This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Chedda Burger is not for the faint-of-heart diner. The food here is big, messy and bold; the restaurant's slogan "Burgers with Attitude" isn't an exaggeration.
Rolls of paper towels sit on each table ready to mop up whatever surprise ingredient has dripped down your arm like green chile and mustard on the popular The Green Mile burger ($7.99) topped with bacon and mac 'n' cheese.
Days after eating the Silly Round Eye burger ($7.99), I was still finding signs of kimchi stains on my fingers, but the bright orange reminder was worth the taste memories of a juicy beef patty topped with meaty pastrami and Swiss cheese covered in the spicy tang of fermented cabbage. In what had previously seemed to be a restaurant black-hole location just to the south of Grand America on the one-way 600 South throughway, customers appear to be making Chedda Burger a destination that is thriving based on word-of-mouth and Yelp support, says owner and chef Nick Watts.
The restaurant is the brick-and-mortar big brother of the original Chedda Truck that's made a name for itself with quality food and unexpected flavor combinations. Take, for example, the Kill Me Softly burger ($7.99 ) a bleu cheese and bacon affair amped up with cranberry sauce and served on a Krispy Kreme donut. You can see how this could get messy.
There's only one burger on the menu here that doesn't have something decidedly outside-the-box served on it. That's the Old Faithful ($6.79), delivering a hefty beef patty supporting cheddar cheese and caramelized onions along with lettuce, tomato and fry sauce. It's a solid choice for burger stalwarts, as is The Mother Hen ($7.99), which walks the burger/breakfast sandwich line. It's a beef patty topped with muenster cheese, a fried egg, bacon and sriracha aioli served on an English muffin. All things being equal, I'd probably switch up the muffin for a bun next time.
As any good burger joint should, Chedda Burger gives as much attention to the quality sides as the outrageous burgers. The Sticks ($2.99) are generously portioned fries cooked until perfectly crispy and then tossed in salt. Sweet potato fries ($3.99) are available, too. But the namesake Chedda tots ($3.49) are the gold standard by which all tater tots should be measured. Hand-rolled and stuffed with cheddar cheese that stays melted but not to the point of oozing, the ratio of potato to cheese is perfection. They are served with a cilantro chipotle dipping sauce that's spicy yet cooling at the same time.
The final side offering is the Comfort Kid ($7.99), which is really a full meal in itself. A basket of fried Brussels sprouts comes sprinkled with cheddar cheese and covered in pulled pork from R&R BBQ and a fried egg dressed with sriracha mayo. Rich and sinful, cruciferous vegetables never tasted so good.
If you're looking for greens that are a bit healthier, Watts has left a few salads on the revised summer menu to please more potential diners. The Hey Big Guy ($7.99) salad features spinach, juicy chicken strips, roasted mushrooms and goat cheese all coated in green goddess dressing. I actually found it even better after refrigerating the leftover salad overnight and eating it all cold.
Two chicken sandwiches and a veggie burger wrap up the choices on the main menu.
Chedda Burger doesn't have a liquor license, so washing down your burger with a beer isn't an option, but you can try Utah's other favorite vice: ice cream in the form of thick, calorie-loaded shakes.
In addition to basic offerings such as a fresh and fruity strawberry shake ($3.49), you can branch out to pie shakes like banana cream or a chunky mint Oreo ($4.99 each) or go right over the top with a Brightside ($5.99) that included salted caramel as well as blended Twinkies and a whipped cream and Twinkie garnish.
The interior of Chedda Burger is one part prep kitchen and two parts restaurant. All of the prep work for the trucks (a second Chedda Truck may make an appearance this summer) and the restaurant happens in plain sight. One evening we watched an employee hand-press each burger. Another afternoon the cilantro chipotle sauce was being batched.
And while Chedda Burger doesn't inspire leisurely lounging over a burger due to the cramped quarters, cold air blowing directly on every table and overly loud music, the one outdoor table allows diners to spread out a bit more, weather permitting. Better still, order takeout and pop over to the gorgeous gardens at The Grand America for a picnic meal.
Watts is quickly building a burger legacy that could arguably edge out Lucky 13 and The Garage offerings while using his success to give back to those less fortunate. For every two burgers purchased by customers, he sets aside the cost of a basic cheeseburger, and twice a month the Chedda Truck feeds the homeless between February and when the snow starts to fall in the winter. During the coldest months, he gives hand warmers to those on the streets. "I personally handed out over 9,000 hand warmers after work every night that it was below freezing," Watts explained. "Our next goal is to buy a city bus and make it into a portable shower unit for the homeless … then phase three we'll start a day-start facility where they can do laundry, apply for ID cards, look for jobs, etc."
With great food and a good cause behind every bite, Chedda Burger has found a recipe for success in downtown one drippy, delicious burger at a time.
Heather L. King also writes for http://www.theutahreview.com and can be found on social media @slclunches.
Food • HHHhj
Mood • HH
Service • HH
Noise • bb
Outrageous burger combinations are making themselves known at this downtown restaurant, paired with cheesy tots and memorable ice cream shakes.
Location • 26 E. 600 South, Salt Lake City; 801-448-6116
Online • http://www.cheddawasted.com
Hours • Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sunday
Children's menu • No
Prices • $
Liquor • No
Reservations • No
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • Yes
On-site parking • Yes
Credit cards • Yes