Steals on meals: Tempe's Salut Kitchen Bar

Each week reporter Tanner Stechnij explores some of the affordable options for local eateries around campus so that even college students can feel luxurious.

Salut Kitchen Bar is another Tempe staple that I had yet to visit in the couple years I have been attending classes at ASU. In fact, I have never been to any sort of “kitchen bar,” which may be the least telling descriptor I have ever heard. It is safe to say I was going into the happy hour blind, not knowing what to expect. 

That isn’t to say that my friend Anna was equally ill-prepared — she signed up for Salut's email list and scored us a free order of hummus nachos.

We sat on the outdoor patio, which was shady and cool, a surprise for 3 p.m. on a sunny Arizona day. Each of the booths had little signs with quips like, “Wine gets better with age; as I grew older, wine only gets better.”

The patio had a rustic charm with cute metal chairs and wooden surfaces. Many planters held a mixture of leafy foliage and prickly cacti. When our waitress brought us our water, it was in a glass green cup. It turns out that the wine glasses are recycled from old wine bottles. 

Our waitress was fun and professional; she addressed us politely but was jovial, sitting in our booth and cracking jokes. When it came time to order we decided on mac and cheese bites, Salut fries and we redeemed our hummus nachos as well. Salut’s happy hour, which runs daily from 3 to 6:30 p.m., offers $2 off all appetizers, 50 percent off bottles of wine and $2 off the restaurant's craft cocktails, beers and house wines.

Our food was brought to the table quickly, and it made for quite an eclectic spread. My friends and I dug into the Salut fries, which were tangy and delicious. The meal was tossed with an herb blend and feta cheese and drizzled with the house’s citrus vinaigrette. 

The other two menu items were slightly more challenging to eat. The mac and cheese bites were everything you would expect from a ball of macaroni and cheese. They were battered and fried and the chipotle aioli dipping sauce complimented them well.

The hummus nachos were a lot less weird than expected. Five pita chips were arranged on a plate and each had a generous scoop of hummus tossed with red onion bits, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds and a light balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over the plate.

By the time we finished our tapas, we were pretty stuffed, but we knew we couldn’t leave without getting the s’mores. We weren’t surprised to find run-of-the-mill Hershey’s chocolate and standard graham crackers and marshmallows when they came, but the novelty of roasting s’mores over a little fire at a restaurant was too much to pass up.

When it was all said and done, we split the check three ways and each of our totals ended up being around $10 and some change. Best of all, we left full and each got a nice sample of what Salut has to offer.

Related Links:

Steals on meals: Tempe's La Bocca

Steals on meals: Tempe's RA Sushi Bar


Reach the reporter at tanner.stechnij@asu.edu or follow @tannerstechnij on Twitter.

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