Salty Sow in North Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

Categories: Happy Hour

Heather Hoch
Drinks during Salty Sow's reverse happy hour daily from 9 p.m. until close.
The Spot: Salty Sow
4801 East Cactus Road, Phoenix

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. until close.

The Interior:
With exposed brick walls, rich, sleek wood furniture, an exposed kitchen and paintings of portly pigs gracing its walls, Salty Sow, a restaurant that originated in Austin, Texas, looks like the newest hot spot to hit North Phoenix. Daily specials and a full list of craft cocktails and drafts make the menu look promising. Heck, even the name is about as hip in the restaurant industry as it gets right now. If it feels like we're building up to a contradiction to these initial observations, you're definitely catching our vibe.

Heather Hoch
The $7 lamburger at Salty Sow.
The Food:
The happy hour selection offers dishes for $5, $7 or $10, depending on what you pick-- all decent prices for the portions you get. However, some preparation and execution issues plagues almost every dish we tried. The $5 three times fried duck fat fries with a poached egg and béarnaise dipping sauce promised both Belgian and French inspiration, but delivered dry, flavorless, lukewarm fries and a slightly overcooked egg. The $5 eggplant fries with parmesan and marinara were similarly disappointing, basically functioning as grease bombs-- so oversaturated and fried that they turned soggy and would gush with fat every time you took a bite. We stopped at two.

Heather Hoch
Veering away from the sad fry train, we landed at lamburger station-- a $7 five ounce lamb patty with olive tampenade, goat cheese and arugula, with another unfortunate side of fries. The burger itself was actually a stand out, though. The moist, perfectly medium rare meat played nicely with its high-end condiments, with rich, peppery, creamy, tangy and briney flavors throughout. Definitely worth the price, even if you opt to ignore the side of fries entirely.

Location Info

Salty Sow

4801 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

I ate here during Restaurant Week a few months back and had a terrific experience. The fries were fantastic, btw, so perhaps Salty Sow had an off night and deserves a second look? And, as hippiaz68 suggested, tell the manager/server if something isn't up to par. The restaurant, and you as a reviewer (and a PATRON), will be all the better for it.


More and more I find myself dissapointed in local "restaurant critics" who clearly write from a place of food snobbery just to create drama and bash hard working men and women for the sake off readership and ad revenue. When a short article requires a reader to forward though four separate pages (and each page with a re-fresh of ads mind you) just to hear them complain about how a dish wasnt an orgasm in a bowl to their palate, I find it as offensive as if they had thrown the food at the server... Even worse, actually. Because they do so in the face of other patrons who actually enjoy the food. Most patrons of a restaurant, especially those who have worked in them for years would POLITELY tell their server or the manager if a dish was not particularly to their liking. This provides the restaurant the opportunity to actually fulfill their promise to their customer if they happen to fall short of an idividual's expectations. The restaurant APPRECIATES AND THANKS that customer and adjusts accordingly, just as if these were guests in their home! Isn't this what we all would do for a guest over for a meal?! But when a critic publishes an article belittling the food, the service, or even the decor without discussing those same issues with the staff, the manager, or the owner... They are doing so to simply fill their own pockets at the COST of local business owners and eventually the community they sell their drivel to. What would you say to a guest who came to your home for dinner and then talked smack about it publicly? The idea that because a restaurant is trying to make a living at being a member of the hospitality industry that it makes them fair game to public humilation or subject to an individual's particular brand of yellow journalism is abhorent. These are your neighbors, your community members!! So to the restaurant critics here in the Valley... Practice what you preach... Be better at YOUR jobs, build your community up by promoting the local businesses, highlight accomplishments and excellence, and leave the douchebaggery eliteism you're peddling elsewhere. I for one will no longer support you or the trash you're selling.


@hippiaz68 I had the same experience - my favorite thing to eat tehre was a salad. I'm generally not comfortable with sending food back as you hear stories about the server or the cook spitting int he food or doing something else to it. i'm sure this isn't the norm, but it's possible. Makes patrons nervous to complain.

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