Gigantic disclaimer: Over the years, peaches, no one has been personally nicer to me, or easier to work with than Gene and all of the folks at Club Try-Angles. So consider yourselves warned that I have absolutely zero objectivity as I review their latest venture, the Off Trax coffee shop at 259 W 900 S.
What can I say, petals? It takes a lot of guts to open a new business in the middle of an economic recession, let alone something as risky as an eating establishment. But Gene and the Try-Angles crew have performed a Make-Over Miracle by taking a blighted, sleazy; crime-riddled auto mechanics shop and turning it into a welcoming, spotless, café with months of hard work and some serious capital investment. BRAVO! The transformation has been nothing short of stunning. I should get these kids to redo my blighted kitchen (which, sadly, also has car parts and a grease trap in it!).
I bet the homeowners in the area must really appreciate the gay boys dolling up the neighborhood (and by the way Scooter, the perennial garden you planted in front of Try-Angles has never looked better!). It’s exciting to watch the area around Try-Angles and Off Trax take on a whole new lease on life. Well, with the exception of those godawful Legoland apartment buildings with the crack den color schemes that you can see from the freeway. Seriously, cherubs, what is up with that green, red and yellow monstrosity on 2nd West? Somebody please tell me that’s subsidized housing for the blind!
But enough about gentrification, let’s talk about the food at Off Trax. It’s comfort food baby, and you all know how much Ruby loves her some comfort food! Mr. Ridge and I stopped in for lunch and had a pulled pork sandwich and a Philly cheese steak. Yum Ho! I am planning on systematically working my way through the entire Off Trax menu starting with their breakfast items (lots of fabulous egg combos, omelets and French toast), and then sampling their variety of sandwiches and burgers. I will probably fixate on the fried finger foods. You know, the four basic food groups — battered mushrooms, onion rings, buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks — that make up the USDA recommended fried food pyramid. Darlings, I have to wonder why KFC took the “Fried” out of their name. It’s not like they are fooling anyone, and besides, if you are going to deep fry something, I say take ownership of it; embrace the grease, and apologize to no one! But that’s just me …
Anyway, let me tell you why comfy coffee shops and diners are so near and dear to my heart, pumpkins. Years ago I was in Calgary, Alberta for the Calgary Stampede, and here I found the most wonderful gay and lesbian coffee shop, comfort food grill and wine bar. It was called Queen Victoria’s, or maybe it was Prince Albert’s. Oh wait, no, that’s something totally different. Never mind. Yes, it was definitely Queen Victoria’s. I remember watching the locals (gays, straights, lesbians, old, young, the whole petting zoo) eating breakfast. They were talking with their mouths full, joking and passing sections of the morning newspaper around all over the restaurant. It was like a big, noisy family breakfast table, which struck me as so healthy. It was a friendly community hangout where no one is a stranger for long, which is my greatest hope for Off Trax.
I have to say, though, despite the well rounded menu at Off Trax, there is one glaring omission: It needs a “Michael Aaron Happy Meal.” That’s a little piece of chicken with no buns and a big sausage soaked in Red Bull! And no, kittens, I don’t want to see the toy that comes with that EITHER! (Can you tell I’m still a little weirded out by the twinks in underwear cover of the last QSaltLake? I couldn’t tell if the models were just awfully young looking, or if we printed one of those Operation Rescue fetus photos by mistake. Eeewww … icky!) But anyway, cupcakes, here’s my recommendation: Go grab breakfast, lunch or some after hour’s snackage, and support the good folks at Off Trax. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
You can see Ruby Ridge and the Matrons of Mayhem performing live, in all of their politically incorrect polyester glory every third Friday of the month at Third Friday Bingo (First Baptist Church, 777 S 1300 E in Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m.). On Friday, Sept. 18 their designated charity will be the University of Utah’s LGBT Resource Center.