Legendary Utah restaurant maybe set to make a comeback

In ‘I really didn’t see that coming news’ this week, The Training Table have apparently teased an impending return to the Utah food scene. Tuesday this week saw the company’s website updated with a mysterious “Tasty things coming soon…” message, an email signup form, and little more.

This naturally sent the local Internet into wild speculation and reminiscence mode. After all, since their departure from the dining scene in 2016, there has been a notable nostalgic hole left unfilled for many. There isn’t a month where I don’t spy an online thread along the lines of, “what restaurant do you miss the most”, where posters invariably namecheck Bill & Nada’s before moving onto The Training Table’s cheese fries and fry sauce.

Speaking of fry sauce, such was the love for the local chain, recipes have been appearing online for many years, with long time patrons trying to recapture some of the magic. Case in point, this Reddit thread for the makeup of that lamented fry sauce which (a former employee) reckons you need:

  • 1 gallon of open pit BBQ Sauce
  • 2 gallons of hertz ketchup
  • 4 table spoons of chile powder
  • 1/2 cup of garlic powder
  • Mix together until smooth consistency and heat up in the microwave and mix with mayo of choice.

For the uninitiated The Training Table was a Utah institution, a casual burger spot notable by their use of old school telephones at each table. Ready to place your order – simply pick up the hand set and call your order in to the kitchen. One wonders if a revamped TT would lean into modern tech like QR codes, apps or iPads. Or perhaps the kitsch of a rotary phone would be all the more impactful today. Just imagine the TikTok posts and confused millennials trying to operate the things.

For those wondering about the veracity of this one, another Reddit thread highlights a trio of relatively recent filings, which seem to confirm something is afoot. Dated 5/31/2022 the poster states that The Training Table Restaurants, LLC filed three trademark applications for:

THE TRAINING TABLE
A UTAH ORIGINAL
THE UTAH ORIGINAL

The applications cover:

Sauces; Barbeque sauce; Dipping sauces
Restaurant services; Providing of food and drink via a mobile truck

While we sit and wait for more concrete news then, here’s a few pictures we dug up, starting first with the menu to get yourself reacquainted, and wow, look at those pre-inflationary prices. One things for certain, we won’t be seeing those again.

Training Table menu circa 2016 (Training Table)
Training Table menu circa 2016 (Training Table)
Double burger (Training Table)
Double burger (Training Table)
Sugar House Training Table before remodel (Training Table)
Sugar House Training Table before remodel (Training Table)
Those cheese fries (Training Table)
Those cheese fries (Training Table)
Branded Training Table mathsticks from a diffeernt era
Branded Training Table mathsticks from a diffeernt era

At the time their closure in 2016 The Training Table had five operational locations serving burger fans, these included Salt Lake City, Holladay, Layton, Riverton and Sandy. The business sadly closed their doors following legal wrangles. This Trib archive article has more info on the matter, which saw the end of the business first founded in 1977.

At the time of writing, the company has made no other visible updates to their social media or online presence; we’ll keep you posted on all the updates as they happen, as ever hit that subscribe button at the top of the page to join our free newsletter.

Should Training Table return to the Utah dining scene, the burger business has become far more competitive in recent years. The landscape is always changing, and it’s a burger lovers delight out there right now. If you’re now craving a burger, and I don’t blame you, here are some of the best burgers I personally have enjoyed of late:

Franklin Ave – wagyu burger

Franklin Ave wagyu burger
Franklin Ave wagyu burger

This handsome looking burger comes from the new Franklin Ave, read our full review here. Much like sister restaurant White Horse, the kitchen use an impressively juicy American wagyu from Snake River Farms. Cooked to your preferred temp it’s topped with thick, house smoked bacon and just a handful of simple toppings. Duke’s mayo is the crowning glory for the messy, flavor packed wonder.

231 S Edison St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
franklinaveslc.com

BGR – DIY burger

BGR - reuben burger special (BGR)
BGR – reuben burger special (BGR)

You can find BGR in the heart of Sugar House and there’s always something new to enjoy such as the pictured reuben special (the Oktoberfest with bratwurst sausage in the Fall is fabulous). What you will always find are a range of build your own burgers, again, cooked to temp. While it’s a boutique mini-chain of sorts, the burgers are always impeccable and customizable any way you want. They also have a solid local craft beer selection which doesn’t hurt.

1202 Wilmington Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 487-6301
bgrtheburgerjoint.com

Central 9th Market – secret burger

Central 9th Market - smashburger
Central 9th Market – smashburger

This one is known only to a select few. It pops up on the Central 9th Market menu at 6.00 p.m. as a Monday only special. It stays until it sells out, which is currently about 9.00 p.m. And that’s it for the week. The burger uses two thin patties cooked quickly at high heat on the flat top – for plenty of char and crisp. The bun is house made by the bakery wizards and its a sublime thing. Take your burger just a few steps West and enjoy it with a cocktail at Water Witch bar

161 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(385) 332-3240
central9th.com

Copper Onion – downtown burger

Copper Kitchen - Copper Burger
Copper Onion – Copper Burger

The picture above is from the now closed Copper Kitchen in Holladay, but the burger was in essence a facsimile of the one that’s still on the menu at the downtown Copper Onion. The restaurant use a custom meat blend, ground in house; and the same kitchen team crew the scenes have been cranking out this burger for year after year. That in house approach and consistency really shines through. This one is in my top five all time Utah burgers, it’s simple ingredients turned perfection.

111 E Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 355-3282
thecopperonion.com

Golden Gyros – menu hack burger

Golden Gyros - gyro burger
Golden Gyros – gyro burger

You can’t order this one with a simple menu selection – this is actually the result of ordering the restaurants regular burger and a side of gyro meat. You can then get to work in a private area of the dining room to build this one by hand. And yep, you’re gonna need a couple sides of fry sauce to bring those multi-layers of meat together.

259 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 214-0099
golden-gyros.square.site

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