4th Estate Solace | Dining & Bar Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly

4th Estate Solace 

Drinks and pub food to soothe the savage journalist

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If food is good for the soul, then a hefty booze-up is doubly so for the journalist's soul. After a long day making inquiries, fielding calls from helpful tipsters and sweating press deadlines, nothing calms a newswriter's nerves quite so much as some tasty pub food and a nice, quiet drink. Here are some City Weekly staff picks that help us shed the stress of a day in the ink mines.

How music editor Kolbie Stonehocker gets in tune:
Brats & Fries at Beer Bar

There's something pretty damned perfect about the combination of beer, brat and fries, and at Beer Bar, you can put all three in your face at practically the same time. The sausage selection is extensive and includes typical offerings as well as more adventurous choices like rattlesnake & rabbit, alligator and elk bratwurst, which is particularly juicy and flavorful and extra good with caramelized onions, sauerkraut and lots of mustard on top. But no Beer Bar meal is complete without a pile of skin-on Belgian fries, complete with fry sauce and ketchup—divinely crispy and salty, these fries are everything that's magical and addicting about fried spuds. 161 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3618, BeerBarSLC.com

Angel's Landing at Bar-X
Refreshing and sweet (but not too sweet), this cocktail from Bar-X would be sublime paired with a lazy summer afternoon spent on a sunny porch. It's a light, delicate concoction of bourbon, Earl Grey syrup, lime, grapefruit twist and a surprising ingredient that gives the Angel's Landing its slight sparkle: Wyld beer floated on top. And all the components play off one another nicely: Tart lime and grapefruit balance the sweetness of the syrup, and the carbonation of the beer lightens up the bourbon a bit. This baby couldn't have a more fitting name: Angels would fall from heaven for this cocktail. 155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287, BarXSaltLake.com

How reporter Eric S. Peterson beats the blues:
The Wolven Burger at Murphy's Bar & Grill

The Wolven Burger is one of those meals that makes me feel better about a skull-shattering hangover. Its ability to soak up the alcohol in my system gives me all the justification I need to eat this meaty masterpiece. Of course, this burger is a treat no matter my level of sobriety. It's similar to a Reuben sandwich with Thousand Island dressing and buttery, delicious toasted rye bread, but the meat is a sumptuous hamburger patty topped with a hearty helping of corned beef and lathered in melted Swiss cheese and tangy sauerkraut. It comes with a mess of fries and dips well in fry sauce. 160 S. Main, 801-359-7271, MurphysBarAndGrillUT.com

Pickle Back at the Bourbon House
Who could have imagined the miraculous love story that is the pairing of good fiery Jameson Irish Whiskey, chased by a shot of briny pickle juice? In the world of mixed drinks, it's like the improbable underdog high-school-romance story of the outspoken art nerd and the football jock with the heart of gold under his too-cool-for-school exterior. Sorry, got a little carried away there ... just believe me when I say the pickle back is a one-two punch of burning deliciousness ready to rock your gullet—to the max! 19 E. 200 South, 801-746-1005, BourbonHouseSLC.com

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How copy editor Tiffany Frandsen fact-checks herself:
Tacos at the Devil's Daughter

Add Devil's Daughter to the traditional Taco Tuesday itinerary. At $1.50 apiece (with a choice of either chicken or pork), they are made up of mostly basic taco building blocks: lettuce, cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, salsa and floppy (store-bought) flour tortillas. At first glance, they may be mistaken for standard. But the meat—oh, the meat—slathered in sweet and spicy sauce, are addicting morsels. The barbecue pulled pork is fiery and diabolically spiced but angelically tender, as is the barbecue chicken. But the real specialty at Devil's Daughter is the pork. Since this meat is smokehouse-born, don't neglect the barbecue sauce options for a tang or some sweetness. It's worth the trip for the food alone, but the staff is friendly and wickedly welcoming. No one is putting on airs at this joint. 533 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, 801-532-1610, DevilsDaughterSLC.com

Bloody Mary at Avenues Proper
Students (and all others with an eye out for drink specials), rejoice! There is a spicier-than-average bloody mary awaiting you at Avenues Proper for the weekend brunch special Saturday and Sunday: $3 for a concoction of vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, housemade pickle brine and garlic powder (with olives and pickle beans as garnish). Treat yourself and add the thick-cut slice of glazed bacon to the breakfast beverage. From the first sip, all of the spices combined have enough jolt to wake you up, and then the alcohol gently cradles you back into a comforting, lazy weekend buzz while you take in the contemporary atmosphere. Since alcohol isn't served until after 11:30 a.m., sleep in. Or, start with the beloved chicken & waffles. 376 Eighth Ave., Salt Lake City, 385-227-8628, AvenuesProper.com

