There is a lot of truth to the "Cheers" theme song: When it comes down to human nature, we are all looking for a place "where everyone knows your name.”
The Balanced Rock Eatery and Pub in Helper, Utah, can easily become a place you go to before you start an adventure or the place you go to gloat about the experiences and adventures you’ve already enjoyed.
Off U.S. Highway 6, down a street reminiscent of days gone by, is a restaurant built in 1906 and originally used as a furniture store. We made a trip here based on a recommendation from a fan of our project by the name of Benjamin Jones. We’d never heard of this particular eatery, but as soon as we started to research it, we wanted to go.
At a glance it doesn’t look like much but once you walk through the doors, a wave of history runs over you. It’s a similar feeling to what you experience when you haven’t been home in years but upon seeing it — the place brings back memories that haven’t been thought about since before you left.
We were excited.
Once inside we were enthusiastically greeted by Clay, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Cindi. After chatting a bit, he took us on a tour of this historic Helper building. As we toured each level, we were impressed by the improvements they’ve made while still maintaining a historic and very welcoming atmosphere.
After our tour, it was time to eat. We sat down and went over the menu while trying to decide what to put in our bellies. We started the meal with fried mushrooms, which was something we hadn’t expected to find. For mushroom lovers these are a must. Every bite is like a bowl of mushroom soup!
We were told that one of the great things about this restaurant is its breakfast. We were there at 7:30 in the evening, and even at that time we were impressed by the Greek goulash breakfast we ordered. It is served on a plate with crumbled feta cheese, hash browns, eggs, tomatoes and fresh Greek sausage.
The Greek sausage comes from the local Workmen’s Market and is made from a recipe one of the owners picked up while touring Europe. We know this because we talked with her. She sat with us for a while and even made some recommendations for food, including the goulash. Not only was the goulash good, but the pancake that accompanied it to our table was monstrous! By far the biggest pancakes we’ve encountered up to this point, it was at least 8 inches across and Clay apologized for it being small.
It could have been a meal in of itself.
Tyler doesn’t even like pancakes and had a hard time sharing it due to its brilliant construction.
Our other entree was a New York steak, which at $14 made for an excellent meal. With the steak, one of the options for sides included “Rock Chips,” which are homemade potato chips seasoned with Clay’s own secret recipe — a recipe he swore he would never give up. The meat was tender and well cooked and had honest-to-goodness grill marks on it, giving it that true backyard BBQ taste.
The Balanced Rock is one of the few restaurants that is a whole package; not only do they serve quality diner-type food, but the service is like a little sibling who will do anything you ask simply because they like you so much and want you to be happy. On top of all of that, there is often live music on many Friday and Saturday nights!
We went in as strangers and left feeling like we were leaving home and a place where people know our names.
The portions were big, the prices moderate, and the atmosphere relaxed and warm. As the music flowed down from the floor above, we were content to be in this place — and beyond content to have found another great fork in the road.
The Balanced Rock is located at 148 S Main Street in Helper and can be contacted at 435-472-0403.
Tyson Rollins and Tyler Gaisford developed Utah's Forks in the Road. Follow their adventures at forkintheroadutah.com and on Twitter @ForkintheroadUt.