Walking into Station 22 is a different experience. You’re definitely stepping out of Provo and into a new world. The restaurant, located on Center Street in Downtown Provo, has been open for about two years. The interior of the restaurant was revamped five months ago, turning it from a gourmet sandwich shop into an Americana mumbo-jumbo of sorts.
The decor and atmosphere are rustic — there’s an old golf set sitting by the door, with antique tables and chairs for you to lounge on in the waiting area. On the big brick walls are sheets for a pianola — what is used in self-playing pianos. When you sit down, you’re served water in mason jars, which I guess is rather quaint.
I went there for dinner and then lunch the next day. For dinner, we started off with their Hushpuppies ($4.99), which were cooked to perfection. The batter was crunchy and had a little kick with the salt and spices sprinkled on the top, which contrasted perfectly with the sweet and moist interior of the hushpuppy. The restaurant also has a craft soda menu with over 40 varieties— I got the Butterbeer. I’d like to try them all someday.
Order the Jack Kerouac Burger ($10.99) and Whisky Chicken ($10.99). My chicken was delicious. Battered on the outside, the meat was juicy, which complemented well with the crimini mushrooms drenched in their whisky sauce. The grits were mixed in with bacon and cheddar, which added a nice little twist. Taking a bite out of the burger was a treat. Whatever they did with the hamburger meat was heavenly. It was sweet and topped with brie, applewood bacon and a bourbon sauce. The only challenge of the night lay with our dessert, Potted S’mores ($2.99). The concept’s clever, don’t get me wrong. There’s a marshmallow grilled to a chewy consistency, placed atop a mason jar filled with chocolate moose and broken pieces of graham crackers. The marshmallow was sticky, which made it hard to tear apart. It didn’t help that the crackers were in pieces and not ground up. It was hard to get it out of the jar, along with the mousse. After a few bites, we had to give up, though it was tasty enough.
Fast forward to lunch. The dishes we tried this time were the Poutine ($5.99), the Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles ($10.99), along with The Memphis Chicken Sandwich ($9.99).
Poutine’s origins lie in Quebec — fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Instead of using normal brown gravy, which was what I expected, they used the whisky gravy that was on my chicken the night before. While it went well with the chicken, it was a bit too sweet and heavy for my liking. It masked the flavor I was thinking of when I think of fries and gravy — salt.
One of the dishes they kept from their original menu was the chicken sandwich. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of chicken sandwiches, but this particular one continues to impress. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wedges, which I got for my side, were less than satisfactory; they should have stuck to fries. While the outside was cooked just fine, the core of the wedges were still raw.
The chicken and waffles, served on a cast-iron pan, are what you might except, fried chicken served on a waffle. While I wish the waffle was just a little more crispy, the chicken was done perfectly, juicy and crispy. It’s a pretty big portion though, so be prepared to take part of it home.
One thing I do have to say about the service — it was slow. The restaurant was pretty crowded the two times I went, and it was pretty obvious they were understaffed. Our water was never refilled the two times I went, and it took them more than a few minutes to take our order. We only got forks for lunch, and had to ask for knives, and ask twice for our drinks. The kitchen was fast, and our food came out quickly, but having more staff is something management should probably think about.
If you go when the restaurant isn’t crowded, I think you’ll have a decent experience.