Modern Family's Ty Burrell on His Favorite Grub

tyler ferg embedPhoto: Courtesy of The New Potato.
On a quest for the next big thing in the food industry, sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann have begun the journey with The New Potato. Profiling chefs, restauranteurs, and celebrities alike with cuisine questionnaires, the world of dining has reached a whole new level of delish.
If there was a contest going for funniest guy out there right now, Modern Family’s Ty Burrell would no doubt be at the top of our list. The very love-able Phil Dunphy is a favorite character of ours. Not to get all PHIL-osophical (yes we went there — because PD definitely would), but we knew there had to be more to this actor than just the silver screen.
Turns out, we were right. Burrell’s Bar-X in Salt Lake City is a neighborhood favorite, and if you want to catch America’s most popular onscreen Dad, this is probably where your best chances lie (that, or stalking the Modern Family set). But why not do it somewhere you can enjoy good food and booze at the same time? Seems like an X-tremely good plan…we swear we’re done now.
What would be your ideal food day?
Well, this is going to sound odd, but my ideal breakfast is leftovers. I have no idea why — something about getting excited all over again about the meal the night before (or two nights before…). Lunch would be a homemade soup, which I’m lucky enough to have quite a bit because my wife loves to make it. And dinner, for me, would essentially be a peasant board. Nothing makes me happier than a Henry the Eighth meal — meats, cheeses and the greatest bounty of fruits and vegetables in all the land.
What are your favorite drinks and menu items at Bar X?
I’m a big fan of the classics. I love the Old Pal or a Rob Roy. But I also love their creations: The Medicine Hat, created by David White and The Edison St. created by Duncan Burrell and Richard Noel.
What would Phil Dunphy’s drink be at Bar X?
The Pink Lady
What we don’t know about Bar X that we should…
It was opened the day prohibition was repealed in 1933. My brother and another one of our owners, Dave Hunt, refurbished the entire bar to get the wood and the whole environment as close to the condition of that day as they could. I think they did an amazing job.
Best lunch on the Modern Family set ever…
The same salad that I order everyday so as not to make me too sleepy: greens, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas.
Worst lunch on the Modern Family set ever…
The same salad that I order everyday so as not to make me too sleepy: greens, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas.
What are some of your pre and post shoot routines?
I stretch out in the trailer and practice physical bits if I have any that day. (Julie [Bowen] and I share a trailer so she unfortunately has to deal with the shaking). Afterwards, I don’t have any rituals other than enjoying the drive home to my gals.
Your go-to breakfast…
Eggs and too much hot sauce.
Your go-to on-set snack…
What are your vices?
I could (and do if my wife is away) have a game of some kind on TV twenty four hours a day. Play-by-play announcers are my equivalent of those soothing sound machines. They are my rainforest (name of my new album).
A few misconceptions about Salt Lake City…
That it’s conservative. An interesting thing about being in a large concentration of people in a conservative state (as I know well from growing up in Oregon) is that the cities become enclaves for progressive politics. The last few mayors of Salt Lake City have been the most liberal mayors I’ve ever even heard of. I love the Mormons so much, actually. Much of my extended family, on my wife’s side, is Mormon and they’re some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. But the population in Salt Lake is predominantly secular.
What are your favorite LA food spots?
Lotería Grill, Son of a Gun, City Tavern.
What spots in LA would we most likely find Phil Dunphy? Why?
Probably at the water park. If we’re talking food, I think Phil would probably be found in line at Pink’s in perpetuity.
Where are your favorite spots to travel?
We like to go to Southern Utah at least once every summer. It’s pretty amazing down there. We used to live in New York so we feel lucky that we get to travel there for business so much. Outside of that we sort of follow the food. My wife went to culinary school at FCI [French Culinary Institute] so she qualifies as an actual foodie. I take her lead and it sometimes means a weekend in San Francisco but it also has meant, in the past, Italy or France. We haven’t travelled much since we’ve had kids but we’re excited about getting to Spain soon, hopefully.
What won’t you travel without?
Shoes. I consider them a must-have.
If you’re visiting New York, where do you eat?
We love so many places in New York. In Queens there are a thousand good restaurants from around the globe. Il Bambino, Sripraphai, Kabab Café…
The food that makes you laugh and why…
Whatever I’m grilling. It’s terrible.
Your go to recipe for eating in…
Beer Can Chicken. Very hard to screw up (I still have).
What’s a typical dinner table scene in the Burrell household?
Food everywhere and my wife is the only clean one.
Do your own family experiences transfer over to Modern Family?
Not really, though I do follow Mitch and Cam’s story lines with more interest now that I have little ones.
If you could have a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What jokes would you tell?
My dad, my uncle Rod, and all three of my grandparents. I think the world they’ve been missing would be funny enough.

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