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South Jordan Journal

Serving Up Some Southern Flair In Daybreak, Porch Restaurant Opens In June

May 29, 2015 02:44PM ● By Aimee L Cook

Chef Jennifer Gilroy serves her meatloaf balls, a menu item at her new restaurant, Porch. Photo courtesy of Daybreak

What do you do when you move to a new area and you just can’t find a great place to eat? Well, if you are Jennifer Gilroy, you open your own restaurant, naturally. 

Such was the case for Gilroy, currently known best for her other restaurant, Meditrina, that opened in 2008. Now, she has branched out into the suburbs with her new endeavor, Porch in SoDa Row. 

“I like honest food,” Gilroy said. “After spending seven years in Nashville, Tennessee, Southern comfort food is very close to my heart, even pre-trend.  I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what Southern comfort is, and it’s not about importing Southern grits from South Carolina; it’s about using what you have locally and making good comfort food with a local spin.”

That is exactly what Gilroy intends to do. Her goal is to use as much organic and fresh local products as possible in her creative recipes, which she says are comfort foods with an upscale spin.  Already on the menu is Mary’s free-range chicken, and she is in discussions with Luke Peterson from Peterson’s Family Farm in Riverton for veggies.  Her unique menu will feature a Utah trout dish, catfish, the Porch meatloaf served with buttermilk whipped potatoes and pork tenderloin served with Hoppin’ John, Gilroy’s version of a red beans and rice dish. 

Under Construction, a new restaurant at Daybreak’s SoDa Row. Photo by Jennifer Gilroy

 Gilroy learned her culinary skills from the “school of hard knocks,” she says. She is a self-taught chef who brought her skill to the Salt Lake Valley with the opening of Meditrina, for which she was awarded the Salt Lake Dining Award in 2010.  Gilroy wants people to enjoy fine food and dining without the stuffy atmosphere and expensive price tag. 

The open, airiness of Porch - with its 30-foot-high ceilings - is anything but stuffy. There will be plenty of outdoor patio seating during the summer months

“I wanted Porch to feel as if you were sitting on your own front porch while you are dining,” Gilroy said. 

For the first month or so, Porch will be open for dinner Tuesday thru Saturday, with a Saturday brunch. Porch is located at 11274 Kestrel Rise Road, Suite G, Bldg. C.