Hub and Spoke Diner
Biscuits and Gravy are found every where in the United States. It’s one of the few things that distinguishes good breakfast places from terrible breakfast places. I know a lot of my international friends are disgusted by the thought of American biscuits covered in a peppery, white sausage gravy but I’ll try and convey the allure of it.
Biscuits and gravy consists of a big, puffy biscuit split in half and covered in a white gravy.
The gravy can have bacon or sausage in it and has to be packed with flavor. It also has to be wet enough to not turn into a thick mess on your plate. If it’s too wet, though, it’ll soak through the biscuits and make everything run together on your plate. Also, the biscuits have to be dry enough not to turn soggy while your meal progresses and have enough flavor to hold its own against the gravy.
Soggy biscuits are disgusting. Greasy sausage gravy leaves your mouth with an unappealing after-flavor. When both of these things are shitty, you know the person in charge isn’t focusing on the fundamentals. These are simple things that should always be right.
It is the simple things that keep you coming back to a restaurant.
Would you go back to an Indian restaurant that has decent food but serves burnt Naan?
Would you keep getting take-out from a bistro that has great food but the waitress forgets half the food in your order every time?
If the answer to those questions isn’t no, you need to raise your standards. The simple things are how you keep your customers happy.
Now that you have an idea of the thought process of how biscuits and gravy works, I can start my review on Hub and Spoke Diner, a simple diner in the heart of Salt Lake City.
Hub and Spoke Diner is as low-key as the atmosphere is.
It’s located at 1100 East and 1300 South in a strange triangular-shaped brick building that’s shared with a senior-citizen gym and a candy shop (interesting combination, I know).
The hostess is in simple street clothes. Many of the staff members don’t wear uniforms, which is nice to see. It makes it feel less formal.
The entrance is adorned by pastries in a glass display case. This is already a good sign. The design of the restaurant is functional and relatively minimalistic. There was an unassuming stuffed raccoon that adorns the storage shelf in the middle of the dining room.
The waiter is friendly and informative.
The most popular dishes are their “Chicken and Waffle” breakfast sandwich, biscuits and gravy, and “Kentucky Hot Brown”, an impressive looking dish of Sourdough, turkey, avocado, tomato, Swiss cheese, bechamel, and a sunny-side egg. A turkey “Benedict” of sorts. They all came with roasted potatoes.
Since this place was rated a top breakfast place in Salt Lake City, I decided to see how well they do the basics. Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy with roasted potatoes.
Hub and Spoke Diner’s biscuits were everything I expect for biscuits and gravy.
Though I didn’t taste any cheddar cheese. The gravy was outstanding. There was a good amount of sausage in it and the gravy had a great flavor.
Hub and Spoke Diner’s biscuits and gravy would make any Southerner drool but in Utah, potatoes reign supreme.
Living in potato country, most Utahns (except my brother, weirdo) have a great affinity for potatoes and can smell a good roasted potato from a couple miles away. The very second I walked into this restaurant, I saw a shining pile of golden roasted potatoes.
I barely even noticed the impressive-looking chicken and waffle sandwich that undoubtedly made Hub and Spoke Diner a staple of this community. No, the glowing throne of beautiful potatoes caught my eye first and these are what stole the show on my plate. The biscuits and gravy were done correctly. The roasted potatoes were what made this meal memorable.
I also decided to order some of their “sweet dream pie”. Though it did make me reminisce of my mother’s buttermilk pie she always made me during Thanksgiving as a kid. This particular pie was exorbitantly priced (besides the fact that I ordered ice cream with it).
The pie was delicious, don’t get me wrong.
Hub and Spoke Diner’s Pie was relatively thin to most sweet baked pies that I’m used to and priced at $5, it was too expensive. There’s no way it costed more than a dollar to make per slice.
Besides this, consistently doing the simple things correctly are what keep people coming back to Hub and Spoke Diner.
The employees at Hub and Spoke are shining examples of this. If they can keep this up, they’ll easily be embraced by the rest of the community for years to come.