Publik Ed's: Your New On-Campus Food Spot

So, my fellow Utah Utes, it looks like you’ve fallen into your mid-semester slump of eating at the Union Panda Express multiple times per week, once again. I get it. But hours of studying and/or sleep deprivation is not excuse to get lazy with your eating habits. I know it’s easy to settle for Einstein’s bagels when you’re in a rush on campus, or looking for a quick bite to eat in between classes, but in a five minute walk from the Union,  you’ll arrive at cozy Publik Ed’s where your eggs are, surprise, not reheated in a microwave (looking at you, Einstein’s breakfast sandwiches).

You’ve settled on your classes. You may have even settled with your most recent boyfriends. But food is no place to cut corners. “Treat yourself” is a motto that will never die, and, luckily, Publik Ed’s has that “treat yourself” taste, without the “treat yourself” price. In fact, nothing on the menu exceeds 9 dollars—so there are, truly, no excuses. Despite popular misconceptions, local is not synonymous with expensive. In fact, for the same price as your reheated frozen chicken from Panda Express, you can have a fully stacked burger with fresh ingredients, grilled right in front of your eyes.

With these opportunities for bigger, better, and fresher food right around the corner, I am officially declaring 2019 the year of a new New Year’s Resolution, the resolution to strive for happy eating rather than healthy eating. And what’s happy eating, you might ask? It’s taking time to enjoy your food. It’s making the effort to tuck yourself into a restaurant chair, get cozy, and enjoy a delicious (and affordable) meal. In this case, you’ll want to partake in the ultimate comfort food, the Ed’s Burger with a side of homemade tots and special sauce.

For those of you who still aren’t sold, Publik Ed’s location is an on-campus spot with quite the extensive history. Prior to Publik Ed’s opening in 2018, its predecessor, “Big Ed’s,” was a household name at the University of Utah—known for its greasy bar food, beer, and breakfast menu. In owner Missy Greis's vision for Publik Ed’s, she hopes to honor the traditions left behind by past owners, with menu items that serve as nods to Big Ed’s classic favorites, i.e. the “Gawdawful”—a tribute to an earlier and widely-known dish at Big Ed’s. Greis also told Her Campus Utah that Publik Ed’s memorializes the location’s early history by “keep[ing] the church pew benches” on their patio, and some of the “dishes and the glassware for [their] beer hole.” We are happy to say that Publik Ed’s gave former Big Ed’s a much-needed sprucing with modern lighting, bright red accents, and minimalist design that the owner describes as “simple, clean, and quality.”

In an effort to make its own name in the Salt Lake Community, Publik Ed’s has also made an active commitment to sustainability and consistency—evident in the company’s slogan “QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. COMMUNITY OVER CORPORATE. PLANET OVER PROFIT.” And much like other Publik locations in Salt Lake, Publik Ed’s primary goal is to “produce great coffee, fresh food, and great spaces that pulled all people in to gather.”

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Her Campus Utah wanted to honor the achievements of powerful local girl boss, entrepreneur, and owner of Publik, Missy Greis, with an interview—which allowed us to consult her wisdom in her experience as a female business owner. When asked how we should empower more women to pursue their dreams in business, she replied, “by highlighting the many, many women-owned businesses in SLC”—so we did just that.

To start, we asked about the beginnings of Publik as a brand, where Greis explained that the Publik Flagship store was “a happy accident. “It was a destination coffee house, but was intended to be a destination event and meeting room with a coffee roastery production component.” To gain traction in the Salt Lake City social scene, Greis said that she used “pure and simple social media and hashtags,” followed by a good “good product, great employees, and word of mouth.” As for her vision for Publik Ed’s as an experience, she described that her “vision is to stay consistent, to stay relevant, to surround myself with people smarter than I am. I like to stay close to the employees who give me the full intel on what the day to day is, and their customer/product experience. We have a lot of regulars. It’s a balancing act to get to know them without intruding on their time in our spaces.”

Because the company was born in Salt Lake, I was curious as to what benefits this Salt Lake specifically offered Greis as an entrepreneur and business founder. She replied, “The city is small. The community is local, and word travels quickly.” In terms of more general advice for aspiring business owners, Greis recommends to “Study the market, [and] pick your location wisely.” And boy, did she.

Recently, the Her Campus Utah team had the honor and privilege of hosting our 6th Birthday Party Celebration in the Publik Ed’s space---so here’s a review of our personal menu favorites.

The Big Ed's burger: the onion-beer jam will make this unlike any burger you've ever had (in the best way possible). 

Tots with Special Sauce: The rumors are true, the special sauce is life-changing. With a spicy kick, this classic diner fave is given new life. The Gawdawful: A fun twist on an old Big Ed's favorite, and your typical breakfast sandwich routine. The Gawdawful is a pile of tots, smothered in homemade chili and pickled onions. 

The Veggie Burger: A vegetarian-friendly bite, that even the carnivore of all carnivores would love. 

 

Come check out Publik Ed's today, at 210 University St E, Salt Lake City, UT!

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