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How reporter Colby Frazier stays on the beat:
Coors Banquet at Swedetown Pub

I don't particularly dig people, and they don't particularly dig me. That's why I try to find lonely places to drink. The best I've had in a long, long time was a pair of Banquet beers (Coors Original) at the Swedetown Pub on Beck Street. If I could drink at a bar every single day, this is where I'd go. The last time I entered the place, two men (one was the owner) sat at the bar. These men and the bartender were deeply interested in a movie they had just popped into the VCR. The movie was a bit distracting, but it was better than watching wasted hipsters get intimate with their iPhones. Hands down, the Swedetown Pub and the modest domestic lager products they specialize in pouring are the finest on Beck Street. It's the place to go for your Coors. 1461 N. Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-355-0534

French Dip Sandwich at Desert Edge Brewery
Big fat disclosure: I used to brew beer at Desert Edge Brewery, and my wife waits tables there now. These facts should not deter you from believing me when I say that if you order the roast-beef dip sandwich with a side of clam chowder, chicken-corn chowder or one of the Pub's daily pasta specials, you will not leave unsatisfied. The sandwich alone could fill the stomach of the hungriest human. And the spicy au jus dipping sauce will ensure that the baguette the beef is stuffed between is nice and soft as you bite into it. You can always get a salad on the side, but my crew and I prefer something more substantial. No french fries at the pub, so a handful of potato chips will have to do. Bottom line: If I could eat only one real meal per day, this would be it, and I bet top dollar that I wouldn't starve. 581 S. 600 East, Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, 801-521-8917, DesertEdgeBrewery.com

How intern Sam Florence goes on a coffee run:
Hog House Pizza at The Hog Wallow Pub

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, The Hog Wallow Pub is a perfect spot to relax with a beer and some pizza and unwind after a hard day's work or play. I myself go for the signature Hog House pizza—featuring mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, sausage, peppers and olives, cooked to perfection. Go ahead, try it: It'll have you wondering if you're at an old-fashioned pizza joint in downtown Manhattan instead of a bar. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-733-5567, TheHogWallow.com

Old-Fashioned at A Bar Named Sue
With so many colorful, wildly named, improbable cocktails to choose from, flipping through drink menus these days can be as disorienting as cruising around an IKEA. So it's reassuring to be able to default to such staples as the Old-Fashioned. A Bar Named Sue whips up its tasty rendition of this classic at both locations, using Buffalo Trace bourbon, an orange wedge, a cherry, bitters, sugar and soda. It's a simple, fuss-free creation for those who savor the simple things. 8136 S. State & 3928 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-274-5578, ABarNamedSue.net

How A&E editor Scott Renshaw gets his groove back:
Bacon Stinky Cheeseburger at Lucky 13

If I'm bellying up to a bar, I want a plate of food in front of me that says, "You will not walk out of here with any portion of your stomach unoccupied." All of Lucky 13's burger options are phenomenal—and more than a bit intimidating—but my hearty meal of choice is the Bacon Stinky Cheeseburger. It would be a crime not to partake of something featuring Lucky 13's special house-smoked bacon, and that smoky, salty goodness gets a perfect complement in the tangy, melted blue cheese. The toppings and the juicy burger itself make it a feat of engineering, and a challenge to get every bite into your mouth. But there's plenty of incentive to wrestle with this delicious beast, since it's hard to imagine leaving a morsel of it on that plate. That there is some pure carnivorous satisfaction. 135 W. 1300 South, 801-487-4418, Lucky13SLC.com

Chasing Tail Golden Ale at Squatters
As a simple man with simple tastes, my bar choice is almost always something with hops and a head on it. Since my years covering theater have often found me at the Rose Wagner Center on 300 South, I've often grabbed a pre-show bite at Squatters. And few things on their wonderful menu don't pair well with my favorite house brew, the Chasing Tail Golden Ale. It's smooth but distinctive, and I'm not above admitting that I just love its glorious color in a tall glass. If not for the need to keep a clear head for professionalism's sake, it would be hard to stop at one. 147 W. 300 South, 801-363-2739, Squatters.com

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How senior staff writer Stephen Dark maintains his edge:
Flank Steak & Portobello sandwich at Fiddler's Elbow

