Review: Pats BBQ, Salt Lake City
Next time you’re in Salt Lake and are hankerin’ for some down home cooking, head on over to Pat’s BBQ. It was recommended to me by everyone I talked with, including Guy Fieri from Diners Drive-ins and Dives. The recommendations did not disappoint. Pat’s serves up some of the best barbeque I’ve had.
There aren’t many frills at Pat’s. Picnic table seating, paper plates, and loud rockin’ music coming from the live stage (separate seating area if you’d prefer), make Pat’s a country dining experience reminiscent of a State fair. But I’ve never found anything this delicious at a fair.
Pat’s Barbecue Pork Ribs
So what makes Pat’s so good? It’s their rub and slow smoking process. I love me some good barbecue sauce, so much so that I usually don’t consider barbecue, well, barbecue without it. But Pat’s rub is so flavor intense that you do not need a drop of sauce on their ribs. Honestly, this is the only barbecue meat I’ve ever had where I did not want to put any sauce on it. I’m sure there are many barbecue lovers in Texas and elsewhere that would mock me for saying that, but up here in the Northern states, it’s pretty hard to find such quality barbecued ribs as to not need any sauce on them.
In addition to the rub, Pat’s ribs have a very strong smoke flavor. But it is not overpowering and blends perfectly with the rub. Pat’s chooses pork spare ribs rather than baby backs. Spare ribs are more meaty, but are not as tender as baby backs. But Pat’s manages to keep them very moist so that eating them is a real joy. These were seriously some of the best pork ribs I’ve ever put in my mouth. Good good GOOD!
Pat’s BBQ Beef Brisket
So smokey! Just look at the smoke ring on this brisket! Damn this stuff was good. It was very very tender, and just like the ribs, needed absolutely no sauce whatsoever. I could eat this stuff until my colon gave out. I don’t know what your secret is Pat, but keep up the magical work!
Pat’s Barbecue Best Pulled Pork in Salt Lake City
Do you remember being a young kid and getting your first taste of bubble gum ice cream? Well I do. It was at a small town corner store with a little ice cream stand in the back corner. For $0.50 you get get a cone with a big fat scoop of 10 different flavors. My parents used to take me there after swimming at the town pool. One day, I saw this new flavor of bright bubble gum goodness. I told Dad that’s what I wanted, and I was soon handed a scoop of childhood bliss. What I put in my mouth was indescribable! It was everything that I loved about bubble gum and ice cream and sugar all combined. It was pure heaven and every little boy’s dream come true.
So it is with Pat’s pulled pork. An indescribable joy that only perfect pig can provide. Heaven on a plate and every meat loving man’s dream come true. It was perfectly salty, juicily savory, and full of great flavor. I’m guessing that secret rub came into play here again. Sauce? Why?? No need. This was probably the most perfect pulled pork I’ve ever tasted. Please sir, may I have another?
Pat’s BBQ Serves Up Some Amazing Sides
Now this is where things really get critical. I know many a fool that can make a pretty mean barbeque, but their side dishes typically fail to deliver on flavor and creativity. But Pat’s puts as much attention and detail into their sides as they do their main courses. They call them their “signature side dishes”, and they ain’t lyin’. With 9 to choose from, you’re sure to find some to pair with your barbeque meat selection. Here’s the two we chose, and two that I highly recommend:
- Meaty Gravy on Mashed Potatoes – This stuff was stupid good. The gravy is full of their pulled pork. That’s right, the same stuff that sent me to foodie la-la land. They add a bunch of black pepper to it, and fill it up with all sorts of savory goodness. Somehow, it reminded me of a really good pork verde, but without the verde. Anyway, it was very good, and was an excellent choice.
- Mustard Greens – These greens were so good that Pat’s could probably rename their sign to “Pat’s Awesome Greens” and still be packed with fans. The mustard greens were a much better choice than collard greens, and I fell in love with them at Pat’s so much that I plan to grow them in my garden next year. They were slow cooked with onions, bell pepper, more of that tasty pulled pork, a bit of vinegar, some crushed red pepper, chicken stock, and salt and pepper. I don’t know how Pat’s crew spends their summers, but they could probably win every side-dish award on the barbeque circuit with these greens. So freaking good!
Pat’s BBQ Salt Lake City Cornbread
Corn bread is a must have staple with all good barbeque. Pat’s was good, but not terrific. It wasn’t all dressed up with corn, cheese, or jalapenos, but was fluffy and delicious with some added honey. Not the best I’ve add, but it served its purpose well enough at the table.
Pat’s Barbecue Sauces Disappoint
It’s a good thing that Pat’s spice rub makes their meats stand up on their own, because their barbecue sauces are not that great. I think they’re going more for a Carolina type sauce, but they need a little more work.
- Their Honey Mustard was disgusting. It had way too much vinegar, and had a fibrous something (my guess is some sort of blended fruit) that just didn’t work. Bad flavor, bad texture, bad everything.
- Their Mild was sweet and tangy, with a strong tomato base. It was good but not great.
- Their Hot was sweeter than the rest, but also provided a good heat from some chilies and black pepper. It was fair, but not great.
I found that a mixture of the Mild and the Hot was a better flavor combination than either on their own, and was a tolerable sauce for dipping my brisket in. But honestly, their meat is so good that adding sauce is a total waste of time. Maybe it wouldn’t be if Pat’s sauces were as good as their barbeque meats.
The Bald Gourmet Recommends Pat’s Barbeque for the Best Barbeque in Salt Lake City
I can’t compliment Pat’s meat and sides enough. Absolutely perfect barbeque and southern dining experience. Anytime you find yourself in Salt Lake, make the quick drive to Pat’s and order up some tasty pig. You’ll be forever grateful that you did. And ask for Jacki to be your server. She was a hoot and had a fun spunky attitude that added to our overall great dining experience.
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