth year in a row that the San Diego-based chain has taken this honor. Its annual survey uses eight customer-satisfaction categories: food quality, menu variety, value, service, atmosphere, cleanliness, reputation and convenience (www.sweettomatoes.com).

The Sun and Moon Cafe presents blues artist Bryan Lee, Tuesday, 7 p.m. Lee has been a longtime musician on New Orleans' Bourbon Street. Tickets are $16; dinner purchased separately (583-8331).


E-mail: vphillips@desnews.com