Juices, Avocado Toast and more at Jasper’s Juicery
Restauranteur Jason Miller brings pressed juices and healthy fare to downtown Joplin at Jasper’s Juicery.
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Diners have their pick of drinks at Jasper’s Juicery, including smoothies and pressed juices like the Hot Apple.
Editor's note: On June 29, Jasper's Juicery announced it has permanently closed on Facebook.
I’ve always loved driving. When my brother got his permit, I was beyond jealous as his three-and-a-half-year younger sister. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My parents had other ideas, of course, but I still managed to go driving around town with friends, and I continue to explore when I can.
On one recent sunny Sunday, I couldn’t resist getting in my car and hitting the road. I headed west to Joplin, a place I still hadn’t visited despite living in 417-land for almost a year. It was a sleepy afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to explore at my own pace. After taking in the photography exhibits at the Spiva Center for the Arts and walking downtown, I wound up at Jasper’s Juicery, which opened this past April, for a late lunch. The restaurant is the latest venture from Jason Miller, owner of Instant Karma Hot Dogs and Joplin Eagle Drive-In. Having heard positive reviews of both establishments, I felt pretty confident in my pick.
First, I grabbed a cup of some of the most refreshing water I’ve tasted. I generally don’t even ask for a lemon with my water, but this stuff—infused with cucumbers and various fruit and herbs depending on the day—was just the thing to cool me down after my walk. Thirst quenched, I turned my attention to the menu.
The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch five days a week, and dishes include the Steak Salad, the Porchetta Fig Panini (above) and the Tofu Caprese Crepe.
Unlike Instant Karma or the Drive-In, Jasper’s menu is a health-conscious one. Salads are quite literally at the center among panini, an array of avocado toasts and many flavors of sweet and savory crepes. And of course, there are the fresh pressed juices and almond milk smoothies that are the cornerstone of the menu. I decided to order a juice so I could also indulge in some heartier food. I had my eye on the Kalestorm, a mix of kale, spinach, apple, cucumber, carrot and ginger, before a waiter recommended the Hot Apple. Apple is not my cup of juice as it were, but the pineapple, ginger and especially cayenne pepper in the drink convinced me to try it. Much to my delight, it was not sickly sweet like a run-of-the-mill juice box, and the cayenne adds an unexpected but not too powerful kick.
A few minutes later, the Porchetta Fig Panini and side house salad I ordered appeared on a cute tray. I took a bite of the sandwich made with porchetta, house-made fig jam and Edgewood Creamery’s Plain Jane Fromage Blanc served on perfectly sliced bread. It would have been easy to dry out the pork, but instead the meat was juicy and not too tough. The jam added a hint of sweetness without overpowering each bite, and all the flavors were married together with the mild, creamy cheese.
At first I thought the salad portion was a little small, but the ingredients were far superior to the average house salad, so I didn’t feel too slighted. A light and refreshing house-made orange vinaigrette nicely complemented the kale mix, red onions and sunflower seeds. Admittedly the roughage could have been fresher, but it filled me up just the same. My gas tank was a different story, but I remedied that situation and was back on the road, well-fed and ready for another drive.