What do you get when you mix barbecue, Thai curry and coffee? 565 Firehouse in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House district.
The concept came together after new owners took over the old Bubba’s BBQ spot. They happen to run a coffee shop (Café on 1st) in the Avenues and wanted another location. But guests kept asking for barbecue, so they fired up the smoker and gave them what they wanted — with a Thai twist. Welcome to fusion barbecue!
565 Firehouse meats are smoked low and slow over apple wood and hard woods in the back of the restaurant. Portions are plentiful, and as at most barbecue joints, you can purchase everything by the pound, including brisket (½ pound $12, ¾pound $16 and 1 pound $20), ribs (½ pound $12, ¾ pound $16 and 1 pound $20), pulled pork (½ pound $10, ¾ pound $14 and 1 pound $18) and smoked chicken (½ pound $10, ¾ pound $14 and 1 pound $18). Pork ribs are also sold by the rack (¼ $12, ½ $18 and full $30).
Make a meal of your meat by picking any combination of brisket, chicken or pulled pork and order it up as a sandwich ($9 or $10) paired with one side, a salad ($11) with fresh romaine and spinach or a combo meat plate with your choice of sides ($3 à la carte).
Those sides include the usual barbecue offerings like slightly charred baked beans, a mustard-heavy potato salad, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and sweet cornbread along with Thai-style rice and salad.
But here’s where the fusion barbecue comes in. Ask for the special Thai dipping sauce offered with the juicy smoked chicken or dive into the pulled pork mixed with an addictive garlic, cilantro and ranch dressing — the same delicious concoction that accompanies the side salad.
Better still, order up the Thai yellow curry ($12) or coconut-based massaman curry ($12), which are filled with carrots and potatoes and are great on their own for Thai-loving or vegetarian diners. But add in some perfectly smoked chopped brisket or chicken and you’ve entered a new dimension of Thai barbecue — made complete with the mild spiciness of the curry and smoke of the meat.
Pair anything on the menu with a host of hot or iced coffee drinks ($1.50 to $4.85), one of the best Thai iced teas ($2.75) I’ve come across in Utah or even a cold beer thanks to a recently earned liquor license.
Enjoy your fusion finds on the small patio out front to take in the neighboring crossfit attendees in the evenings or simply sip your beverage while waiting for some smoked goodness to arrive. You can also sample each of the three barbecue sauces (original, tangy or Memphis) available on your table for the perfect flavor combination.
Service at 565 Firehouse is friendly and personal, with the owner walking through the menu and answering all of our questions and table service that was attentive to our every need.
In 565 Firehouse, diners will discover fusion barbecue flavors at their finest — blending smoked meats and Southeast Asia tastes in one small shop on 2100 South.
Heather L. King also writes for www.slclunches.com and can be found on social media @slclunches
565 Firehouse *** (3 out of 4 stars)
Get your fill of fusion barbecue at 565 Firehouse in Sugar House. From slow-smoked meats to Thai curry and coffee drinks, this find on 2100 South will keep everyone satisfied.
Location • 565 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City; 801-268-3374<br>Online • www.565firehouse.com<br>Hours • Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.<br>Children’s menu • Yes<br>Prices • $$<br>Liquor • Wine and beer<br>Takeout • Yes<br>Reservations • n/a<br>Wheelchair access • Yes<br>Outdoor dining • Yes<br>On-site parking • Yes<br>Credit cards • Yes