Restaurant Review: Slackwater Pizzeria | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Restaurant Review: Slackwater Pizzeria

Pizza and beer never tasted so good.


  • Alex Springer

Now that we're collectively starting to put the winter clothes back in the closet, it's time to figure out the myriad ways we are going to seize the sunny days ahead. Regardless of what your recreational cup of tea happens to be, you'll always need a place to meet up before setting off on some grand adventure. For me, these places are most often the neighborhood gastropubs that dot our metropolitan landscape. Some of them are easier to find than others, but the one that has officially kicked off my springtime off is Slackwater (multiple locations,

Whether you're checking out the Ogden location just off Historic 25th Street, the Downtown location in the Granary District, or the Sandy location next to the Shops at South Town, Slackwater knows how to deliver. Their specialty is pizza and beer—they have a huge variety of both—and their pie game is stellar. I'm sure you've been to a pub that serves pizza and ordered up a pie only to be slightly disappointed by their shoddy workmanship. At Slackwater, their pizza is build with a solid foundation of crust, sauce and cheese that has let them get a bit experimental with their pies. During my latest visit, for example, they were touting a pie with figs and prosciutto as one of their rotating specials.

When a place has a reputation for one type of cuisine, it's always fun to dine outside that comfort zone. Though pizza is near and dear to my heart, I was interested in seeing how Slackwater treats its supporting cast. I started off by perusing the appetizer menu—there are always hidden gems awaiting discovery on a gastropub's menu of starters. In this case, the item known as Check Your Garlic Breath ($11.25) is the dark horse of the bunch. Those who know the rich, buttery decadence of roasted garlic cloves will be familiar with this preparation, though they won't be expecting the gorgonzola cream cheese. Essentially, this appetizer dares you to create a roasted garlic and gorgonzola spread and slather it all over some crostini. It also comes with some pico de gallo, though I'd only suggest that as a palate cleanser between bites. It's a gutsy appetizer and it takes a gutsy diner to order one of these in mixed company.

For those after an appetizer that eats like a meal or one that can be shared comfortably among a few pals, then the pork chili verde nachos ($12.25) are the way to go. The chili verde is made onsite with Slackwater's own roasted pork, and then gets piled onto a plate of tortilla chips that are already bedecked with some nacho cheese, black bean corn salsa and a nice, herby chimichurri. It's a plate of nachos that serves up exactly what you want from gastropub nachos, plus it's enormous enough to satisfy two or three people.

Slackwater's appetizer menu is also stepping up with a few plant-based options for those too chicken for garlic breath. The Rub My Tom Toms ($9.50) is a vegan alternative to chicken wings with some crispy cauliflower florets tossed in some sun-dried tomato dry rub. You can't go wrong with roasted cauliflower, but that sun-dried tomato dry rub is something special.

After a solid exploration of the appetizers, I think it's safe to start digging into Slackwater's pizza pantheon. Before doing so, however, you need to know that whatever your non-pizza comfort food of choice is, they have it in pizza form. You like gyros? Try the Gryo Trip ($14.75) that takes all your favorite Greek ingredients—lamb, tzatziki, feta, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers—and piles them up on a three cheese pizza. Maybe a Cubano sandwich is more your style? Try the Cuban Pizza Crisis ($14.75) that takes Slackwater's house-roasted pork and pairs it with some sliced ham, pickles and mustard with a bit of crema. Maybe you dig more on shrimp tacos? Then go for the Taco Camarones ($14.75) which incorporates some green goddess dressing, black bean corn salsa, maple citrus coleslaw and shrimp for a zesty shrimp taco experience. Sure, some of the combos might raise an eyebrow or two, but the Slackwater team knows how to balance flavors on a pie. Plus, you can get any of Slackwater's pies wrapped up in a nice calzone if you so please. Honestly, you can't really go wrong here if you're a pizza fan.

With so many pizza options available during the week, you may not expect that Slackwater also does brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But it does! Their brunch menu includes everything from chilaquiles ($12) to eggs benedict ($13), all of which maintains Slackwater's rare balance between consistency and creativity. Whether you're in need of a place to meet up before hitting the town or simply after something to cure a Sunday morning hangover, Slackwater's got you covered.