With over 20 seasonal variations to add to the standards on tap, there is almost always something that will please your palate. The Road Rage Rye and the Inversion Ale were available during my visits, and I would highly recommend either if they have them. The Road Rage Rye is a light-colored, unfiltered ale with a bright, hoppy bite on the front end that mellows quickly for a clean aftertaste. The Inversion Ale was a very pleasant surprise because, despite the malty brown color, you get a thin ale that isn’t too heavy, with an extraordinarily smooth, smoky flavor, which comes from the brewery’s house-smoked malt. This leaves a pleasant taste subtly lingering in the mouth and pairs very well with the Chile Verde’s ($9.50) deep flavors of poblano peppers, Anaheim chiles and the chipotle crema.
The menu at Desert Edge is surprisingly diverse and strengthened in vision and execution by The Pub’s affiliation with sister restaurants Martine Café, Stella Grill and Red Butte Café. Although it still caters to its core pub-style offerings with its heaping Famous Nachos ($7.50) that come with fresh guacamole, signature salsa, sour cream and very fresh and hot jalapeños (you have been warned), it also offers international flavors of Asian and Mexican cuisine, such as the Asian Chicken Skewers ($7.50) and my personal favorite, the Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas. If you are in a party of four or more, order two servings of the quesadillas, as these always disappear if you turn your attention away for too long. The goat cheese has a different character than other cheeses and holds more of its shape and texture, which is a great textural complement to the beans and crisp tortillas, while the tang of the cheese blends smoothly with the Southwestern spices.
“Pub Sandwiches” and “From The Grill” seem a little pedestrian as far as naming conventions go because, as you scan the menu, you are greeted with selections such as Guajillo Chile BBQ Pulled Pork w/ Gouda ($8.95)—life-changing. However, The Pub’s nonpretentious air is refreshing and speaks again to its laid-back roots, all the while still striving to offer a contemporary menu. The Black Bean Veggie Burger ($8.25) was a bit of a disappointment, as the flavor was bland and the burger had a crumbly texture that missed the mark, but I found the Albacore Tuna Wrap ($15.95, a special on my visit) and the Southwest Chicken with Quesa Fresca Salad ($9.50) impressive as both are “light dishes,” but very filling and rich with flavor.
With the opening of “Jesus Christ Super Mall,” aka City Creek, it seems another hurdle has been laid out before businesses and shops in Salt Lake’s historical Trolley Square. However, one business that should not suffer is the Desert Edge Brewery.