Billed as a bar and “speak e-z,” Good Grammar has the potential to be one of downtown Salt Lake’s premiere nightspots. Its wall-to-wall posters mix international pop culture icons with classic pics of John Stockton and Jerry Sloan, and its half-inside, half-outside design is built to accommodate a DJ on the weekends. “We wanted to have high-quality cocktails and food, but not in an environment where you feel like you have to dress up to come in,” says co-owner Fallan Keyser.
In order to accommodate an audience that varies based on the time of day, the folks at Good Grammar have become pros at improvisation and adaptation. During the day, Good Grammar is a hip place to grab some lunch and get some work done. They offer a solid menu of ramped-up bar food and sandwiches, which are perfect for those just wanting something quick and tasty to break up the workday.
Because of Good Grammar’s special limitations, chefs Neal Henderson and Alex Vastardis have found some creative ways to create awesome food—things like Chicken and Croissaffles, Bison Chili with Cactus and a wide variety of grilled sandwiches. “We don’t have a fryer, flat grill or sauté range,” Henderson says, “so we do everything through sous vide circulation, finishing it off with a countertop convection oven and a panini press.” Based on my experience with Good Grammar’s Cuban Sandwich, that information came as quite a shock—its slow-roasted pork goodness tasted like it had been smoked for a good eight hours.
With a team of creative chefs, mixologists and servers behind the wheel, Good Grammar feels like Gallivan Avenue’s social focal point. “Just come in, kick back and have some good food and drinks,” Keyser says.
Bangkok Terrace has been a staple of Gallivan Avenue since 2013, but under the guidance of new manager Maggie Fugate, it’s become a lush and beautiful place for some authentic Thai cuisine. “I came in and saw a lot of potential to bring Thai food to the next level,” Fugate says. “I think this is a great location.”
Fugate has been passionate about food and cooking ever since she was little. She went to culinary school in San Francisco, where she opened a catering business. When she moved to Salt Lake, a friend of hers recommended Bangkok Terrace, and Fugate saw it as an opportunity to create a fine-dining experience without increasing the price tag of the restaurant’s signature dishes. “I didn’t really see any places bringing fine dining to Thai food,” Fugate says, “but I’m trying to keep the prices reasonable, since customers expect that.”
Since it’s located near so many offices, the lunch rush at Bangkok Terrace can get pretty hectic. Dinner hours allow customers a more serene opportunity to enjoy some excellent curry or stir-fry.
Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen
According to owner and founder Thomas Kreitlow, Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen has a mission to make healthful eating easy and accessible. “Whatever dietary constraints or restrictions you follow,” he says, “we want to help people achieve their lifestyle goals.” Pulp started as a small location inside City Creek’s gym and grew to the storefront on Gallivan Avenue when the RDA pitched the idea to Kreitlow. Come September, Pulp will celebrate its first year at this location.
One of the concerns that customers have when approaching a business like Pulp is that they’ll be charged an arm and a leg if they want to buy something healthy for breakfast or lunch. As part of Kreitlow’s process, he has established an efficient and sustainable menu that lets him be economic with Pulp’s prices. “In planning the menu, I was cross-referencing items,” he says. “I try to intertwine all the ingredients of my menus so that the production has a flow to it.”
Pulp is one of the new locations that is looking to cater to the breakfast and lunch crowd, as well as to those who just want to grab a healthy snack or smoothie during the day. With items like the Hot Mess, a burger that can be made with either lean turkey or a lentil-quinoa veggie patty, and a wide variety of superfood-centric smoothies, Pulp is a great spot for tasty, guilt-free eats.
Three Pines Coffee
Meg Frampton and Nick Price appear to be in a constant state of reinvention. After pursuing a career in music in Los Angeles as part of the indie-rock outfit Meg & Dia, the pair fell in love with the third-wave coffee movement, which seeks to elevate the roasting and brewing of coffee to something more refined than your average Starbucks. “It’s like McDonalds versus The Copper Onion,” Price says.
One of the characteristics of Three Pines’ signature coffee is their judicious use of coffee condiments. “We don’t use anything like syrup pumps or stuff that’s artificially flavored,” Frampton says. “We make our almond milk from scratch, and we do our own vanilla with vanilla beans and organic cane sugar.”
Coffee today is ubiquitous—especially to those working Downtown. Three Pines has carved out its niche by offering accessible, high-end coffee at reasonable prices for those who are constantly on the prowl for that perfect cup of joe. “It’s like songwriting,” Frampton says. “You have to be familiar, but just weird enough.”
The one seemingly unoccupied space in this rapidly unfolding equation belongs to Alex Jamison and Roxy Carlson, the current owners of Buds, one of Salt Lake’s finest plant-based delis. They’re planning on creating a vegan restaurant to round out Gallivan Avenue’s diverse roster. “Our new menu will expand on what we and our team have been doing at Buds and will continue to offer unique ingredients that recreate classic flavors that people know and love,” Jamison says. With the experience and following that Jamison and Carlson have built with Buds, their new project promises to be a welcome addition.
With so many pedestrian-friendly locations already open, along with more on their way, the revitalization of Gallivan Avenue is striking that rare balance between meeting consumer needs while providing opportunities for local businesses—all that DIY goodness is bound to make you hungry!
These local food-and-drink establishments are open year-round, and they’ll be open during the Craft Lake City DIY Festival.