The Gluten-Free Gourmand
I haven’t been posting much lately because the Hubby and I have been saving diligently as we’re buying a house. It’s quite a process and after we received the news today that our closing scheduled Monday, November 21st may be pushed off another 30 days(!), so we decided we were going to splurge. On comfort food. Being that we both work in Park City and need to stay close to our jobs, we decided to go somewhere nearby. The Hubby suggested Jupiter Bowl. “What? The bowling alley?” Yup. That’s the place. And it didn’t take too much to convince me to check it out, just a glance at the menu and I knew I wanted to see what they offered.
This is not your average bowling alley. It was obviously designed to be one of the main nightlife attractions (along with Maxwell’s, who is also open in Salt Lake City – my review of that location is here) of the “Newpark town center” . I put that in quotations because although it was built to compliment the near-by Redstone Shopping Center, it is mostly empty. Blame it on the economy – it was built around the 2006 boom in Utah and fizzled out right after the completion of the hotel, the aforementioned Maxwell’s and Jupiter Bowl, and just a couple shops, restaurants, and corporate offices.
As a night-life destination, Jupiter Bowl has a fantastic bar set-up in addition to the bowling lanes. The cocktail menu – robust with high-end liquor combinations and beer – was tempting, but we had to pass it up this time around because we were planning to return to work afterwards.
The restaurant portion, which will also serve the bowling lanes area, is called “The Lift Grill and Lounge”. I loved the atmosphere here – very 70′s lounge-y. We were all alone for lunch, although the servers were rushing orders to the busy lanes right outside of the lounge.
I came with a clear plan. The Hubby was going to have the Chick & Mac, “Buttermilk fried chicken served over creamy aged white cheddar, scallions, tomato, jalapeno mac” and I was going to order the “Oink”, a burger with “Crispy bacon, braised pork belly, prosciutto, fontina, tomato balsamic ketchup”. Unfortunately, my plan was half-foiled as the “Oink” that I saw on their website turned out not to be on the menu. In a rush, I ordered the Bombay burger instead, boasting “6oz Turkey burger, red curry glaze, mango chutney, cucumber yogurt sauce” with a side of fried green beans. Let me mention here that the service was extremely quick and friendly, which contributed to my rash decision. Not a bad thing, but the excuse I’m using.
Let’s start with my burger. With a name like Bombay, I was expecting Indian flavors. I was a bit disappointed when I tasted the curry. It had a strong coconut flavor which tastes much more Thai than Indian. The chutney is in quotations on the menu – it’s because it isn’t chutney. It’s a pineapple-y salsa. Not bad, and all of the ingredients were extremely fresh, but when you expect a spicy/savory Indian flavor it will surprise you. Two bigger disappointments were that the turkey burger patty was bland and the bun squished down into a little bun-pancake after a while of holding the thing. The bolder flavors of the curry and the “chutney” compensated for the blandness of the patty, but nothing could save that sad bun. The fried green beans were served with ranch and were delicious – again, very fresh and fried in a light tempura batter – I loved these.
The clear winner of this meal was the Chick & Mac. The macaroni and cheese was perfect – cheesy, gooey, and spicy with perfectly cooked pasta - Oh Yeah! The scallions provided a slight crunch. The chicken was the main reason why we ordered this, but it was a non-entity. While the Mac&Cheese aspect was bangin’, the chicken was a let down. We expected more of a fried chicken (think Popeye’s-esque ecstasy) and instead we got more of a chicken nugget taste. They tasted good, those little fried chicken breast nuggets, but not what we expected. Still, the Mac&Cheese redeemed the entire thing. This will get ordered again.
The verdict is that we’ll return for the inventive flavors, the fish tacos that also caught my eye on the menu (Mahi-Mahi, seasoned cabbage, pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro lime crema served with sweet potato fries), and some high-end bowling and getting drunk-ness. Oh, I see some fun nights ahead!