You can get a burger almost anywhere. But you couldn't get Ruth. She started flipping burgers in her downtown diner in 1930, by then already having a reputation around Salt Lake City as a cabaret singer and all-around character. She gained an even larger following when she moved up to Emigration Canyon, reopening in a trolley car and moving in behind it with her beloved chihuahuas.
Of course, it takes more than a cheeky proprietor to keep a restaurant afloat. Nearly 15 years after Ruth's passing, crowds still gather for her timeless recipes, including a macaroni and cheese that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The menu features plenty of her other favorites, such as chicken dijon and a meatloaf burger sweetened with her own barbecue sauce. She also loved the Pink Flamingo, a vodka-pomegranate cocktail that she might still be drinking from time to time?some say Ruth's spirit inhabits the barstool at the end of the counter.
Delicious homemade food is thriving at the roadside caf?, Rocky Mountain Grill. There, chefs spend their days whipping up diner and breakfast favorites, from chicken noodle soup and fish and chips to over-easy eggs with chicken fried chicken. They hand-cut french fries and hash browns to pair with entrees, and bake up everything from savory biscuits to sweet cakes and pudding. Their true specialty is their pancakes, which they serve in spongy stacks or interlocked to make wiggly replica log cabins. On the weekends, the staff keeps their doors open 24 hours a day so diners can satisfy their comfort food cravings at all hours of the night.
In business since 1971, Johanna's Kitchen has earned a reputation for homespun cooking; ABC 4 News writer Brian Carlson described the eatery as “known for making everything from scratch”. Hot scones and house-made corned beef hash are a few breakfast favorites; later in the day, cooks broil seafood and smother breaded steaks with gravy. Pint-size portions of teddy bear pancakes or macaroni and cheese make the restaurant a family-friendly destination.