Tradition Restaurant Review
Food: A modern twist on classic comfort food, such as fried chicken, pigs in a blanket, and homemade pies.
Service: Excellent. My server was April, who was welcoming, attentive, and patient.
Atmosphere: Bright with natural light, simple, modern, and clean. Seating is a bit too close for comfort.
Location: 501 E. 900 S. Salt Lake City, UT
Tradition, located next door to Beltex Meats and known for its comfort food, is a newbie restaurant in the Salt Lake food scene. Having recently opened for dinner, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Fortunately, even with relatively high hopes, I wasn’t let down.
The fried green tomatoes with cilantro almond pesto, chipotle aioli, and chili jam was a unique take on a traditional Southern classic. The chipotle aioli provided a subtle smokey flavor and went beautifully with the earthy pesto and slightly sweet chili jam. With a batter that was crunchy and not oily, I was one satisfied customer.
I was a little hesitant about the beet salad because honestly, how could a restaurant make a beet salad interesting or unique? Well, I was proven wrong. The chefs at Tradition added capers and pistachios to the plate, which made this salad a total standout. The capers added a great pop of salt and acidity, whereas the pistachios offered a crunch and nuttiness that balanced the sweetness of the beets.
Not to toot my horn too much, but I admit I make killer fried chicken. Thus,I have high expectations. While I’m still on the fence with Tradition’s take, I will say I enjoyed the dish. What made their fried chicken different than any other I’ve had is the crust. It was slightly sweet and spicy. At first, I poo-pooed it. Thinking it was just a weird twist on something that should be classic, but then I found myself eating more and more until it was all gone. Apparently, there’s something strangely addicting with sweet, spicy, and salty chicken. It certainly helped that the grits were filled with butter and cream, and the collard greens had a deep, meaty flavor.
Ian and I ordered two pies, the spiced cherry and the peach. Ian preferred the cherry whereas I preferred the peach. However, both were excellent. The cherry was tart and slightly sweet, and the peach had a nice kick of ginger. For an additional $2 you can add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.
Don’t get me wrong, the pigs in a blanket were tasty. They just didn’t blow me away. The thought of Beltex sausage, puff pastry, and various dipping sauces sounded like the perfect starter, but flavors fell flat. It screamed for something spicy to offset the sweetness of the mustard.
The Let Downs
While the aesthetics, such as lighting, decorations, and seats were comfortable, the tables are placed too close together. I often got distracted by my neighbors’ conversations, making me feel cramped.
If you’re in Salt Lake City and looking for a semi upscale restaurant that will leave you satisfied and want to go back, try out Tradition. With its modern take on classic comfort food, it’s hard to go wrong. If a mid-day meal is more up your alley, stop by for lunch or for brunch. Also, during warmer months, patio seating is available.