Kimball Junction • Tucked back off of State Route 224 in a Kimball Junction development lies one of the hippest bowling alleys and entertainment centers I've seen. Jupiter Bowl is in the Newpark Town Center.
The feel is a bit Vegaslike: That is, think Mondrian-esque glass panels in avocado, mandarin, aubergine, camel, auburn and ice blue accented by dark wood floors, flatscreen TVs and funky light fixtures in varying shapes and sizes. The latter bring modernness to two dining areas called The Lift Grill and Lounge. The 22,000-square-foot space also has billiard tables, a small arcade, Wii consoles, a bar named Black Diamond which is stocked with two dozen beers, specialty cocktails and a forgettable and pricey wine list and Club Jupiter, which has four private bowling lanes.
Non-bowlers and bowlers alike can order from the Lift's menu and choose to dine away from the ruckus of falling pins or on the plush couches in front of each of the 12 lanes. Bowler-friendly appetizers, mainly deep-fried, were the most successful dishes I tried on two recent visits.
Tempura-green beans ($5) crackled then gave way to al dente beans with each bite, while tender, unexpected tentacles mingled alongside ringlets in a calamari appetizer ($8). Sweet potato fries ($4) and "tater tots" mashed potatoes swirled with aged cheddar, bacon and green onions were also well executed.
Other dishes, though, need complete retooling, including a jambalaya ($15) imposter in taste and texture; a chicken 'n' mac ($13), with its dry chunks of chicken that appeared in several incarnations on other dishes; overcooked pasta and thin sauce; and white chicken chili ($4, $6), which tasted of nothing but huge slices of bland chicken.
The Baja fish tacos ($14) is a much better entrÃ©e option. Mahi-mahi mingles with tangles of cabbage, pico de gallo, guacamole and cilantro-lime crema. There also are seven pizzas to choose from, including a decent tasting version with mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted garlic, onion and spinach ($10).
Better still are the burgers, made with a unique blend of ground chuck, sirloin and brisket. Each burger comes with regular or sweet potato fries, potato chips, potato salad or a side salad. The "drive-thru" burger ($9) with cheese, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, onions and lettuce arrived cooked to a perfect medium-rare, while the "smokehouse" ($12) was piled a crispy onion ring, jalapeÃ±os, jack cheese, brisket and barbecue sauce atop a medium-cooked patty. The appetizer menu also offers sliders ($12) choose the cheeseburger or barbecued pork over the buffalo chicken.
Rounding out the menu are 11 shakes and floats, a banana split and a gynormous oatmeal-laden brownie sundae (all $5-$6).
Another area that could use attention is service. At one meal, our server was obviously new, but courteous and accommodating, while on another visit our server was missing for long periods of time, never filled our water glasses and we finally had to track down someone else to take our order.
Jupiter Bowl definitely deserves accolades for creating such an edgy place to bowl. Its challenge now is to attract non-bowlers with better food.
The Lift Grill and Lounge at Jupiter Bowl
Food • H
Mood • HHH
Service • H
Noise • bb
Jupiter Bowl caters best to bowlers. Opt to eat while bowling and order mainly from the list of appetizers and burgers. Notable options include tater tots, sweet potato fries, tempura green beans and the "drive-thru" burger.
Location • 1090 Center Drive (in Newpark Town Center), Park City; 435-658-2695
Online • http://www.jupiterbowl.com.
Hours • Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m .to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Children's menu • Yes
Prices • $$
Liquor • Full bar
Corkage • $15
Reservations • Accepted
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • No
On-site parking • Yes
Credit cards • All major