First Look: Gilroy's Kitchen + Pub + Patio
Can the former Jimmy’s American Café location finally become the hotspot that it once was? Since Jimmy’s closed in 2000, a few restaurants have tried and failed; the spot seems cursed.
If anyone can make it a success, Scott Carlson can. Not only does Carlson have proven chops in the industry (he’s the owner of Court Avenue Brewing Co. and Americana), he has done what other occupants mostly failed to do: He’s entirely updated the venue. With overhauled black booths, plus caption-forward artwork splashing up the otherwise subdued black-and-natural color scheme, the space is no longer stuck in the “Jimmy’s warmed over” rut of the last 15-plus years.
The menu opens to “bar-food plus” choices, including burgers, sandwiches, comfort-food entrées (e.g.: meatloaf, pot pie, salmon fish-and-chips) and a handful of steaks and salads.
A quick recent visit netted a terrific pork tenderloin sandwich—thick cut, with great breading, but serious meat, too. The breaded cauliflower appetizer satisfied as well. Falling short was the cauliflower salad, a boring side option to the sandwiches that consisted of chilled cooked cauliflower and few red pepper bits (was there supposed to be a dressing, perhaps)?
Service was exceptionally sweet, yet a bit green. Our server placed our check in the middle of empty appetizer plates, empty wine-glasses (which needed to be cleared when fresh glasses were delivered), empty dinner plates, and other detritus of a meal. When he asked us to give him some sincere feedback on the dining experience, we tried to say--as kindly as possible--that he might want to clear unneeded plates. The poor fellow looked crestfallen and avoided eye contact the rest of the night. I say: Don't ask if you really don't want to know.
Most certainly, I’m looking forward to future visits—Jimmy’s was once that “I don’t want to cook, but I don’t want to splurge, either” Tuesday-night go-to. Gilroy’s is set to fill those shoes.
Gilroy’s is at 1238 8th St., West Des Moines; 809-1727.