Last weekend I found myself in dangerous need of onion rings. So where do you go when you need a deep-fried fix and are ban from all bars? Brew pubs! This was my second visit to the Red Rock Brewery and there are three things you need to understand about enjoying restaurant dining before you go.
1-Atmosphere: This seems obvious, but never underestimate the vibe of a place being what makes it so special. As Aristotle taught ethos is the big sale, and it’s true of restaurants too.
2-Food: It might be the main product of a restaurant, but it’s generally not the main show.
3-People: This is a fifty/fifty. The restaurant is responsible for the staff. You are responsible for your crew. Bring good people and if you find a good place they will do the rest.
Red Rock excels at one. The atmosphere of the joint is their best selling point. The place is fun and excitin’ gosh darn it! Seriously, it’s a cool hang out that’s friendly to guys and girls. If you arrive before 10 p.m., it’s family-friendly while still serving alcohol to the adults (a Utah gem). Plus, by 11 p.m. they are still open and have a good bar crowd, so it’s fun for the big kids who still want to play. (Closing time is 1 a.m.)
Food is not the greatest strength at Red Rock. I imagine their beer selection is awesome. Unfortunately, I am not old enough to legally drink so this information is based on the observation of copious amounts of alcohol being downed by all the tables near us. Anything deep-fried will appease your craving for greasiness, but otherwise the food is a miss.
I found their barbecue pork sandwich sadly disappointing. The pork wasn’t pull apart soft and I feel that is a necessary requirement for great barbecue. The pocket bread was dry, stale and a mismatched flavor for the delicious smoky sauce. Pita and barbecue are a match made in the land of culinary mistakes. The horseradish potatoes are what you would expect from any restaurant and the salads fail to amaze.
Seriously, stick to the fish and chips. Their onion rings are beer battered deliciousness, cooked to a crispy golden perfection served with a heaping serving of ketchup. If it’s deep fried, it’s yummy!
And how about those people? I have to say I went with two of my favorite people so I guaranteed myself a good time. The service is good, not great, but you will be impressed by the ability of one host and two servers to manage a full dining room. Our server was helpful and efficient. I would like a more friendly and outgoing server, but with everyone’s usual rush that might be asking too much.
As a final note, Red Rock has a bizarre practice of automatically charging you for the tip. I don’t know why they do this. I can understand the need to pay servers and hosts enough so they can survive, but an automatic tip! Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a tip in the first place? Anyway, it comes on your receipt so expect to pay the common sense decent tip of 15% regardless of what type of service you actually receive.
Red Rock is in Downtown at about 300 South and 300 West near a number of other restaurants and bars. Expect to pay between $15 and $30 for dinner and remember you’re paying for a comfortable and fun atmosphere too.