Legends Sports Pub: A Seat in the Cheering Section
Photo: Talyn Sherer
Legends Sports Pub
677 S. 200 W.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mon.– Sun., 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Legends Sports Pub is the only family-friendly bar with a restaurant in Salt Lake City, and it has a food special and a beer special every day of the week. The kitchen is open until after midnight, and the eats are good, reasonably priced pub fare with a fresh, original flair.
Coming in the front door with or without your kids, you are met with a fine full-service bar, complete with bottles and shots all in plain view. The many smaller televisions and one giant television always broadcast sports channels, and the overhead audio plays sports as well, which might seem a little distracting, but to me, it creates a perfect situation for social time.
There are three rooms and a spacious wrap-around patio surrounding the central dining room where the bar is, with booths big enough to cozy up with friends and family. There’s no reason for a sad face here—it’s a welcoming place with beer, sports, noise, and on game days, a fun crowd in beloved jerseys matching the teams on the television. You can’t attend the game, but you can be part of the cheering section at Legends.
The fare at Legends is unpretentious drinks and largely house-made food. Let us start with the finger food. Tater tots ($6.49) are what first brought me in the door. Tater tots are the lobster of the potato family—once ignored in favor of mashed or fried, they are now favorites of mine, as well as of hipsters, rockers and bros everywhere. Legends also has a beer-battered fry ($6.49), which is as good or better than their tater tots. Both these items appear as sides with sandwiches and dinners, but also as centerpieces in Totchos (tater-tot nachos) ($9.99, add $3.75 for steak), and Poutine ($8.99), the famous Canadian après ski dish of beef gravy and cheese on french fries. Wings ($8 for eight wings) are a big deal here, with the usual barbeque and buffalo varieties and several unique flavors like extreme buffalo, garlic, garlic parmesan and Thai chili. The Wednesday special, 50-cent wings, is a great reason to turn out for a delicious, mid-afternoon escape. Or on a Sunday game-day, get a crispy little ham-and-cheese sandwich with excellent house-made tomato bisque ($5). On a college-ball Saturday, have delicious asada or chicken tacos, hard or soft-shelled, and a side ($5).
For openers, try the Totchos. I like them with the beef, a fine-cut asada-style steak with cheese, jalapeños and mouth-pleasing sauces on a crispy mesa of tots. They can be veggie-style or come with chicken ($2.50) if you can’t commit to one side or the other. They are like nachos (which you can also get for the same price), but a little more indulgent and comforting. Totchos and beer are all you need, but you may very well want more.
The pizza ($7 plus 50 cents per veggie, $1.50 per meat, made to order) is hand-rolled, with a crispy crust that doesn’t sog. The cheese on these pies differs from the local norm by a bit, with an enzymatic tang that makes my tongue thrill a little, chill a little. It can be had in any number of variations and sauces, but I am happy with just pepperoni, or if I’m with my veggie companion, mushroom, olive and spinach. Salt Lake has some great pizza—the New York styles of Este and Pie Hole always impress, but this pizza has its own pedestal.
The burgers are made from fresh, not frozen, beef. I was intimidated by the Pac 12 Burger ($11.99) with its softball size—it’s like the famous secret Burger King Rodeo Burger on steroids, and it looks like it could bench press a steak plate. Gooey, juicy and slightly crunchy, it’s a Pacman style meat-and-sauce mouthful. The first bite, I just let it hang out, chewing as it gives my senses the happy. The bun is right, and the beef is fresh.
The Reuben ($11.99) fills its generous rye-bread house with a finger’s width of nicely grained corned beef and a fresh-tasting sauerkraut, alert and ready, with a long, finely cut profile. Being a kraut head, I feel that it is a nice change from the usual, coarse, pre-made stuff with its ferment-y, factory burr.
The Club Sandwich ($10.99) is a monster, true to the style, a BLT stacked under a ham-and-turkey sandwich. Cut into four generous cubes, I say it is Baltic, Mediterranean, Boardwalk and Park Place—all with hotels right on my plate. With this, I can’t lose. I asked for extra mayo, but others will likely love it the way it’s regularly served.
The Fish n’ Chips ($12.99) is cod, hand-cut and dipped and made to order. It’s meaty, wide-grained and satisfyingly fresh-tasting. It might be my favorite fish and chips Downtown, but with two medium, carrot-sized pieces of fish, I want more and more. But I get another beer instead, and that is just fine.
The real secret joy of Legends is the lack of loneliness that it offers with its hubbub, its large beer and liquor selection and food made for sharing. Grab a seat and get some eats. Order a beer or a drink from the kick-ass bar—and there is soda for the kids, who will be thrilled to be sharing time with the family living loud and large.