Dining out: Porch

porch sign
Porch in Daybreak, Utah

To the best of my knowledge, Porch might be the farthest South and West you can go in the SL valley – and still get a decent mixed drink. After that, well, you might as well just channel your inner Hunter S. and keep motoring to Vegas.

Porch is the brainchild of Jen Gilroy, chef and owner of both this new Daybreak SoDa row eatery, and the much-loved Meditrina in Salt Lake City. Now that you know that, it should be obvious there’s more than just a decent cocktail here – the food served at Porch is a substantial notch above any local competitor. And then some.

Inspired by Gilroy’s years living in Nashville, TN, chef de cuisine Josh McNeely and team do a stellar job of executing on Gilroy’s vision for a Southern comfort food menu. The approach is subtle and cautious mind you, avant garde restaurants still struggle in SLC, let alone the burbs. The nods to the South are approachable and accessible to everyone.

Thick and meaty fried green tomatoes come with mustard dipping sauce and won’t scare off the locals. A fabulously-moist pork tenderloin comes with a side of Hoppin’ John (gussied up rice and black-eyed peas) that might might furl an eyebrow on the menu, but not on the plate itself. Then there’s plenty of other comfort food standbys too: burgers, meatloaf and roast chicken; an ultra creamy mac and cheese with Nelson Ricks cheddar and Drake farms chèvre had several of our group almost fainting, hand to forehead uttering ‘I do declare’.

Mirroring the food, the decor is upscale and modern with plenty of natural light, wood and be still my beating heart – actual regular plates and glasses fit for humans; honestly, every time I’m served food on a piece of heirloom, artisan slate, I die a little bit inside. Service too is charming and welcoming with not a drop of pretension.

And those drinks? Cocktails run a very reasonable $7-$10 and feature all the same fancy pants ingredients like you’ll find in downtown SLC with twirling hipster mustaches. There’s a shrub here, a bitters there and wait, a house made ginger beer over there. A classy and creative independently owned restaurant in the SW of the valley? I’ll drink to that!

Porch restaurant interior
Porch restaurant interior
porch cocktail menu
Porch: cocktail menu
Hemingway cocktail at porch
Porch: Hemingway cocktail

$8 – Light rum, Luxardo, grapefruit, lime

bruleed pimiento cheese at porch
Porch: Bruleed Pimiento Cheese Drake

$7 – Farms chevre, candied bacon, grilled bread

fried green tomatoes at porch
Porch: Fried green tomatoes

$8 – Creole mustard sauce

pickled vegetables at porch
Porch: Pickle Jar

$4 – House-pickled vegetable and fruit medley

meatloaf at porch
Porch: Meatloaf

$16 – Natural ground beef and pork, duck fat, buttermilk whipped potatoes, charred green beans, tomato confit, carrot chips

trout at porch
Porch: Grilled Utah Trout

$22 – Smoked sea salt, poached egg, wilted greens, pecan relish, caramelized onion cheddar grits

pork at porch
Porch: Grilled Heritage Pork Tenderloin

$24 – Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas, rice, mirepoix, pea gravy), bruised arugula, rhubarb chutney), bruised arugula, rhubarb chutney

pudding at porch
Porch: Pudding
lemon cream cake at porch
Porch: Lemon cream cake

11274 Kestrel Rise Road, Building C, Suite G, South Jordan, Utah 84095
(801) 679-1066

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of this restaurant who comped my meal.

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