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West Des Moines got a little more ginger with the addition of Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio on Eighth Street. Ginger, of course, refers to the love of redheads at this restaurant.

The recently opened eatery from Scott Carlson, who already has Americana and Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Co. in Des Moines, boasts perhaps one of the largest patios in the area.

The restaurant, which takes over the former Jimmy’s American Café, looks completely different inside, with a long L-shaped dining room to the right of the entrance with a lovers' lane of cozy booths along one wall, a massive wrap-around bar scattered with high-tops and barstools straight ahead and the patio.

Murals depicting Irish events, Des Moines landmarks and more cover some of the walls for a playful and sociable feel.

Carlson brought Nick Brozek, the former sous chef at Americana, to create the American comfort food menu.

My sister-in-law Chelsea and I started with cocktails, and for me that meant the prickly pear margarita ($6.75) and for my brother’s wife, a pineapple mule ($6.25). I loved both, but Chelsea quickly took my margarita after taking a sip (or four).

For the meal, we ordered the fried mac ‘n cheese balls ($9.99), three incredibly tasty rounds of macaroni and cheese with a smidge of candied maple bacon inside and rolled in panko that’s fried. The house cheese sauce drizzled around it made this dish substantial enough to be an entire meal, but we felt we must go try more.

That meant fried cauliflower ($8.99), maybe my favorite dish of the night. The crispy tempura wrapped around individual heads of cauliflower with a garlic aioli and more of that house cheese sauce for dipping were a divine combination.

We grabbed an order of ginger barbecue chicken wings ($10.99) to try something a little different. Each had a nice crunch and hearkened back to that ginger theme.

For entrees, I grabbed the pale ale chicken ($14.99) with an oven-roasted half chicken, some sautéed vegetables and cheddar mashed potatoes on the side, a nice “healthier” dish on the menu. Of course, I ruined that by ordering cheeseburger soup ($2.99), a definitely not healthy side option.

Chels went for the chicken chimichanga ($10.99), a Mexican-inspired dish stuffed with seasoned chicken, pepperjack cheese, salsa verde and more. We both ended up taking most of the dishes home.

Even my nephew, Theo, got in on the food tasting with his own grilled cheese sandwich ($4.99), and in an unlikely turn, ate most of it. That enabled us to try the French fries, a beer-battered variety worth the calories.

General manager Carl Wertzberger, a ginger himself, came over from Court Avenue Brewing to manage the joint, and shared that soon 10-inch pizzas and shakes made with soft-serve ice cream will join the menu.

So in the parlance of Gilroy’s, save a blonde and make it a redhead for the night (or morning).

Nine other things to note about Gilroy’s:

  1. The rush hour happy hour 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the bar and on the patio. It includes half-priced appetizers and $1 off Moscow mules, drafts, bottles and house wines.
  2. Gilroy’s serves breakfast daily starting at 7 a.m., and that means chicken and waffles, corn flake French toast, eggs Benedict, country fried chicken and more.
  3. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays and until noon on the weekend.
  4. Nine different mules make the menu, each in the $6 to $7 range.
  5. Court Avenue Brewery beers can be found on tap. Right now, that means Perpetually Pale Ale and Honest Lawyer IPA, each for $5.50.
  6. We didn’t try the desserts, but word on the street is that the carrot cake ($5.99) is to die for. The peanut butter pie ($4.99) sounds pretty tasty as well.
  7. That roster of soft-serve shakes will include bananas and chocolate chips, pumpkin and cinnamon and blueberry with ginger blueberry syrup, all for $4.99.
  8. The patio features 80 seats. With its covered roof, it’s easy to see this becoming the go-to spot this summer.
  9. There is a fireplace inside. