Maybe the Best Place in Town, Maybe not


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Wasatch on February 22, 2009

Long time Moab visitors will recall the popular BBQ joint, Fat City, the only eating
place in town deserving a recommendation, but it is now closed. The owner/chef went
into catering. So that leaves the newer Moab Brewery as the top BBQ candidate, and in
many respects, it is up to the challenge. But there are flaws, including some big ones
like the pedestrian $6.50 burger and coleslaw that loses the taste test to milk soaked
cardboard. On the bright side, the smoked chicken and beef are excellent. Both have a
nice smoked flavor and the beef, sensibly tri-tip rather than the ubiquitous dried out
brisket, is outstanding. Chicken and beef are served with a fine BBQ sauce on the side.
Ribs, compared to the chicken and beef, were a let down– dry and chewy, albeit nicely
flavored.

The excellent BBQ sauce was commendably served on the side with the chicken and
beef but regrettably, the ribs were drowned in it. I used the chicken and beef to mop up
the excess sauce on the ribs, which turned out to be enough for all three meats on the
combo platter.

Onion rings are superb. They gave me indigestion all night long. That’s because I’m
allergic to onions, but every now and then I break down and do something foolish like
order onion rings. Actually, I finally did get sleep about 2:00am when I remembered to
take a tipple dose of allergy pills. I relate my stomach distress so that you understand
when I say that I would order these onion rings again, that is the highest compliment
because by that, I’m doing so at peril to my health. That’s how good they are.

Starters with the diners, but not the hamburger, were a nondescript Romaine lettuce
salad and a good baked roll.

Servings are very large. Who can eat desert or an appetizer with one of these meals?

Service was surprisingly fast and friendly for as busy as the place was.

Eight beers and ales, brewed on the premises, were offered. We had Derailleur Ale
because the waiter said this amber ale came closest to being a dark beer. It was good
enough that we ordered it again the next night in another local restaurant that carried
it.

The Bottom Line: stick to the smoked chicken or beef and onion rings, avoid the
coleslaw and burgers, and you will have a fine meal, the best we’ve found in Moab.

The menu in 2009 offers five kinds of ale, a stout, and an amber lager. We’ve tried several here
and elsewhere, and all are fine examples of their kind. Beer is served as pints or pitchers.

There are seven fish dishes on the menu including fish & chips, Mahi-Mahi, blackened tilapia, a
smoked salmon wrap, tilapia sandwich, and salmon. Should you eat fish in Moab? Look at far
it is to the nearest ocean. I wouldn’t bother, except for smoked salmon which is made to survive.

There are six burger variations, made with various sauces and cheseses and such. The 13
appetizers include fries, baked potato, crab & artichoke dip, squid, some Mexican stuff, and
wings. The 12 chicken offerings include several sandwiches and dinners such as chicken Alfredo
and various smoked chicken dishes. There is an extensive list of veggie dishes and salads
including some pasta dishes, cheese enchilada, burito, the ubiquitous graden lasad, Ceasar salad,
smoked salmon salad, and gyro salad.

Four soups, including chili, are offered either by the bowl or served in a home made bread
bowl($3 extra).

The main dinner menu features their smoked meats– sausages, chicken, ribs, beef, and the combo
of chicken, beef, and ribs. There are also steaks and prime rib.

Full dinners run $14-22, sandwiches are $7-8. (2009 prices)

The restaurant is one very large room done up in sort of modern rustic. The "tavern", like a bar
in the real world, is off to one side. Big, bustling, and fairly noisy, tthis is not the place for a
quiet candlelight dinner.

Now a word about Utah beer. 3.2 beer is easily available. Just walk into the Moab Brewery and
order one. Stronger beer is more complex. It is so complicated that you are well advaised to
forget it, but if you want to go to the trouble of solving the maze of Utah’s booze laws, seek out
Devastator Bock. At 9% alcohol, it will knock your socks off, and its good tasting stuff.

Stick with 3.2 and it won’t drive you crazy. You can even buy it in some grocery stores and 7-11
type places. In a strange way, the state enforced-- wait, make that the Mormon Church enforced–
limit on the alcohol content of beer is a good thing because, unable to rely on a hagh alcohol
conttent to impress (render unconscious) beer drinkers, Utah’s brew pubs are forced to stress
taste quality, and on this they do a fine job. Utah brews have an impressive history of scoring
high at beer competitions (the same cannot be said for Utah’s insipid wines which should only be
drunk for their novelty).

The 3.2 limit is not as bad as it first seems. There are two ways of measuring the alcohol content
of beer. Most places use a system that shows Utah’s 3.2% beer to be 4.6% alcohol, still weak but
getting close to the 5.5-6% of real beer in most states.

The bottom line: if you like beer with your BBQ, thank your lucky stars and head straight for the
Moab Brewery.
Moab Brewery
686 S Main Street
Moab, Utah
(435) 259-6333

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