Restaurants + Cocktails

Hell's Backbone | Heaven to Earth to Fork

4/18/2017 | V. Ulibarri
Kerri Fukui

The farm-to-fork movement is quickly gaining traction, and for a good reason - our health. It's a very old concept which takes us (way) back to our roots (literally) of eating local, unaltered vegetables, fruits and meats. A true pioneer of the farm-to-fork initiative, Hell’s Backbone grill is going into its 18th season, continuing to provide supreme sustenance to this salty city’s southern neighbors. 

Hell’s Backbone is about as self sustaining as it gets, and perfectly picturesque to boot.

Equal parts delectable restaurant and quaint local farm, the setup at Hell’s Backbone is about as self sustaining as it gets, and perfectly picturesque to boot. The no-harm organic farm (complete with oh so skilled farmers and volunteers alike) is located three miles south of the restaurant in Lower Boulder (think awe-inspiring red rock), and provides sustainably grown vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. On top of that the restaurant is serving up all manner of delicious dishes that incorporate local, responsibly raised, beef, lamb, and eggs. In their efforts to maintain the freshest ingredients with the utmost nutritional quality, the fine folks at Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm are providing patrons with a window into the healthier, more natural, lifestyle enjoyed by our ancestors.

In addition to creating sinfully good bites, Hell’s Backbone features a lively list of organic and sustainable wines, fine Utah micro-brewed beers, and a creative menu of signature seasonal cocktails and spirits (and they're Boulder's only bar). Also, should you find yourself lusting after any one of their freshly harvested creations in particular, they also have two fabulous cookbooks that generously offer up their amazing recipes.

they've created a self-contained, conscious, service-based business that operates from the heart. 

Food and drink aside, as one would expect, the ladies behind Hell's Backbone Grill & Farm are nothing short of magical. Chef-owners Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, are a spirited, generosity-filled duo, committed to dishing out delicious bites to the fine folks of this state. Blake and Jen, a practicing Buddhist with a soft spot in her heart for Greenpeace, and a well traveled visionary with a love of wine, respectively, go by the mantra “Less effort more joy”. After speaking with them over dinner we can safely say their defining mantra lends itself to creating spectacular company, better bites, and overall, one hell of a dining experience. 

For Blake and Jen, it's not so much about money as it is about how many meaningful connections they can make. It's about happiness, their people, staff, guests, and community alike, being present, and making decisions from a loving and compassionate perspective. Drawing inspiration from their favorite restaurants including Mazza , Takashi, and Manoli's, as well as taking a cue from their close friend Mikel Trapp, they've created a self-contained, conscious, service-based business that operates from the heart. 

The devilishly delicious dive has been featured in such heavy hitting publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetite and National Geographic Traveler, among others. 

It’s safe to say the fantastic work of all those involved with this Hell's Backbone Grill hasn't gone unnoticed. This tasty piece of purgatory enjoys one of the highest Zagat ratings in Utah, is a long standing shoe-in for any award containing keywords “Southern Utah” and “food”, and received a James Beard Foundation Award nomination to boot. In addition, the devilishly delicious dive has been featured in such heavy hitting publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetite and National Geographic Traveler, among others. Prestige abound. And rightfully so. 

It may be a bit of a (beautiful) drive, but it's well worth it to experience this hellaciously delicious piece of heaven on earth.

HELL'S BACKBONE GRILL  | No. 20 North Highway 12, Boulder, Utah 84716 | 435.335.7464

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