Saturday, September 26, 2015

Salt Factory Pub - Roswell Square on Canton

You can find this location of the Salt Factory Pub at 952 Canton Street, Roswell, Atlanta, GA 30075 - this is the same Canton St that makes up the primary restaurant and shopping area known as the Roswell Square.

I went with a couple of friends exploring Roswell as a possible new-home location for my friend Sangam, who recently changed jobs with a company planning to move into the Alpharetta area - quite a change for someone who's spent most of his time in midtown and downtown Atlanta. We decided to do a bit of a min-restaurant crawl through Roswell and since it's been a while for me this looked like a good opportunity to check out a couple of restaurants and pubs. 

If you haven't done a restaurant or pub crawl, the idea is to hit several places, having one drink or beer and sampling either apps or an entry to split between all members of the group. You move from one location to another and try to get a feel for the offerings and general ambiance of each location. I originally got into this concept during the lat 2000s by being involved in John Foster's great Buford Highway Restaurant Crawl - for that group we started in Duluth and moved towards town, stopping at a new restaurant to sample until we ended up at the end of BufHwy (it turns into the i85 access rod near Sidney Marcus). We would do this every other week and it took more than a year, skipping over some of the sketchier-appearing establishments. The group also changed-up quite a bit and it takes a certain type of personality as the driving force to make it work, but I digress...

Today we visited the most excellent Jekyll Brewery and headed to the Roswell Square afterwards.  The Roswell Square, which is a stretch of a few blocks along Canton Street, has always had a few small shops that fed the locals. Within the last 10 years or so, as the community numbers have swelled, the shops have turned more into local pubs and restaurants (along with the more tourist-oriented gift shops, etc.) and has become more of a destination. What's interesting about the area is that there is plenty of housing nearby, basically within walking distance, so a bit of local pub and restaurant culture has evolved and thrived. Also, the city of Roswell passed and open container law for the street that allows you to walk around with beer or other alcohol without the fear of arrest - awesome, right? It makes it a prime location for small festivals - there are several held here and worth visiting. My only complaint is the parking situation - there's simply not enough parking currently to handle the many visitors - I have heard that they are building a large parking area so that will be good news to the local vendors.

So about the Salt Factory Pub - this is my first visit and I already liked what I saw - brownstone-style storefront with limited outdoor seating, exposed brick interiors, chalkboard menus and an eclectic decor, both loft-modernist and baroque. Wine bottles are exposed in cabinets along the back wall and a large full-bar runs along the left. The seating is limited which I rather like - I can easily see this place as my regular watering-hole.

The menu features starters, soup and salads, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, English-pub foods, Gastropub Burgers and Pizzas. We decided to try our luck with:

Louisiana Eggrolls - Cajun rubbed chicken, Andouille sausage, charred corn, spinach, a very sharp cheddar and a delicious creole honey mustard. I loved these - they have the same flavor satisfaction of a good smoked pastrami Reuben eggroll that you find in Irish/English pubs. They satisfy on multiple levels.

Pulled Pork Tacos - these delicious tacos could easily make up a lunch meal for one - smoked pork, smoked jalepeno slaw, cheese, chipotle crema and parmesan.

The beer menu is quite extensive for such a small place - as for as the bottles go, though I was hoping for more local craft on tap. I went with the Abita Jockamo IPA - this is a bright and bitter, very red American IPA with lots of intensity and great flavor.

In all, a very enjoyable experience with great food, good beer and fantastic company. If you haven't tried Roswell yet you're missing out on something special. The only thing I found a bit negative was the parking - but hopefully that will be fixed soon - if you intend to visit make sure you give yourself plenty of time to park and walk to the Square.

-- John

(shorter version posted to Yelp)
Salt Factory Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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