Who among you Wasatch Front residents hasn’t driven along 700 East just North of I-80? If you have driven this route, you have passed a delicious place to eat. Sugarhouse BBQ is on the east side of the road around 2200 S. I live in Sugarhouse and drive by here almost daily. Having eaten here twice before, once in late 2007 and once in 2008, I wasn’t impressed. The portions were small, the prices were high, and the food wasn’t good. It seemed liked they were trying to recreate a southern BBQ establishment but corners were cut and quality missed along the way.
Lately, a good friend on mine has been recommending that we go there for lunch. As a stubborn person, I was not willing to let go of my previous disappointment. That was until yesterday when I drove by and saw two workers, pulling meat from the smoker. It was a quick look over (I am a safe driver) and I saw what looked like chicken & ribs; large portions. The sight alone was delicious. It helped that it was late afternoon and I was hungry.
Today I was meeting my friend for lunch. He left it up to me where we should eat. I said with little hesitation, “Let’s go to Sugarhouse BBQ.” I arrived at 11:40am and large groups of people were already in line. That’s the first sign of a good restaurant. The menu looked great. My friend mentioned that the menu was new and they had changed some items. The Dixie Chicken looked like quite a meal. The menu described it as “Marinated with our special spices, fruitwood smoked, served golden brown, sweet and juicy.” You could get either a 1/4 or 1/2 bird. It was delicious, very moist with a crispy exterior. Now only if they had a whole chicken option.
One of the best parts of the meal was the sauce. After we ordered, they asked if we knew about their different sauces. There are four: a traditional style BBQ sauce; two vinegar based sauces; one spicy and one mild; and a mustard based sauce. Immediately I reached for the mustard based sauce. It is just like they have in South Carolina: delicious with the right about of tang.
For my two sides I ordered the potato salad and BBQ beans. The potato salad was chunky and filling, but dry. I love food that is swimming in sauce. The beans on the other hand were HEAVEN. I loved them and wished I could have taken a bucket home with me. They were sweet, savory, and spiced like gumbo or jambalaya; very southern. In an attempt to reverse engineer the beans, I asked the gentleman taking our food trays (after telling him how much I loved the beans), how they made them. He said that they saute onions, celery and garlic, add white and pinto beans, add pulled pork and some of the meat juices. Then they add some “other ingredients” and simmer for a while. I got the hint. The “other ingredients” were letting me know that this was their secret. I would hold it close also to keep the customers coming back. This is exactly what I will do, come back soon. You do the same. You will not be disappointed.