TA Away Game Travel Guide to Salt Lake City

17 Oct 2011 11:54 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Andrew Brawley

I been to SLC quite a few times, but my more recent visits have been in the form of layovers. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the city proper. Since I have a ticket to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway next month, I can’t imagine a better time to prepare for that than with a visit to SLC this week (yes, I’m actually going on this trip. It’s my second away match this season, after the epic Seattle jaunt in May).

Since it’s been a while for me, I sought help for this entry. Turns out we have quite a few SLC ex-pats amongst our flock. One of them even recently played for the Timbers (shoutout to Ian Joy). The honor for this particular entry fell onto the very capable shoulders of 107ist board member Garrett Dittfurth, who is lucky he sent this info to me BEFORE he started bombarding my Twitter feed with sacred images of Tim Tebow and terrible Toby Keith music videos. (Garrett’s a habitual acceptable/offensive joke line-stepper.)

(One final note: this is the last entry of the away game travel guide series for 2011. I managed to post for all but the first three cities, and that’s because this idea didn’t pop into my head until after those first three away games. Thanks to all who contributed to these entries and helped with even more tips via the comments section. Extra thanks to those who appreciated the Seattle guide for what it truly was…a joke that went over way more heads than I anticipated. If you want to help with the 2012 series, you know where to find me.)

Alright, it’s go time. Here's Garrett!

Oh Salt Lake...it feels like just yesterday I was there last.

Salt Lake's public transportation system, UTA, is just as good as TriMet so getting around downtown is easy. Rio Tinto Stadium is located just off the TRAX line in Sandy. Other than Rio Tinto Stadium there is nothing of value in Sandy unless you love strip malls and big box stores so make sure you get a hotel downtown.

As far as things to do I'm not going to lie…it's a little straightforward. Heavy Metal Shop is basically a nationally recognized institution and it's awesome that it's located in a place like SLC. The Salt Lake Library is really something to behold even if you're not all that into libraries. Beyond that, the stuff to see is all pretty straightforward. If you've never been to Temple Square it's worth the trip just to get a look at the architecture (religious mumbo jumbo aside). There are plenty of museums around there focusing on church/pioneer history, but since it's basically like the Vatican there are all kinds of weird religious things around. There's also Olympic Cauldron Park at the University of Utah where they rather spectacularly lit the Olympic Flame for the 2002 games. If anyone wants to rent a car and head up into the canyons I'd recommend going up to Park City where they hold the Sundance Film Festival. If you don't want to go to another town try Big Cottonwood Canyon. A scenic drive to the top will put you at Brighton ski resort and you can walk around Silver Lake. There may be snow on October 22nd but it's too early in the year for any lifts to be open.

Food: SLC isn't exactly known for its gastronomical excellence. That being said, there are some pretty Utah-ish places I'll be hitting up that I haven't had in a while. Crown Burgers is sort of the local better-than-fast-food chain that beats any chain we have in Portland. I think it beats In-N-Out as well, although it doesn't have the 1950s charm or secret menu. Just go simple and have the Crown Burger. Make sure to try the "Fry Sauce." You should be able to find or request Fry Sauce in almost every restaurant in Salt Lake City, but Crown Burgers nails the recipe. Past that nothing would really stand out other than The Pie, which I've been craving since I left. It's the best pizza in Utah and ranked as one of the top 10 pizzerias in the country. If you decide on that, avoid the ones in strip malls and hit up the original location in a basement where you'll find 30 years worth of college kids writing their names all over the walls.

Drink: the bar scene is a little different in Salt Lake. They've recently got rid of needing a private membership to get in so you can go in and out of any bar you want. You won't find a Kelly's Olympian in SLC but there are plenty of good places to hang out and get a beer. As I used to spend a lot of time at Port O' Call I would recommend all of the places in this article. I haven't been to any of them but I know most of the owners and can't imagine they'd screw it up. (This is a lie…my friend owns Gracie's and I will be there most of the time. I just don’t want a lot of people to know about it.)

