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Home / Articles / Food / Restaurant Reviews /  Taggart's Grill
Restaurant Reviews

Taggart's Grill

Popular eatery caters to the masses in Morgan.

By Ted Scheffler
Posted // September 17,2010 - Unless you happen to cruise Weber Canyon on Interstate 84 near Morgan regularly, Taggart’s Grill is most certainly off the beaten path. The classic Morgan eatery isn’t technically even in Morgan, but past it, near Devil’s Slide. The restaurant has its own freeway exit; there’s nothing else really there. So, look for the exit sign that says “Taggart” and viola! you’ll find this historic restaurant, tucked away in a stand of trees just off the highway.

Despite the location—or, perhaps because of it—Taggart’s is wildly popular. Plan on waiting for a table; the restaurant doesn’t accept reservations, although insiders know to call a half-hour before they arrive. That won’t guarantee a table, but your name will be put on a priority waiting list, which in our case meant only a few minutes before a table opened, despite the crowd of people waiting outside.

Visit Internet review sites and you’ll find comments about Taggart’s saying things such as “Best restaurant in Utah!” or “The best food ever!” and “Definitely worth the drive!” I wish I agreed. Taggart’s Grill is the kind of place—a little piece of Americana—that I really want to love. But, I just don’t.

The décor and ambiance is rustic log cabin: Loads of wood, a stone hearth fireplace, peacocks strolling the grounds and an outdoor patio for dining al fresco. But, you can’t take kids onto the patio since they spill stuff and mess up the flooring, which means kids eat indoors and, thus, the restaurant is usually noisy. Servers seem rushed and frazzled, perhaps because of the typically big crowds. On a recent Friday evening—after our server took my wife’s dinner order and mine, but forgot the kids’—she said, “We’ve been slammed like this since we opened this morning!”

Specials at the restaurants come with a loaf of slightly sweet-tasting homemade bread—one of the best things about a meal there. They also come with a choice of soup or salad. Whatever you do, stay away from the clam chowder, which is the consistency of spackling compound. A better choice is the not-very-spicy “spicy” black-bean soup, which comes smothered with shredded cheese and blue corn tortilla chips. The red-chili poppers ($6.95) appetizer would be a good idea were they not stuffed with cream cheese. A better choice of starter would be the pita bread (made from scratch at the restaurant), served with a choice of pesto or marinara sauce for dipping ($5.95). My question is: Why not serve the pita with both sauces?

Burgers come on a choice of homemade bun or pita bread, and the special jalapeño burger is so popular the owner keeps threatening to put it on the regular menu. Overall, the cuisine here is classic American, with some tostadas and enchiladas thrown in. My teenage stepson loved the chicken enchilada ($10.95)—shredded chicken wrapped in a flour tortilla, topped with cheese, tomato, lettuce, black olives, a splotch of guacamole and cream sauce, with black beans and diced tomato on the side. I think I’d have been happier with that dish than my pot roast ($13.99) of shredded meat (chuck, I think) atop a gigantic mound of mashed spuds with baby carrots and brown gravy. My main complaint was that there just wasn’t much meat to be had, but plenty of potatoes and carrots. Overall, the dish was average, not “incredible,” as I’ve seen others describe it. Ditto the salmon steak ($16.99), which was predictably overcooked and topped with teriyaki-rum “marinade.” Alongside were undercooked au gratin potatoes and sautéed veggies.

The clientele at Taggart’s ranges from tourists passing by to local ranchers, and lots of families apparently not deterred by prices such as $2.29 Pepsis and $5.95 for a kid-size burger. There were real cowboys at the table next to us and only one other party who I could see drinking wine. I was happily surprised, frankly, that Taggart’s even served wine; I hadn’t expected it. And, I was even more surprised to find—on the very skimpy wine list—one very good California Chardonnay: Morgan ($46). How did this ever get on the wine list? I wondered. And then it dawned on me: Morgan —as in, Morgan, Utah. Well, the wine came to the table at almost room temperature, but with frosted wine glasses—a wine-service spin I’ve not encountered before.

Desserts would seem to be a main attraction. There are two dessert cases featured prominently at Taggart’s entrance, next to a wooden Indian, where kids can’t miss ’em. They vary daily, but you can usually find brownies, carrot cake, pink sugar cookies, cheesecake, chocolate cake and lots more, all made in-house from scratch, daily. We opted for the flourless chocolate mousse cake ($5.50) which had, unfortunately, a slightly off taste—as though it had been sitting out near the stewing pot roast or something. Oh, well.

I didn’t come to Taggart’s Grill looking for anything exotic—not even for modern American cuisine. I came looking for classic American comfort food and was disappointed. And that’s a shame, since there are a lot of things about this unique roadside eatery to love. I just wish the food were one of them.

TAGGART’S GRILL
1105 N. Taggart Lane
Exit 108
Morgan
801-829-3837

Ted Scheffler:
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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Post a comment
REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // October 14,2010 at 03:53

I find the comments by the Taggart's employees flooding this section repugnant - could it be Mr. Scheffler hit the mark, and that the defensiveness by TG's workers is a sign of panic of truth being spoken?

I know one thing: I won't be eating at Taggart's Grill, that's for damned sure. Thank you, Mr. Scheffler for telling it like it is. We appreciate honest critiques of restaurants - not gushing, every-restaurant-is-terrific pap.

Hopefully TG will take Mr. Scheffler's words to heart and work on their flaws. Isn't that what a business would like to hear so as to improve overall patron satisfaction? Apparently TG only wants to hear niceties and be kept shielded from outside opinion.

Again, thanks Ted and City Weekly.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // October 3,2010 at 19:36

I think Ted's comments about how busy Taggart's was and the diversity of clientele tell more about the remarkable quality of the restaurant than the review.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // September 30,2010 at 10:17

Here is the thing about opinions. Everyone gets one...

I'm a server at Taggart's and have been for just under three years. I'm sure that there are people out there that don't enjoy our food or apparently our wait staff. But, the fact of the matter is that as a restaurant we are constantly packed with people that happen to LOVE our food and us as a wait staff!!!!!! So, if your reading this and you love us, let us know! And.... keep coming! We love our customers and our "real cowboys" alike! Thanks for loving us for who we are and coming to share dinner with the "TAGGART'S GRILL FAMILY"!

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // September 29,2010 at 15:47

I have eaten at Taggarts several times. There are several good items on the menu. The french dip, the ham apple wrap and the cobb sandwich just to name a few.

What I don't like is the unprofessional wait staff. They are constantly on their cell phones texting whom ever while my water glass empties. Trying to get their attention is like screaming at a professional athelete from the stands. None of them have personality and it seems they are always apologizing for the wait from the kitchen.

If the food wasn't as good as it is I would never go there.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // September 29,2010 at 10:52

that homo ted he is just mad cuz he likes little boys and is finally comming out of the closet

 

Posted // September 30,2010 at 12:12 - Well if Jesus says Ted's a pedophile, then it must be true. Even though his spelling isn't "miraculous," the Son O' God would never lie.

 

 
 
 
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