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Everybody Comes to Ruth's

Living in Salt Lake, there are certain places where it seems like everyone goes to eat at least a few times a year. One of these is Ruth's Diner, in Emigration Canyon. Ruth's has been around since the late 1940's, and was originally housed in an old dining car. From what you read in the history, it's founder and namesake, Ruth, was quite a colorful character - a chain smoker who smoked in the kitchen, who swore like a sailor, and never let the customers get away with anything. You got it the way she cooked it, whether you liked it or not. Ruth passed away in the 70's or 80's, and the Diner's changed hands a couple of times since then, but it's been in the same location for years now. I don't know that you go there specifically for the cuisine, but more for the laid-back atmosphere and location. If you're lucky, you can eat on the back patio. The service is never fabulous, and it's a bit run-down. But they also have live music. One time our request to hear "American Pie" even led to the entire patio singing along on the chorus. I think we gave the guy a $5 tip for doing that.

Well, recently Ruth's closed for a remodeling. Imagine having to go months without it. It finally re-opened last month, and we decided it was time to go and check out the new digs. So Kristen, Inge, Amy and I went there last night. The place does look a bit spiffier with the new paint job, but other than that, everything seemed the same. Same food, same not quite there service. It was relatively cool weather up in the canyon, but we ate on the patio, and the live music was again going. There's nothing like being in the canyon, with great friends, live music, and a meatloaf burger to just really make you feel good.

So here's to Ruth's, a Salt Lake institution. I hope it's around for many more years to come.


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