A mix of roadhouse and sports bar with a sophisticated yet down-home flavor to its menu, Fiddler's Elbow is the place I go for a flank steak & Portobello sandwich when I'm yearning for a little home-style cooking but can't face cleaning the grill. Flank steak, while delicious, is often a chewy cut. But Fiddler's Elbow renders it a perfect pairing with the earthy richness of Portobello topped with horseradish mayo, making it a sandwich for the ages. 1063 E. 2100 South, 801-463-9393, FiddlersElbowSLC.com

Negroni at Whiskey Street
With its gorgeously long bar and equally long list of drinks, Whiskey Street enshrines like few others the pleasures of imbibing classic cocktails. The Negroni, a delectable mix of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, topped with an orange slice, washes away the working day and, in the deepening shadows of the evening, leaves me with a mellow bonhomie that certainly deserves a second round. 323 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-433-1371, WhiskeyStreet.com

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How digital editor Bill Frost hits the "reset" switch:
Three Little Pigs at the
Green Pig Pub
Whenever I'm ordering food at a bar, I usually ask myself, "What can I do to properly piss off PETA today?" One of the the most effective offenders in downtown Salt Lake City is actually listed as an appetizer at the Green Pig Pub, a porktastic trio called the Three Little Pigs: Three sliders loaded with barbecue pork, grilled ham and maple bacon. They're good alone or as a warm-up for the Cuban pork sandwich, one of my other favorite Green Pig menu items. Yes, my heart is fine—why do you ask? 31 E. 400 South, 801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com

S'mores-tini at Campfire Lounge
It's almost a crime that a s'mores-flavored vodka even exists, but the Campfire Lounge puts the Three Olives concoction to good use in their S'mores-tini by adding crème de cacao, toasted marshmallows and graham crackers, crafting a ridiculous sugar-bomb of a cocktail that would be highly impractical for actual camping. If ever there were a drink designed for an Instagram closeup, it's this sweet thang. 837 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-3325, CampfireLounge.com

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How managing editor Brandon Burt keeps His cool:
Blackberry-Basil Cocktail at Gracie's

Normally, I'm not one for these fancy, superfood-infused fruity drinks—the classic gin martini is more my style—but I was into that whole mojito thing back in the day, and I always trust the advice of Gracie's bartenders. So when they told me I had to try the blackberry-basil cocktail, I complied without question. Tangy and slightly astringent, the vodka, ginger ale and bitters combine perfectly with lemon juice, fresh blackberries and muddled basil to achieve that refreshing alchemical balance all good cocktails have. Plus, I'm pretty sure it counts as a healthy serving of fruit. 326 S. West Temple, 801-819-7565, GraciesSLC.com

Buffalo Wings & Sweet-Potato Fries at The Bayou
It was years before I would touch a sweet potato. Unpleasant childhood memories of goopy, marshmallow-encrusted "yams" at family Thanksgiving feasts nearly scarred me for life. Fortunately, I was able to overcome my tuber trauma with the help of the fine therapists at The Bayou. Their sweet-potato fries opened up new vistas for me; now I eat them with alacrity and am a better person for it. With a half & half order of Buffalo and Cajun-dusted wings, they are transformed into a meal that restores my faith in humanity. 645 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-961-8400, UtahBayou.com

How editor Jerre Wroble avoids the raised pitchforks:
Bahama Mama at Lumpy's Sports Bar & Grill

I like a not-too-boisterous hideaway where a private conversation can be savored, and I don't have to shout. I like friendly bartenders and cordial wait staff, and reasonably priced drinks. That's why Lumpy's on Highland works on so many levels. Check it out some weekend morning with an order of eggs sunny-side up, or biscuits & gravy. Sure, the cool kids will ask for a bloody mary—but why be so predictable when you can unleash your inner pirate and order a Bahama Mama? Made with Bacardi and coconut rums, orange juice, pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine, this explosion of color insists that we not take life too seriously. While one Bahama Mama may not necessarily beget another, just one puts the wind in my sails and an "Arrr!" in my throat for the rest of the day. 3000 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-484-5597; 145 Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-883-8714, LumpysBar.com

Chi-Town Pizza at The Canyon Inn
There is no shortage of good pizza in this city, but pizza's not always a sure thing when you're at a bar. I tend to worry that a microwaved Tombstone pizza will be coming my way. That's why I am always pleasantly surprised—make that, bowled over—with the Chicago-style thin-crust pizza at The Canyon Inn. From the meaty Chi-Town to the lip-smacking artichoke-chicken pies, the Canyon Inn uses housemade pizza dough and sauces to make my comfort carbs here the stuff of legend. 3700 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-943-6969, TheCanyonInnBar.com

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