While we’re all busy Instagramming our meals in SLC, just down the road in Provo the dining scene is quietly thriving. Black Sheep, Communal and Station 22 are as good as, but different from, most of the loudly touted places in Salt Lake.
We dropped in for lunch recently at Station 22 and I’d like to plead again that they open an SLC branch. We just don’t have enough cool-but-casual independent restaurants like this. So hip it could be at home in Portland, Station 22 has walls papered in player piano music, flat faux-taxidermy prints of bison heads and birds by former local artist (she’s in Brooklyn now) Nic Annette Miller and Bob Dylan on the soundtrack. Not to mention fried chicken and waffles, poutine, hushpuppies and devil (sic) eggs—a strong flavor of the South, by which I do not mean Utah’s Dixie. The eggs are seasoned with sriracha and served unabashedly with Spam.
If you just want chicken, no waffles, the deep-fried meat comes with whiskey gravy. There’s a fried everything basket—hushpuppies, sweet potato and regular potato fries. Despite the kitchen’s obvious fondness for their Fry-Daddy, I haven’t tried the fish and chips because the fish is salmon and I feel some trepidation about that, though none for the fried catfish poboy. To wash down all the fried, Station 22 has an ever-expanding list of oddball and artisan soft drinks: a whole slew of root beers (may I suggest adding a root beer flight to the menu?) as well as birch beer, sarsaparilla, cream sodas, a bunch of Bundabergs and even our forebears’ beloved Frostie.
For dessert, you can order deep-fried cookie dough, which I personally thought was going A Step Too Far even before the CDC advised against it. Station 22 is fun in an old-fashioned wholesome deep-fat fried kind of way. It’s nonchalantly artisanal except when it’s not and I find it refreshing as a Frostie to enjoy food without a creed.
22 W. Center St., Provo