Do you know the tale of Hogi Yogi/Teriyaki Stix? They disappeared over the years, but Deseret News features writer Meg Walter may have just found the last one on planet earth. On City Cast Salt Lake, she regaled her personal story of love, loss, and redemption with the hoagie/frozen yogurt/chicken teriyaki chain.
What is Hogi Yogi/Teriyaki Stix?
“Hogi Yogi was a chain of restaurants that sold hoagies and frozen yogurt. There's nothing better to me than a build-your-own sandwich situation. They had a variety of breads, freshly baked — [at least] in my mind they're freshly baked. A really good sandwich artist would put together this hoagie for you, and then the frozen yogurt, to me, was the star of the show. They did a blackberry frozen yogurt that you could get in a waffle cone.
“Then later they decided, ‘Hey, we're not Japanese, but let's add some Japanese food to our menu,’ and opened a Teriyaki Stix at a separate counter, which sold chicken bowls with a really starchy rice and a teriyaki sauce that I believe was mostly corn syrup mixed with soy sauce and then like Cisco chicken. Disgusting, but also delicious, you know? So Hogi Yogi had something for you, depending on whatever mood you were in. It was a magical place.”
What is your best Hogi Yogi/Teriyaki Stix memory?
“It's kind of a tragic story, and I'm sorry to take us to this dark place. But I was in the car with my mom, grandma, and two siblings, and we were on our way back from St. George. There was a gas station that had a Hogi Yogi attached, which many did at the time before the great Hogi Yogi rapture. We all got our sandwiches, and my mom got this beautiful sandwich that had sprouts, freshly sliced cucumbers, banana peppers, and really good turkey. She went to get in the car, and the sandwich fell on the ground, and my mother, bless her heart, started crying. She was so devastated to have lost this perfect sandwich. And every time I ate Hogi Yogi after that, I was like, do not take this for granted. Understand the value of what's in front of you, because it could be gone at any moment.”
Tell us about your journey to rediscover the Utah Teriyaki Stix.
“I'm into adulthood, not really understanding that these things were vanishing from underneath my feet, until recently when my friend Scott Wessman posted a photo in front of the Teriyaki Stix at Lagoon, saying, ‘I believe this is the last Teriyaki Stix on Earth.’ I was like, ‘oh my gosh, there's only one of these left, I must visit.’ And so I did. It’s over by the entrance to the white rollercoaster, which I cannot believe is still functioning. It is just a lone little island in the middle of Lagoon. There's a crew of 12-year-olds operating it. [I] ordered my Teriyaki Stix — it still hits. Sadly, no Hogi Yogi available. You cannot get one of those sandwiches or that blackberry frozen yogurt. That is lost to time and a real shame, in my opinion.”
Frightmares season at Lagoon opens Sept. 8, so it’s a perfect time to visit the last Teriyaki Stix. And while you’re at it, listen to the full episode on your commute 👇