I’m dedicating this post to my friend Jim that I work with. Jim recently moved here from Chicago, and as a food guy, I took it upon myself to take him to all the great places to eat in Salt Lake City. We hit up Moochies, we hit up Bruges Waffles, we hit up Cannella’s, we hit up Lone Star Taqueria, and we have yet to hit up many, many other fine places here. Just the other day I was thinking to myself. ”Self – I think today would be a good day for some Training Table cheese fries with their awesome homemade BBQ Fry Sauce.” I happen to be sitting next to Jim, and immediately began to wonder. ”Surely Jim knows about The Training Table, because after all, that is a Utah original” Not knowing about Training Table cheese fries is like not knowing about Cafe Rio sweet pork, or not knowing where Temple Square is, or not knowing about skiing. So I asked Jim if he had been to Training Table, as sure enough, he has NOT been to Training Table. I assure everyone here, this is a mistake that will not go uncorrected for long. So with that said, are there other immigrants out there to Utah that also might now know where to get the state’s best Cheese Fry and Fry sauce combo? Let’s take care of this right now shall we?
Training Table has an interesting ordering concept. You go in and sit down at a table, and each table comes equipped with a phone. When you are ready to order you just pick up the phone and order. Once your order is ready, they buzz your phone and you go down and pick up your food and pay at the counter. Pretty simple and straightforward. The decor is filled with a bunch of old sports murals and there are T.Vs in each corner tuned in to ESPN. Pretty cool right?
On this particular visit, I arrived a bit early for lunch and ordered a BBQ burger with a half order (yes the picture above is a half order) of cheese fries along with the dipping sauce. When I went to get my food, there was a young man there who had somewhat of a snicker on his face. He told me my cheese fries were just about ready. A few minutes later he appeared with this huge plate of cheese fries with a comment “You think you can handle this?” I just laughed to myself for a second. What an amateur! Of course I can handle this. The cheese fries is a huge plate of fried potato and cheese heaven. One cannot exist without the other. You cannot, and I stress CANNOT order the cheese fries without the famous dipping sauce. When it comes to the dipping sauce, you basically have a little white cauldron of BBQ sauce with a dollop of mayo in the middle. There are basically 3 schools of thought when it comes to how you handle your fry sauce:
Option 1 is you take a fork and mix it around until it is all blended, and then proceed to dip your fries.
Option 2 is you take a finger full of fries, and use the fries as a “stirrer” and you mix the sauce that way. The great thing about option 2 is you are not wasting precious fry sauce on your fork.
Option 3 is you forget about mixing it all together and just start plunging cheese coated fries into the sauce.
The approach I take is somewhere between 2 and 3. I like to get a little mix in the sauce cup, but I usually lose patience before the sauce is completely mixed. Those first 5 minutes of your cheese fries life are the most precious and best tasting. Leave your cheese fries unattended for too long, and the cheese will start to form a yellow blog on top of the fries, and it because more of a challenge to eat. Your best strategy when you get back to your table with your food is go immediately for the fries. Keep your eyes on the target, of if you are a Jedi like Luke Skywalker, turn off your targeting computer and just use your instincts.
(if you are thinking right now I take my cheese fries way too seriously, you would be correct.)
Now for those of you on diets. …. …. Don’t even think about coming here. I guarantee your arteries will harden big time with a plate of these fries. In fact just writing this post I think I gained a pound. The burgers here are decent. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t love them either. They are basically there to compliment your cheese fries. One thing Training Table does do quite well though is their bacon. If you have a choice, look for a burger that has bacon on top. Those are the best tasting burgers.
Desert-wise I love the root beer floats here. They are big and full of ice cream. Thinking back on it now, some of the best naps I have ever had have been naps following a burger, cheese fries, and root beer float combination. It will take every ounce of your body’s energy to digest everything.
Conclusion – Training Table – You can’t say you are from Utah officially until you learn to pronounce Weber and Tooele, and until you have had Training Table cheese fries!
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