Sugarhouse Barbeque restaurant review

Evening restaurant review

Overall 78/100
Food 80/100
Service 80/100
Ambience 75/100

Taking guests from out of town out to dinner can be fraught with danger. Where exactly do you go? The onus is on you, as the local expert, to provide the options. Naturally, you want somewhere dependable; when recommending a dish to a guest you need maximum trust in the kitchen. The list of mandates can grow inexorably, the restaurant needs to be something everyone will like, maybe somewhere in everyone’s price range, what about something locally defining? It can be a complex business.

Right now, we have friends over from England. Faced with the aforementioned puzzlers late last week, Sugarhouse Barbeque sprung to mind. What better way to introduce visitors from overseas to good ol’ BBQ food? An American classic which isn’t a burger and fries.

Sugarhouse Barbeque is a veteran Salt Lake restaurant, opening in 1996. Over the years, the name has changed and the restaurant has grown in size. What remains consistent, in my opinion, is the food. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no BBQ expert. I’m not even American; I wasn’t born with that innate sense for BBQ. But, I figure I’ve eaten my way through enough BBQ over the past several years to give the nod to decent or poor.

The menu at Sugarhouse Barbeque effectively comes down to plates of meat or a selection of sandwiches based on the same. Should you go for a plate, you also get two sides, sandwiches come with just the one. Sides include BBQ beans, chips, steamed veg, roasted spuds, mashed spuds, cucumber salad and cornbread stuffing.

On our recent trip, we sampled quite a selection of the menu. I opted for the Sugarhouse Smoked Platter ($11.99) with BBQ beans and potato salad. The platter offers a choice of slow-smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, or turkey. You can also order half & half, which, during this visit, is exactly what I did. I chose the brisket and turkey:

sugarhouse barbeque turkey and brisket

Wendi chose a little differently, making an ad-hoc salad of sorts. A Friday night special is the Jerk Chicken Sandwich ($6.99), which she ejected the bun from and added a green salad ($2.00):

Sugarhouse Barbeque jerk chicken salad

I had to steal some of the jerk chicken for myself as well. Sweet and spicy it’s a nice change from the smoky meats I normally devour at Sugarhouse Barbeque. It’s a shame it is only available on certain nights; not to mention be sure to get in early as it tends to run out quickly.

My brother went for the Chicken & Ribs (noted on the menu as the “All-Time Favorite”). 1/3 rack baby back ribs, 1/4 Dixie chicken, beans and mash ($12.49):

sugarhouse barbeque chicken and ribs

Finally, our other guest went with a simple 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, beans and mash ($13.49):

sugarhouse barbeque baby back ribs

Each main entree comes with a side of corn bread. In addition, Sugarhouse Barbeque’s four signature sauces are placed on the table. These include a hot sauce, mustard sauce, vinegary sauce and a standard bbq sauce. In particular we love the hot sauce, going as far as to even buy some for our own home use in the past ($5.00).

As the food arrived, silence descended over the table as we all dug in. Appreciative mumbles from the table all around, the food as ever was spot on. Which is precisely why I find Sugarhouse Barbeque a no brainer when entertaining guests. There is something to be said for this level of dependability. The menu is broad enough to appeal to most everyone except vegetarians. The food is filling, tasty and the prices should suit just about anyone.

The restaurant is a simple and unpretentious space, the star here is the flavorsome food. The atmosphere can be lively on Friday and Saturdays but that’s no bad thing. Indeed the relaxed nature of the restaurant is yet another boon when entertaining. Add to that the always cheerful service and I don’t recall a time I haven’t left Sugarhouse Barbeque smiling and content.

Also worthy of note are their take-out and catering options, both of which I have used previously and can also happily endorse. Next time your in need of a quick fix of smoked meats, I’d heartily recommend Sugarhouse Barbeque.

Sugarhouse Barbeque is located at 2207 S 700 E, Salt Lake City, UT

About Stuart Melling

My high school English teacher once told me I was the most arrogant young man she had ever met. Food criticism seemed like a natural leap. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn't understand. Stuart is also a member of the Association of Food Journalists.

Comments

  1. Jason says

    Stu, You should give Pats BBQ a try. I recomend the Friday lunch special; Burnt ends with blues music you can’t go wrong!

  2. rooney says

    I had lunch today at Sugarhouse BBQ havent been there in years. Very nice staff but my pulled pork sandwich was almost inedible. I have never had such dry, completely flavorless meat. It was rescued by their bbque sauce, but I was truly shocked at how bad it was. Di had the ribs which were passable, if a bit greasy. Maybe they don’t smoke their meat until it’s not winter here in SLC….that could be forever.

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