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Strap Yourselves In 

Utah County's Strap Tank Brewery is a must for fans of cold brews and hot comfort food.

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ALEX SPRINGER
  • Alex Springer

During my many road trips to Southern Utah or California, Strap Tank Brewery (straptankbrewery.com) in Springville (596 S. 1750 West, 385-325-0262) quickly became one of the familiar landmarks that let me know where I was on my journey. With its unique red brickwork and central tower, it's a building that always catches your eye from the freeway. Based on my visit to the Lehi location (3661 N. Outlet Parkway, 385-352-8194), I should have taken some time to pull over and check out this lovable oddball of an eatery much earlier.

Strap Tank gets its name from a circa-1900s model of Harley-Davidson—which is on display at Legends Motorcycles across the street for any motorbike nerds in the area. Founder Rick Salisbury built the concept for Strap Tank around the open road culture shared by motorcycle enthusiasts, and it's a style that drips from every corner of the building. Vintage motorcycles and automobiles in various states of deconstruction adorn Strap Tank both inside and out, and al fresco murals of circus sideshow attractions liven up the interior brick walls. It's a place that wraps all the charms of roadside antique shops and bygone gas stations in a warm embrace without the tackiness one would expect from such unorthodox design choices.

Both locations offer multi-storied buildings which work in tandem with the bonkers Americana aesthetic to help visitors lose themselves in the experience. The Lehi location's proximity to the Traverse Mountain Outlet Mall keeps the place plenty busy during lunch and dinner hours; it's not uncommon to find a half-our wait time if you arrive during peak hours. If your party is small enough, the open seating at the bar tends to be the best bet (as long as you're cool with getting to know your neighbors).

Once you find your way to your seat, the menu offers a solid array of pub classics. Breweries that are also restaurants often fail to prioritize their menu, but that's not the case at Strap Tank. For example, the grilled pork chops ($16) are lovingly prepped with a light batter before hitting the grill and getting topped with an apple-and-beer chutney. These chops were tender, flavorful and a precise example of how good pork chops should be prepared. Bonus points go to the chutney, which complemented the savory protein with a crisp stroke of sweetness.

If Tex-Mex is your pub-food love language, you can't go wrong with the sour cream chicken enchiladas ($14) or the nachos ($9). The enchiladas are stuffed with shredded machaca chicken and topped with a jalapeño crème sauce and sour cream, all of which parties together for an herbaceous and spicy mix of flavors. The basic order comes topped with black beans, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, guacamole and queso sauce. It's a satisfying combo as is, but diners in need of some extra protein can add steak or chicken for $4 more.

For something shareable, the supreme pizza ($15) and the prime rib dip ($13) make for an ideal pub food combo. Pizza at Strap Tank leans on the thin-crust side of the spectrum, and offers plenty of cheesy goodness for two people to share. The prime rib dip elevates everything I love about French dips, as prime rib and creamy horseradish sauce combine with a soft baguette and a dark, rich au jus. I recommend these items as shareables, but I could also see a hungrier version of myself shotgunning a pizza or a prime rib dip on my own.

As far as liquid refreshment goes, Strap Tank has something for everyone. They serve up $3 pints every Tuesday, which is a good time to check out what they have on tap—though you can also get a good deal on tasters and beer flights every day. Strap Tank also serves house-made sodas by the bottle, which are ideal for visits that include youngsters or others after some nonalcoholic refreshment.

I happened to swing by for the Tuesday night special, and can heartily recommend the Sporster IPA as a complement to the nachos and enchiladas—the citrus notes work nicely with the cilantro, guac and jalapeño flavors of these Tex-Mex classics. I think my go-to brew for any subsequent Strap Tank visits will be the Flathead American Lager, though. This one was smooth, crisp and tasty with whatever eats happen to grace your table.

Strap Tank Brewery brings the whole package to your dining experience—its eclectic design, accessible but delicious gastropub menu and its array of craft brews turns the place into a Utah County destination. Since I'm someone who isn't the biggest fan of shopping, a trip to the Traverse Mountain Outlets is a bit sweeter when I know I can just zip down the hill and get some gastropub comfort.

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