Everyone may think beer sucks in Utah but that's not the case. Not even a little bit. Squatters has been around for a long time and they're a great standard brewpub. Red Rock Brewing is also a downtown staple. Oh yeah, this is Utah, so they brew Root Beer too. It's the best Root Beer I've ever had. I'm not lying. My personal favorite is Uinta Brewing. I'm going to guzzle Cutthroat Pale Ale the entire time I'm in Salt Lake. I'm sure everyone is aware of Utah's most infamously named beer. Sadly the brewery, while excellent, is located in Park City. If you do head up there definitely check out Wasatch Brewing.

Comments

  • 03 Jul 2016 1:33 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ed Hurtley says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Crown Burgers better than Burgerville?!?! BLASPHEMY! Your Portlandia card is revoked, sir.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:33 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ed Hurtley says:
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Alright, I was taken to Crown Burgers. They’re good, possibly an equal to Burgerville, but they’re also a different class.

    Burgerville still falls in the “fast food” category.
    Crown Burgers falls in the “casual dining” category. More like Humdinger than Burgerville.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Paul says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

    If you’re heading up to Park City, make sure you get a bite to eat elsewhere before going to Wasatch at the top of Main St. It’s always horrendously busy in the evenings in the eating section. I’d suggest Burgie’s if you want a good Burger on Main, or Main St. Pizza and Noodle which is also on main. They have a wonderful pizza which is aptly named the Cholesterol Hiker.

    Another interesting place to visit in SLC in the The Gateway Mall which is not far from downtown. It has your more common eateries like Applebee’s and California Pizza Kitchen, you could catch a movie at The Megaplex 12, and has 2002 Olympics things to see as well. It’s also the home to Clark Planitarium and IMax theater.

    If you’re bringing the family along you could check out The Mayan restaurant in Sandy which is kind of a quirky mexican restaurant with a mayan theme that children really enjoy with live performances from cliff divers and puppet shows. If it’s just for food though, give it as pass as it’s just so-so as far as mexican food goes.
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  • 03 Jul 2016 1:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Casa Bonita!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Garrett Dittfurth says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Red Iguana is really the only good place to grab Mexican food in SLC. And yes Crown Burgers bests In-N-Out. I was really surprised when I had In-N-Out earlier this year for the first time with how plain it was. I didn’t know one could have their Portlandia card revoked for not thinking a California chain was the best thing in the world.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Mark says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    BURGERVILLE is an Oregon chain, and MUCH better than In-N-Out (which I also think is plain as well as highly overrated).
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    In-N-Out is superior in its quality and simplicity. Burgerville is great, but too expensive. Can’t speak for Crown Burger, but I plan to educate myself this weekend.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Garrett Dittfurth says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Andrew is right. In-N-Out is better than Burgerville. Crown Burger is better than both of them.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    sunday white says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Si~ casa bonita!

    re: burgers… all u peeps need to head out to helvatia tavern for a regular double add grilled onion and bacon with onion rings/fries and “the goop”

    #occupySLCaway!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lucas Lacasella says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    You Win!

    Helvatia Tavern > Burgerville, any day.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ryan says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Yes.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Mark Warner says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Sorry kids, but local or not, Burgerville can’t carry In-N-Out’s fry sack. Or Five Guys for that matter.

    /realtalk
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lucas says:
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    What about fry bread (Utah scones)? Taco trucks? Roadside fruit? In Florida we had people on the road selling boiled peanuts. Is there anything like that in SLC or on the way in?
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Chris Taylor says:
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Hello! Long time Timbers fan and current Utah Resident (Boo!). Does anyone know what section the visitor section is at Rio tinto? I’d like to meet up with as many of the Green White Army as I can. Also any organized meet-ups prior to the game?
    Let me know!
    -BigCT
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Chris, all those details can be found here:
    http://timbersarmy.org/ta-tickets/away-tickets-travel/real-salt-lake
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03 Jul 2016 1:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Chris Taylor says:
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks! Bought tickets for me and the boy. Now to try and get out of the family get together on Friday…
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