Newcomer // The Day Room

I used to hate brunch.

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whoa. Where am I? L.A.? Silver Lake?  The wood floors, spare but civilized décor, friendly tattooed servers, counter service and the offer of CBD oil in any beverage certainly make you feel like you’ve walked into another civilization. The appeal of Em Gassman’s popular restaurant on a hill in Marmalade has always eluded me—its undeniable neighborhood charm, the patio views in the summer, the interesting sounding menu have always, on my visits, been undermined by lackadaisical service and inconsistent execution. Now Gassman has opened The Day Room. Same location, same space, but different hours and a different chef. Milo Carrier, cooking weekday lunch, weekend brunch and daily afternoon nibbles, is finally making the menu match the mood and Saturday brunch here was one of the most original and pleasing fast breaks I’ve had in Salt Lake City. 

Order at the counter, take your tea (black assam, green Chunmee, herbal or red), coffee (drip, macchiato, cortado, latte, etc.), Solstice hot chocolate or a hot shrub and wait at your self-selected table to be served. Look around. The place is filled with hipsters—bearded brewmaster-looking young men, young women in the requisite beanie or messy topknots. But in a pleasant deviance, no one is on their phone. 

And the food, when it comes, is extraordinary.

This menu is not like any other brunch menu in town. Take the French toast: a thick slice of multi-grain bread (and not the brick-heavy ’60s-style clunkers too often served as healthy bread), soaked in coffee cocoa-flavored cream, sauteed and topped with blood orange and red grapefruit sections and lots of little crunchy nibs—nuts, seeds, etc. You could probably leave it in a warm place and it would sprout. (But you won’t leave any of it.) Another standout—the potato waffles, crisp and more like a galette, with thick-cut bacon, fried onion, an egg and baby greens. Empanadas can be sweet or savory, filled with goat cheese and green chile. Smaller bites are available during the week—“The Normal,” crispy potato, egg, toast and cheese; house-made bagels; breakfast tostados. The menu segues into afternoon with a selection of wine, beer and savory bites. When we were there, Chef brought us a pot pie he was introducing to the menu—order it. The Day Room is a neighborhood treasure. 

IF YOU GO

  • Address:  271 N. Center St., SLC
  • Web: dayroomandems.com
  • Phone: 801-596-0566
  • Entrees: $-$$

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