When I first moved to Salt Lake I heard about Ruth’s. I heard countless tidbits about the location and how amazingly beautiful it is there, without ever hearing anything about the food. Now, I have a feeling that most Salt Lakers would say that they like Ruth’s and after visiting I feel that most people indeed venture up the canyon for the ambiance and for the patio. The atmosphere is unbelievable, and yes, perhaps, worthwhile to venture up the canyon if you need an excuse to dine out at a location that isn’t outrageously expense. Still, given my experience, I have hopes that Ruth’s can nail breakfast, because this is the kind of joint that should pull that off without any disappointments.
My guest ordered the pot roast and mashed potatoes, which were covered with gravy, but not too much gravy. In fact, he would have liked a little bit more. Still, the dish was presented simply without any flair or garnish. If dishing up a healthy dollop of mashed potatoes though, why not dress them up a bit with grated cheese or bacon? In fact, why not offer some funeral potatoes as a side instead of what was presented? My guest sums up his experience by stating, “I would say most family style restaurants could make this dish. It is not unique. It is traditional. Comfort food. That’s why I wanted it. Because I was stressed out at the time! And it did make me feel better.” Finally, with the amount of food that was served he didn’t feel like he was getting shortchanged.
I concur: I didn’t feel shortchanged with the amount of food that I received. In fact, I was overloaded with food. Because I couldn’t decide what to order, our server suggested starting with a kid’s order of mac-n-cheese. It was decent, nothing abnormal or questionable about this dish. I probably wouldn’t crave it, as it was not the creamiest or richest version I ever had, but it was a respectful dish.
I had to make a tough decision between a salad and soup. Since my guest went in for the salad I was happy to taste the vegetarian chili; after all it is autumn and this is theoretically the perfect food for the season. In short it reminded me of so many canned homemade chilies that I have received over the years that included a thick sauce and white button mushrooms. I can’t say I expected more than what this dish offered, but I ask you to recall that I am indeed a snob … and my feeling is that I would rather head to Harmon’s and pick up some canned good instead of going out for a cup of this.
And then there was the raspberry chicken. I am confident to say that I am an adventurous eater and like to think that I give most kitchen staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their own menu creation, but I can’t say I was a fan of the raspberry and chicken combination. I didn’t like the sauce. I didn’t like the flavor. I didn’t really like the dish.
Our server did a good job of being attentive without being overwhelming. The food came out of the kitchen quickly. I just wish that I would have ordered a burger with a root beer float. Drats. My guest looks forward to returning, but hopes that the benches at the booths wouldn’t feel off balanced. As for me, there is a saying that hindsight is 20/20, but if I find myself up at Ruth’s Diner I hope to be pedaling by it or ordering breakfast.