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!
$8 – Light rum, Luxardo, grapefruit, lime
$7 – Farms chevre, candied bacon, grilled bread
$8 – Creole mustard sauce
$4 – House-pickled vegetable and fruit medley
$16 – Natural ground beef and pork, duck fat, buttermilk whipped potatoes, charred green beans, tomato confit, carrot chips
$22 – Smoked sea salt, poached egg, wilted greens, pecan relish, caramelized onion cheddar grits
$24 – Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas, rice, mirepoix, pea gravy), bruised arugula, rhubarb chutney), bruised arugula, rhubarb chutney
11274 Kestrel Rise Road, Building C, Suite G, South Jordan, Utah 84095
Disclosure: I was an invited guest of this restaurant who comped my meal.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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