Editor’s Note: Welcome back husband and wife team Scott Sommerdorf and Lesli Neilson who bring us today’s post from Park City, Utah. Before Scott met Lesli, he was the junk food king. She has since changed his eating habits and fine tuned his palate with her fabulous home cooked meals. They are a busy duo with jobs and kids that keep them running but always find time to enjoy a well made burger. To see more of Lesli’s writing check out the SLC Trib’s website www.sltrib.com/food
If you live in Salt Lake City, then you’re lucky enough to have the choice of seven ski resorts that are within a 30-minute drive. I’m partial to Park City Ski Resort because that’s where I learned to ski and, after years of practice, I’m able to tackle one of the resort’s most difficult bowls — Jupiter Bowl.
But for the next 10 days, throngs of people, from actors, directors, celebrities, paparazzi to independent film lovers, will descend upon the quaint mining town of Park City not to ski but to attend the Sundance Film Festival. You know, the annual event that’s been celebrating independent films for over 30 years. The festival that was the brainchild of famed actor-director-producer Robert Redford.
But theater-goers cannot live on movie-viewing alone. They also need to sleep, eat and, perhaps … bowl? You see, there’s this place called The Lift Grill and Lounge at Jupiter Bowl. No, you don’t have to take a resort ski lift to get there. This Jupiter Bowl is conveniently located just outside of Park City in a hamlet called Kimball Junction, which also has theaters that are showing Sundance films. And, did I mention, this Jupiter Bowl makes a decent burger?
The Lift’s beef burgers are a unique blend of fresh ground brisket, chuck and sirloin. Beyond beef, there’s braised pork belly, kalua pig, buffalo, turkey, crab and a veg patty — all presented in burger form.
Scott got the “smokehouse” burger ($12) with just over five ounces of the aforementioned ground beef blend, a blanket of tender brisket, jalapeño slices, Monterey jack cheese, barbecue sauce and two onion rings … inside the burger. An artisan bun miraculously held it all together. Scott managed to get his mouth around the burger’s contents but he was particularly impressed that he didn’t come away with an entire onion, as is often the case when you bite into a fried onion ring. Rather, each crunchy onion ring bite complemented the other soft ingredients.
I ordered the “drive-thru” burger ($7) with cheddar cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard and mayo. Wow. I’m usually not a mustard-onions-or-pickle-on-my-burger person, but the flavors all complemented each other.
You can upgrade any burger with an 8-ounce wagyu patty ($8) — what the restaurant incorrectly calls kobe — but my extra patty was cooked way beyond what the premium beef should ever be cooked while my 5-ounce beef patty arrived cooked to a perfect medium-rare.
All of The Lift’s burgers come with a side, such as the great-tasting and well-salted sweet potato fries, not-so-good Jupiter fries, zucchini fries, southern-style potato salad, onion rings, potato chips, house-made cheddar-bacon-green onion tater tots (more like croquettes) or jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese. Also, there are nine dipping sauces to choose from, including tomato-balsamic ketchup, chipotle mayo and jalapeño ranch.
Once your hunger has been sated, it’s just a brisk 10-minute walk to the town’s movie theaters, and back to the “scene” that is Sundance.
RATING: 3 out of 5
The Lift Grill and Lounge at Jupiter Bowl
1090 Center Drive
Park City, UT 84098
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00AM – Midnight
Friday-Saturday 11:00AM – 2:00AM
Sunday 11:00AM – 11:00PM