Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Restaurant Spotlight: Porter's Place

This past week we have been out and about in Utah Valley! Weeks like this are our favorites because we discover so many UV gems that we should know about.  Let's just say, our weekend dinner plans are set for the entire summer after seeing so many authentic UV restaurants alone. Porter's Place, the well-known historic restaurant located just off Lehi Main Street, is one of these new discoveries that we can't get enough of.  Here's what we found out during our interview with the incredible owner:

1. How did you get involved in the restaurant business?
Growing up I worked in restaurants, specifically the "Idaho Cafe," but actually ended up being a miner. I was working in the mine one day when someone asked me if I had any children.  I proceeded to tell them that I had a son named "Porter" (after Porter Rockwell, of course). When I told him this, he said that I had to see the Lehi Restaurant called Porter's Place. After visiting the restaurant, I called up the owners and they were actually in the process of selling it. I soon became the new owner and have been here now for years.

2. Do you have a specific connection with the history of Porter Rockwell?
Absolutely, that is why I wanted in on the restaurant altogether.  Years ago, I watched a 1940's film "Brigham Young" and became fascinated with Porter Rockwell (played by Don Carradine). I went on to read dozens of books and study his history.  One that I read was "Man of God, Son of Thunder" that I found at Deseret Book.  Later in 1988, I filmed a documentary on Porter Rockwell and surprising Lloyd Newall (narrator of LDS conferences) played narrator.

3. What is your favorite part about the restaurant?
Definitely the history part of Porter Rockwell and the decor we have on the walls.

4. Where do you get all of the decor?
All over the place. We have so much more that we have in storage, but simply don't have a place to put it! One of the interesting paintings we have hanging is actually a portrait of Hyrum Smith that originally hung in the St. George temple.  One of the photos of Porter Rockwell is also a popular piece.  It was painted by a BYU art student in 1970 who now is a popular artist for the LDS church.

5. It seems like this is a very historical site, do you have any films shot here?
Tons! We have had a variety of films and music videos that air on network TV shows, USA networks, and even Disney Channel.

6. What about famous guests who come in to dine?
Steve Young and some of the Utah Jazz players have dined with us.  We also have several church officials come in, including Dallin H. Oaks.

7.  Has the menu changed over the years?
It has stayed primarily the same.  We serve good, traditional food at great prices.

8. Is there a favorite menu item?
We have a reputation for being a great steak house, in addition to our special buffalo and elk selections.  One of our burgers is called the "Destroying Angel" and is a good 1 lb. serving size.

9. Has the restaurant won any awards?
Actually, City Weekly gave us the award for "Best Celebration of Mormon Muscles," interestingly enough.

10. Any other favorite decor pieces you could tell us about?
One thing that people like to read is the "Proclamation of the Utah War" that we have hanging.  Also, the last picture of Porter before his death, our bar that came out of Montana, seats at our bar from a horse-drawn carriage, and a cash register that dates back decades. 

After visiting with the owner and seeing all of the history hung on the walls, we were fascinated with restaurant.  If you are looking for a special place to eat that has a unique, cultural feel, you have to go to Porter's. We were so impressed with the passion this restaurant owner has and enjoyed every minute of our visit. Click here to find more information on store hours, driving directions, etc. Porter's Place on Urbanspoon

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