155 W Commonwealth Avenue (2125 South)
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
It took me 6 posts to get around to my all-time favorite food, barbecue!!! Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had a love affair with anything barbecue related. It began with just an infatuation with barbecue sauce. I would put BBQ sauce on my cheeseburger, and then later I would learn about BBQ ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and turkey breasts. When I moved to Utah I learned that you could combine mayonnaise with hickory BBQ sauce and you could dip your cheese fries in it. (Thank you Training Table). BBQ sauce makes pretty much everything better. It has taken me 6 posts to write this, not because BBQ wouldn’t normally be on the top of my list, but because I have had some great BBQ in Utah during the past 15 years. There have been a number of places that I considered. Sugarhouse BBQ, Q4U, Joe Morelys, and even area newcomer Dickey’s BBQ from Texas and their Texas chopped BBQ brisket. However, I feel that when you start a conversation about BBQ in Salt Lake City, you always have to start with one place, and that place is Pat’s BBQ in South Salt Lake City.
If Pat’s BBQ wasn’t absolutely amazing food, then it probably would be out of business long ago based on its somewhat hidden location. Pat’s is just East of the Best Buy on the corner of 2100 South and 300 West, but you can’t get there from the Best Buy parking lot. You basically have to turn South off 21oo South and onto West Temple. When you see the sea of parked cars you know you are close, Pat’s is your first right.
If you remember last week I did a post on the Robin’s Nest, which has just amazing sandwiches. Robin’s Nest is downtown SLC and your average customer is the white-collar 20-50 year old male or female that goes there during the lunch break rush. I wouldn’t say that is necessarily true about Pat’s BBQ. You will find a lunch rush of a different demographic. Last Friday I was in the “Live Music” room of Pat’s listening to blue’s guitarist Roby Kapp play the Bill Wither’s classic “Ain’t no Sunshine when she goes away”. Looking around the room I saw a perfect assortment of what you can call the classic Pat’s mix, and believe me, the crowd just adds to the ambiance of this BBQ Palace. I saw guys who looked like they knew how to really work a wrench. Guys who had chest and back hair. Guys who you really don’t want to mess with. Guys who don’t have time to waste their lunch time with weenie lunch establishments. Guys who have gone through a thing or two and amongst all their life experiences, on a Friday afternoon have found the Mecca of the BBQ world in Utah. Pat’s BBQ is nestled in an industrial street where you wouldn’t even think to find a restaurant, but believe me. Pat’s is the King of BBQ. I’m willing to say even if you are reading this blog right now, you have probably been to Pat’s. If you have not been there, then you must surrender your Man card immediately.
The Pat’s BBQ restaurant is just the perfect setting for a BBQ meal. The lighting inside the building is just perfect. The music is just perfect. All the tables have picnic bench seating, with a roll of paper towels. You just get the feeling before you even sit down that you are about to eat something incredibly delicious. In fact as you come to the end of the long entrance hall to the hostess stand, there is a big giant picture of Johnny Cash giving you the middle finger. Can you think of anything more awesome? My hero Guy Fieri even has a “shrine” from his hit TV show “Diner’s Drivins and Dives”. If it were a religion then you could light a candle and recite a prayer before it. Of all the restaurants that I have reviewed or will review on this blog, I don’t think anything could ever equal this masterpiece of a BBQ haven.
Friday’s I’m in Love
Great song written by The Cure, but I’m not talking about music here. The first thing you need to know about Pat’s BBQ is that on Friday, everyone heads to Pat’s BBQ to get their Friday special The Burnt Ends. I’ve talked to a number of people who have been to Pat’s but could never quite make it early enough in the day on Friday before the burnt ends run out (They have a limited amount). That’s how amazing they are. Last Friday I arrived at 11:15 and there were only 4 people in front of me. I got my burnt end fix. Buy the time I left the restaurant I walked by, counting at least 30 people in line waiting to be seated. That THIRTY!! One thing the waiters have been doing recently is offering a split special plate of half rib tips and half burnt ends so that their burnt end stock doesn’t deplete quite as quickly. Rib tips are awesome so I see it as a win-win.
Now on to the sides. Every good BBQ place has to come with awesome side dishes to complement your meat. The great thing about the side dishes is that if you ask 8 different people what their favorite side is, you may get 8 different responses. A common favorite is the red beans and rice, but my personal favorite is Pat’s macaroni and cheese, which may or may not be on the menu. I work with an ex-cop from Louisiana and his favorite is the meaty gravy and rice. But don’t worry, Pat’s will hook you up with some in-your-face BBQ baked beans as well.
Now when partaking of your food Pat’s offers 3 different sauces. The yellow bottle is the house BBQ sauce, the red bottle is the hot BBQ sauce, and the white bottle is the mustard BBQ sauce. All sauces are spectacular. You will notice above that each meal comes with a 3 section plate. Remind me to send Toby Keith a letter, because just like it’s cousin Red Solo Cup, the 3-section plate is its own species and must be used properly. Myself I like to keep my cornbread in it’s own section, and of course the big section is dedicated to the meat. But I leave one section completely open for my 3 sauces. Be sure to get a nice pool of sauce in with to dunk your burnt ends in, you won’t be disappointed.
There you have it FoodRadar followers! Pat’s BBQ is more than just great BBQ, it’s more than just a great atmosphere, it is an experience you must take part in if you have not. Also as a special tip, if you have a smart phone I highly suggest downloading the Groupon app. Every month or so Pat’s will put out a Groupon somewhere along the lines of $30 dollars in food for only $15 dollars. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Come with an empty stomach, and leave comatose but happy. Pat’s BBQ for the win!