Ruth’s Diner has been doing business in the Salt Lake area for over 80 years, and it is an experience in itself. A long time ago, and in a galaxy far, far away, the owner Ruth had to move her restaurant up Emigration Canyon from downtown Salt Lake and that is where it has been since 1949. You really get a sense of this history from just looking at the menu. The cover as shown below has Ruth smoking a cigarette. The menu says one of the few concessions she made in her life was “when she turned 80, she switched from Lucky Strikes to a filtered cigarette”. Ruth was a “spirited woman whose language could make a gangster blush”. She passed away in 1989 at the age of 94, but her diner still has some of the best outdoor seating in the state, and its a beautiful drive up the canyon for some tasty food. Ruth sounds like she lived a pretty full live, I wish I could of met her, but I’ll be content with just the diner she left for all to enjoy.
Ruth’s has the look and feel you would expect from a place with so much history. They have managed to maintain the old vintage feel of the place, without it actually being old and outdated. Take for example the picture above, the awesome jukebox, and the shape of the entrance to the diner. While eating inside this historic place is awesome, you might want to really consider trying to sit outdoors, because they have some of the best patio seating in the back I’ve ever seen.
I tried to be as clever and sly as possible when taking this picture, so people wouldn’t be creeped out by the dude taking pictures. This is only a small section of the back patio, but you can see it is well shaded, and has a nice brick wall running around the edges. The place was packed on a Saturday morning, bustling with activity. With all the commotion though, since it was outdoors, it didn’t feel noisy to me, just lots of fresh canyon air and sunshine. I couldn’t have picked a nicer day to come to Ruth’s.
Check out how fluffy these biscuits are? It is like they took the Downy bear, and chopped him up into little bits. That’s how fluffy and full of flavor these things were. There were so many people outside, that it seemed like every minute or so I would see a waitress walking by with a white plate with some of these tasty biscuits. Each biscuit was like a snowflake, there was no one biscuit that looked the same. I know right now you are thinking the same thing I’m thinking. “I bet they have a pretty good tasting biscuits and gravy” The answer is yes. I didn’t order it this time, but I saw a few biscuits and gravy plates walk by, and I almost flew out of my seat and attacked.
I’m fluent in Spanish, and I don’t even know what the name of this dish means, nor have I heard of it. All I know after trying it is, “mas por favor” which means, “more please”. Migas consists of eggs, chorizo, onions, green peppers, cheddar cheese and corn tortillas all mixed together. The dish is served with a warm tortilla, sour cream, guacamole, rice, and beans. I loved the dish. I’ve always been a fan of Spanish style breakfast dishes. I think they offer so many more flavors than just your standard eggs, bacon, and toast dishes.
Ruth’s breakfast combo is straight up and tasty. The friend I was with said the hash browns were some of the best she has tasted. She’s not a big fan of onion, but the grilled onion mixed in with the potato gave it a great taste. Of course the french toast was delicious too.
Ruth’s just had a lot of good things about it. With all the positives of this place, the food, the physical location, the history, the great seating and vibe. The fact it is up emigration canyon and not thrown in some busy street corner make this place awesome, and a must visit.
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