Friday, February 8, 2013

Restaurant Spotlight: Station 22

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"At Station 22, we dig way down deep into our American roots to bring you fresh, reinvented versions of family recipes, classic dishes and some new flavors you never imagined.
We love the concept and flavors of “vernacular cuisine”– foods that are rooted in specific regions and family traditions. Who doesn’t? These are the flavors of Grandma’s house, potlucks, family gatherings and small, family-run restaurants. I absolutely love to eat. But most importantly I love to eat foods that I connect with–foods that hearken back to warm times with family and friends. Times beyond us, that extend all the way back through our grandparents and beyond, from our now tiny branches down into our deepest roots." -Richard Gregory, Owner

Ok, we don't think we could even come close to trying to explain the concept beyond the wonderful Station 22 cafe as well as Owner Richard Gregory does. You can tell from the way that he talks about the restaurant that he has a passion for rich traditions, gatherings, and great food. When you put all of those together and add a little touch of Americana style, and you get the perfection of Station 22! Here's how our interview went with Richard (special thanks again for taking time to sit down with us):

What is your favorite thing about your restaurant? The interior-the combination of the atmosphere and the food makes you feel like you're eating at home or back to the place where you're from.

What makes your restaurant unique? Our menu follows the food trends and has roots in home-cooked recipes; you won't find these types of dishes anywhere else. We also have the best playlist around; we play music from the earliest recordings to present day. Additionally, we have quite the collection of craft sodas.

Do you have a restaurant motto? Deep American roots. 

How has your restaurant evolved over the years? It has changed a lot! We recently redid the entire interior of the building to fit our branding better and have everything come into focus. But originally, the restaurant didn't start out Americana either; basically we just wanted a friendly cafe. Then we decided we wanted a stronger message and dabbled with it for a while. The idea for the Americana theme stemmed from our original Memphis Chicken recipe and from there we kept building.

Do you do any special events, seasonal dishes/desserts, etc.? Lots! One of the things that we do is a supper club.  One a month, we host a special dinner and create a menu that is based on a specific part of the country.  For example, we could pick Utah.  If we did that, we would come up with a variety of traditional dishes (jell-o, etc.) that stem from Utah roots.

What type of uniform do you require for your staff? At Station 22, we are all about vintage head wear. Take note next time of all the different hats that everyone is wearing. Personally, I never really wore hats, but now it is a very rare day if I'm not wearing one.  Vintage head wear just gives the restaurant another touch of Americana and the idea roots back to Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Do you use any special ingredients that you could reveal to us? Really, almost everything is made from scratch-very, very little is complete to start. One of the unique ingredients though is our rootbeer molasses that we use on our gravy and fries. The flavor is sweet but in a great way for the fries.

Who are your chefs? Jason Talcott- executive chef and partner in the business, Brittany and Rich- Brittany just finished culinary school and is fine-tuned; she is extremely sensitive to flavor and is a master at getting the taste exactly right. (Sidenote: We could instantly feel the passion these chefs had for their work right when we walked by; they were beaming with happiness and jamming out in the kitchen).

What is the story behind the founding of the restaurant? In 2000, my mom bought the building and rented it out to different restaurants.  Being the owner of a building where restaurants kept coming and going was tough, so we decided to start a restaurant ourselves so we could become more stable.  We definitely gained a deeper respect about the nature of restaurants when we got started because it isn't easy!

What are your top selling dishes? The titans of our restaurant are definitely our Chicken and Waffles and Memphis Chicken Sandwiches. Another favorite is our Poutine, which is fries topped with rootbeer gravy and beehive curds.

Favorite desserts? Po de Smores, which is a pudding dessert served in a jar.  Also, you can never go wrong with the traditional cookies and milk.

Do you have unique names for your dishes? One of the names of a vegetarian selection is the Adventist Veggie Burger.  A funny thing about it is that we started selling this sandwich as a special on Saturday and to this day, the sells of this sandwich are still the highest on Saturday.

Does your restaurant get involved in the community? Yes, we are one of the sponsors for the Rooftop Concert Series and we also are involved in Local 1st Provo.

Visit the full restaurant listing here for more information. (Hours of operation, address, phone, etc.).

Station 22 Cafe on Urbanspoon

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