Lively American casual dining, brewery, and pub with eccentric decor

Strap Tank Brewery –

Lehi, UT – American – $$ – Casual Dress
Sifter Critique

Brandon O. - Pro Sifter & PhotographerSep 5, 2019

Overall 3.6 / 5.0

3

Food

2.9

Service

4.8

Ambience

3.5

Value

Overview

Strap Tank focuses on providing an eccentric atmosphere full of motorcycle memorabilia, old pop art, and antiques collected by owner Rick Salisbury. The restaurant’s name comes from Harley-Davidson’s 1907 strap tank model. Their menu consists of mainstream American dishes such as salads, fish n’ chips, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, steak, and fresh-brewed beer crafted in-house or at their Springville location. Their menu boasts many Keto-friendly options, just look for the “K” next to the menu item.

Value:

The portions are fairly large but not big enough to share. Depending on what you order here, the entrees run from $11 to $24. We didn’t order any drinks or alcohol and our bill ran around $80 for five of us with an appetizer.

Most popular dishes:

Beer Battered Fish N’ Chips, Steak Salad, Southwest Burger, and Filet Mignon.

What I ordered:

We ordered the Southwest Burger, Beer Battered Fish N’ Chips, Seared Ahi Tuna, Cod Strap Tank Tacos, and Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Food quality:

We were told before ordering that nearly everything, excluding the condiments, is made in house with locally sourced ingredients. This raised our expectations. Unfortunately, the food reminded us of an average grill. Let’s get into the details.

Southwest Burger:
Starting with the bun, it was buttered and toasted well but dry. The patty consisted of a quarter pound of house-ground beef. I ordered it medium-well and it came out well done and dry. The meat seemed to have only been ground once as the pieces were large and a bit chewy. My cheese wasn’t melted either. I was disappointed with the combination of toppings. The burger was topped with both barbecue and chipotle aioli. It didn’t work for me. The addition of guacamole, bacon, and pepper jack cheese added to the chaos. There was simply no harmony in the flavors.

Beer Battered Fish N’ Chips:
The cod tasted fresh, absent of any fishiness that comes with age. The batter itself was thick, crunchy, and very oily. It was also overdone causing a slightly burnt flavor to the crust and a dryer fish. It was served with the option of house-made tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and fries or onion rings. We chose onion rings and they used the same batter.

Seared Ahi Tuna:
Our waiter recommended this dish. Strap Tank’s Ahi tasted sashimi-grade and fresh. It was crusted with sesame seeds, seared well, and topped with scallions. It was placed on a bed of coleslaw and rice. Concerning flavor, the fish was the star due to its quality but the dish itself was rather bland. There was absolutely no seasoning to the Ahi. There was a little teriyaki sauce on the rice, but it had seeped to the bottom.

Strap Tank Cod Tacos:
The cod was grilled, had a nice blackened seasoning, and tasted fresh. It was topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and a sweet citrus mayonnaise based sauce. The sauce was either flavorless or too little had been put on because I couldn’t detect it. Also, the tortillas were low quality. Tortillas are just as important to me as the fish and I always prefer homemade.

Spinach Artichoke Dip:
This was surprisingly my favorite part of the meal. The artichokes, spinach, and cheese blended perfectly, was seasoned well, and evenly warm. The artichokes were al dente. The spinach was cut into fine pieces and perfectly cooked, making it easy to eat. It was served with fried pita bread that tastes closer to Navajo flat bread, but thinner. This all came together to create a very savory appetizer. I’m not typically a fan but it was really good.

Dietary Needs:

The owners of the restaurant follow a Ketogenic Diet and have labeled Keto friendly items with a “K” on the menu. This really is the extent of their diet or allergy friendliness. When I asked the waiter about gluten, nut, and dairy free options he told me that they could not 100% guarantee the absence of an allergen. They try to avoid cross contamination, but most things use one or more of these ingredients. For instance, the fries are battered in flour and beer. If you have allergies and want to try Strap Tank, be extra cautious and bold in your request.

Ambiance:

The Lehi Strap Tank building is modeled after the Springville location, and brings with it a unique distressed decor, tall ceilings, a visible brewery, and unique architecture. It’s also a “culmination of owner Rick Salisbury’s forty years of building experience” and collecting. It feels much like an early 1900’s museum featuring motorcycle relics, circus antiques, and old pop art giving it a Tim Burton feel. It’s a really distinct and fun atmosphere.

However, due to the exposed brick, wood, and metal surfaces in the buildings it tends to be a bit noisy. It can be hard to have a basic conversation with your table party or the waiter. On the plus side, the acoustics are great for the live bands that perform on Friday nights.

Concerning the space, I was a little surprised at the size of their bar. Considering they’re a brewery, I expected it to be much larger on the main floor. However, I did like that they had family areas separate from the alcohol. My little boy loved seeing the rhino, teddy bear riding the wire on an old Indian Motorcycle, and rocket ship carousel fixture in the main dining area!

Service:

I really wasn’t impressed with the service. My father in-law first ordered the Prime Rib Dip but was told it was unavailable. Next he ordered the Ahi Tuna and requested it to be fully cooked instead of seared. The waiter mocked him a bit and told him it couldn’t be done. While it’s popular to sear Yellow-fin Tuna (known as Ahi), it’s by no means the only way to prepare the fish. Similar to a beef steak, Ahi can be served rare, medium rare, medium, and well done depending on the freshness of the fish. The cooking method comes down to the desired texture and tenderness. Longer cooking times create dryer and tougher fish. If the customer prefers his fish thoroughly cooked, I think the restaurant should be willing to accommodate them. That aside, it seemed like the people around us were getting good service. We just had a bad waiter.

What I liked most:

The building itself and all of it’s unique decor, trinkets, and antiques.

What I disliked most:

The full menu. Instead of trying to offer the world, Strap Tank could benefit from simplifying their menu. At the best restaurants, their entire menu leaves you wanting. With Strap Tank’s menu, it’s hit or miss. Some things are great, others average or tasteless.

The verdict:

I’d likely come back for the live bands and atmosphere, but not for the food.

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