JP’s offers good prices, food

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JP’s Sports Lounge, located in the Jardine Apartment complex, might be Manhattan’s best-kept secret. Named after John Pence, who was the housing and dining services manager, it seems that few people know about the recently opened sports bar.

I was nervous upon entering after reading a door sign that read something along the lines of, “We pay our employees well, so a tip is not necessary. All tips are donated to K-State scholarship funds.”

While it’s admirable to donate all tips to help students, I presumed that no tip for the servers meant little motive to give good service. I was wrong. The service was, for the most part, attentive and helpful.

For being in a sports bar in a college town, the ambiance was a bit calm. The wooden floors and multiple big-screen TVs gave more of a “homey” feeling than that of a bar, but I’ll admit – it was nice being able to watch the football game (and a poker game, the news and a movie – there were a lot of TVs playing different things) in peace.

The prices for drafts are better than many bars in Aggieville. Any 12 oz draft is $2; any 16 oz is $3. Also available are 4 oz beer “tastes” for 75 cents. The only problem is there is not a wide selection of beer; however, there are many options of “mocktails,” as JP’s called them.

But of all things, the food is what makes JP’s worth the drive to Jardine. The hummus platter, which is served with pretzel bread, carrots and cucumbers, is easily one of the most satisfying hummus dishes I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know what types of spices JP’s puts in its hummus, but it gives it the biggest and best kick.

There are also a lot of options for food that make for a good sports bar experience. Expect personalized twists to each dish at JP’s. Wraps are served with “original home-style” tater chips, burgers are served on a pretzel roll and can be served with their “in-house” sauce.

Eating a burger at a sports bar served on a pretzel roll seemed odd to me, but after playing it safe with every other topping (lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, pickles), I found that I actually like the burger better than any other. I added the “in-house” sauce to my burger, and it was a great addition that’s well worth the try.

I also tasted the Cuban Sandwich, which in my opinion is hard to mess up, but it definitely impressed. It might be my messiness or it might be the pork, but for some reason I found myself trying a little too hard to keep the insides of the sandwich from falling out. But who can blame someone for the persistence to do so when it just tastes so good?

Surprisingly, too, no item on the menu exceeded $7 – excluding the 1-pound burger, which was around $8 – and that made it a perfect restaurant for students to go to on a budget. You can’t ask for better prices than this.

I knew JP’s was a good place to eat when I couldn’t decide on what I wanted for dinner. Do I go with the B.T.O pizza, with bacon, cream cheese, mozzarella and onion? Do I try the Konza wrap, with portabella mushrooms, hummus and balsamic vinaigrette? It all sounded so good. What I ended up ordering was a treat, but that doesn’t mean I’ll hesitate to try something new the next time I stop in. Five out of five stars. 

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