Hot Wheels and Hot Wings: Hog Wallow
3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd.
Mon–Thur: 2 P.M.–1 A.M.
Fri–Sun: 12 P.M.–1A.M.
The unmistakable roar of a motorcycle surfing the highways and byways is every rider’s rite of passage as spring and summertime shine its rays upon Utah. The open road calls, as does the innate desire to meet up for a bite or beer. Our Bike Issue pays homage to the local watering hole, Hog Wallow, located at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Hog Wallow is the perfect locale for not only libations but incredible food options.
Smoked in-house, their meats, hands down, should top best-of lists in Utah. It could possibly rival the country’s best in a smoke-off. Meat that is upfront with bold hints of smoke, mouth-watering in flavor and a finish that leaves you begging for more is a perfect pairing for an afternoon ride all summer long. Now, let’s be real: I don’t ride, myself, but I can relate to the desire of open-air roads, whether as a back warmer (aka passenger) or with the top down.
Starters & Sides
Thirst for this kind of experience lives in all of us, and why great rides and the best watering holes are highly sought after across the nation. To tap into your inner-meat-eating self, start with the Smoked Wings ($12). They are the must-try order to share or keep for yourself at Hog Wallow. Smoky, moist perfection is the only way to describe such a wing. Yes, celery and carrots come on the side, as does your choice of ranch or blue cheese. However, these wings do not require the accompaniment.
The next menu destination is sweet potato fries. These are done right—not too soft or mushy, and just enough flavor to keep your fingers reaching for more. Pair with a local beer, or PBR if you must, but keep it real. I was so into the smoked theme that I had to try the Cheese Quesadilla ($10) with Smoked Brisket ($4). A blend of cheddar cheese, black-bean-and-corn salsa, sour cream and melt-in-your-mouth smoked brisket wrapped up with a buttery, just-enough-crunch-of-goodness tortilla. The brisket adds something special to the quesadilla, although on its own, the quesadilla is satisfying.
Before you think it is all about the meat, they offer a more delicate side. House Salad, Southwest Salad and Blueberry Lemon Salad with feta, fresh veggies and several hard ciders also adorn the menu.
On tap, you will find local craft beers a such as Moab, Uinta and Wasatch. If this doesn’t suit you, you won’t be disappointed by the large selection of premium bottled beers and domestic. To add to their libations, Hog Wallow offers a great variety of patio sippers (cocktails) and seasonal mules, not to mention wine and prosecco options. There is something for everyone—beer, spirits, wine, cider, hard seltzer, craft shots, craft cocktails and nonalcoholic options.
We’ve talked about everything except burgers! Hog Wallow doesn’t disappoint with its burger selection. If you are a burger junkie, you will not be disappointed in The Hog ($12) and The Johnny Cash ($13). The Hog combines the burger, BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese, onion straws, chipotle ranch and bacon. Bacon is the cherry on top of this classic, all-American, burger. Now the Johnny Cash walks the line of heat with sriracha, jalapeño peppers, cherry peppers and onion rings, topped on top of meat and, of course, bacon. If “Ring of Fire” would be a food, this is it.
The vibe of the place is local watering-hole-meets-sophisticated-patio wine-drinking. Take a shot at pool, watch a sporting event on TV, belly up to the bar, enjoy the outdoor space, or come out late to get into the groove of the guitar strings. It’s unique, rustic and everything you would want in a ride meet up. It’s close to the canyon, in the middle of the city yet tucked away like you are in your own little world, away from it all. To get there, turn north off of 7200 South onto Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, just west of Wasatch Boulevard. (It’s a small road that twists and turns downhill off the main road.)
If you are on a scooter or bicycle, walk in owning your uniqueness—the hotspot embraces all. It’s a bar, restaurant and live-music venue. Genres range from Americana, reggae, blues, funk, soul to jazz. Music begins between 9:30 and 10 p.m. I know I’ll be there this summer, rain or shine. It’s a low-key great time, afternoon or night.
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