Roswell’s Salt Factory is what people call a “gastropub” — an annoying bit of foodie jargon that gets to the heart of something important in today’s dining culture. More and more people want to go out to a place that feels as worn in and easygoing as a corner tavern, drink a nice pint of beer and eat something — anything — that goes beyond typical pub fare.
We recently cut a broad swath through the menu at Salt Factory, and here’s our verdict: great hamburger. Seriously: this “Roswell burger” was a big, juicy bacon cheeseburger in a soft, enveloping bun — perfectly straightforward with a little cup of sweet-tangy chow chow for pizzazz. Even the slice of tomato rocked. For a pub, there was a pretty slim selection of brews on draft (no more than a half dozen), I would never mind having a foamy Stella Artois and this burger for my dinner.
I also have nothing but good things to say about the vibe at Salt Factory — warm, spirited, fun. Just the kind of solid-looking spot you want to squeeze into on this lively block of Canton St. in downtown Roswell.
What about the rest of the menu?
These crispy chickpeas are the signature starter. They come in a bowl with a little sauce cup that is filled with more chickpeas. (The presentation kind of reminds me of the measuring cup in our bag of dog kibble.) I found them too soft and greasy but distressingly easy to eat. (Has anyone tried the far firmer fried chickpeas at Tía Pol in New York?)
This Salt Factory salad comes with fading greens, a mushy amalgam of heart of palm and avocado and an anodyne papaya vinaigrette goosed with whole pink peppercorns. Less than the sum of its parts.
We put together this butcher block from the available list of meats and cheeses. We really didn’t care for the pillowy slices of bread with their uneven swipes of herb oil, and the poorly shaved prosciutto was served in an un-pry-apart-able clump. But I loved the fact that good old liverwurst was one of the meats offered. My kids had never heard of it. I was jonesing for raw onions and brown mustard.
This seared tuna came with all kinds of whatnot — sweet potatoes, mushrooms, a sweet sauce and a whole heap of fried onions. What can I say? Huge portion.
But my advice remains: get the burger.
Did I miss something else that’s good here?