Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pig in a Jelly Jar: how is that for a restaurant name?

For a Divine Foodies event back in October, I was working the grill with the fabulous Penny. We were of course discussing food and she told me that Pig in a Jelly Jar is fabulous. I replied, "what?" I wasn't sure if she was referring to a store, a restaurant or some crazy condiment. She clarified that it's a restaurant and a delicious one at that. If you know Penny, that is the only encouragement you need to try a new place-just a simple recommendation from her.

In many of my restaurant reviews, I have mentioned about a good friend with whom I go to lunch often. He is often suspicious of my motives as my adventurous nature for food is far greater than his. I really fooled him with Cafe Old Bridge and wasn't sure what he would think of the name Pig in Jelly Jar. Thankfully he was busy at the time I sent the information so he had no time to question it. Once we arrived, his apprehension was evident. My excitement was just exploding however.

This place has the look & feel of a joint that calls to you from afar and draws you in quickly. Often I plan vacations based on based on locales where I want to explore the food. Whether I am in Montreal, Boston's North End, Downtown Charleston or San Diego's Gaslamp District, I choose eateries based on the look & feel, often without looking at the menu. Go with your hunch and you will likely never be disappointed.

Pig in a Jelly Jar is the quintessential neighborhood cafe. In their own words, they serve "a fresh, from scratch menu with a unique twist on comfort food." They serve breakfast & lunch daily from 7:30am-3:30pm and Suppers on Sunday from 5:00-8:30pm. The menu isn't littered with choices but when it's fresh and made from scratch, less is more. When you read the description of each item, your anxiety increases due to the fact that you can't have it all in one sitting. You start zealously checking your calendar to see how often you can come back.

I have eaten at Pig in a Jelly Jar twice and for the first visit I choose Chicken & Waffles. Having traveled through South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and most recently, Louisiana, I have never tried chicken & waffles. It seemed odd so I waited. As life often teaches us, it's when we get out of our comfort zone that we find what we truly love. I'm not sure if I would love chicken & waffles everywhere but you can't help but love them here. The chicken is incredibly moist and fried in a batter with house seasoning. The waffle is fluffy inside, crisp on the outside and must be cooked with some Chef secrets. I also have to give a shout-out to their maple syrup. Not sure if it's loaded with sugar, caffeine, both or neither but you cold drink this stuff; which is what I did with the leftover syrup.

On a return visit two weeks later, I brought my family with me. Now it was time to try one of their famous Three-Egg Frittatas. They have six frittata options and I went for The Kitchen Sink: Sausage, Bacon, Tomato, Onion, Peppers, Mushroom, Spinach and Provolone. They are all served with cottage fries and a side of their bloody mary salsa. The flavor was incredible. It's pretty apparent that all the ingredients are fresh because they pack a flavor punch that is unrivaled. Even the potatoes which are traditionally bland, had a wonderful crisp and perfect flavor. Hats off to the bloody mary salsa. I was spooning this into my mouth after I finished my frittata.

My wife ordered the Chicken Apricot Rosemary Sausage Grinder with Brie, Caramelized Onions and Lemon Aioli. It was unique and flavorful. I really liked it. She fell in love with the Lemon Aioli.

Pig in a Jelly Jar is a place that you dream about. Then you wake up and rearrange your schedule to have lunch there. After eating here, you can conquer the world. I look forward to eating their other frittatas, pig specialties, sandwiches, grinders, soups and salads.

401 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111

Happy Eating

Pig & a Jelly Jar on Urbanspoon

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