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Revisit: Salt Factory

photo 5Roswell’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?

photo 2

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?)

photo 3

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.

photo 1

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.

photo 4

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?

21 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic, John Kessler. John Kessler said: Revisit: Salt Factory [...]


August 19th, 2010
7:10 pm

We love liverwurst. My young wife (30) never heard of it either. We like Neuskes smoked version with raw onions and guldens gold brown on rye bread. Food from our YOUTH!


August 19th, 2010
7:47 pm

The braised short ribs appetizer is excellent, as are the fish & chips. A few of the other items we have had were uninspired, but we love the atmosphere. I’ve had a couple of the sandwiches, including the steak sandwich, which is good, but not great. Next time I will definitely try the Roswell Burger.

Ron Mexico

August 19th, 2010
8:29 pm

The chicken pot pie is also good here.


August 19th, 2010
8:37 pm

This is one of our favorite places to go for a drink and some munchies. The chickpeas are amazing…the perfect snack to have with cocktails. And we happen to love the meat and cheese plates! Everything we’ve had has been great, and you can’t top the location/atmosphere.


August 19th, 2010
8:57 pm

You should have tried the pulled pork tacos starter. They are awesome and can be a meal. The London Broil entree was excellent. We will definitely go back, and I think I’ll try that burger.


August 19th, 2010
9:24 pm

Try the mussels. I’ve NEVER had any better.


August 19th, 2010
10:01 pm

Overall disappointed in the offerings presented by Salt Factory. Do yourself a favor and walk the short distance down Canton St. to Ceviche Taqueria & Margarita Bar, it is MUCH better.

Also please note Salt Factory as well as Pastis are historical cougar hideouts so beware if you are on a date there with your lady friend.


August 19th, 2010
10:04 pm

I ate here the night the Dawgs beat tech 30-24 in November, the margherita pizza was fantastic. the whole place was jumpin’ as Caleb King ran untouched for 75-yard untouched TD past the tech secondary.


August 20th, 2010
9:15 am

The she-crab soup I had there last winter was excellent. My husband had the fish and chips–portion was huge– and they were quite good too.

Justin Beiber

August 20th, 2010
9:44 am

Hooty hoo, JereWood – great post! ..and so true. I went into Pastis during Alive After Five and thought I was going to be the victim of an eyeball molestation

John Kessler

August 20th, 2010
10:18 am

I noticed as much, JereWood…


August 20th, 2010
11:26 am

Do not listen to JereWood regarding walking over to Civeche–it’s awful. Other than the cuter young servers the food is inedible and the drinks ( I tried both the Margarita’s and Mojito’s) are made with powdered mixes………..a waste of a meal period.


August 20th, 2010
3:14 pm

I’ve eaten at Salt twice, and was somewhat disappointed both times. Once, I had the shrimp cerviche, and it was raw. Not marinated in lime juice. My friend also had it, and agreed. They did take it off our bill, though. The other time, my dish was so spicy, I couldn’t eat it. Oh well!

Carrie Neal Walden

August 22nd, 2010
5:18 am

Your comment about the chickpease stoodout (as did that salad pic- looks delicious!)- I believe they are the same ones they do at Inc. a couple doors down, and the bowls (yep, so easy to keep eating those little guys!) we’ve had have always been great and it sounds like firmer than those you had. Maybe just an off night? Thanks for the scoop on the butcher block and burger- oddly, we haven’t tried either but now will for sure!

Carrie Neal Walden

August 23rd, 2010
7:44 am


August 25th, 2010
12:53 pm

We went the Sunday after this article 1st published. I had the salmon and my wife had the fish & chips, both we’re excellent. Highly recommend!


August 25th, 2010
6:07 pm

Why is 50% of the AJC’s food section about the OTP restaurants these days? cumming? roswell? john’s creek? seriously? just like the cookie cutter houses, ITP restaurants are leaps and bounds over the suburban eateries…


August 25th, 2010
7:58 pm

Salt Factory is one of the best things about Roswell Historic District. Salt Factory didn’t skimp on decor or the bar for a warm welcoming feeling. I am one of the owners of Gallery Spa of Historic Roswell and love after working late driving by Salt Factory, there is always a crowd still there enjoying themselves mingling in conversation. Foods & atmosphere is great, Thank you Salt Factory for bringing something a little different to us. You stand out in my book.


August 25th, 2010
11:00 pm

Michael, the reason that you are noticing more reviews about restaurants OTP is because JK and the Food Section are making a conscious effort to review these other geographical locations. For so long, focus was only ITP, complaints from readers began because they felt their local favorites were being overlooked. Put some gas in the tank and expand some boundaries.


August 26th, 2010
4:29 pm

The shepherd’s pie is the best I have ever eaten. The salmon and fried green tomato bacon sandwichs were also very good.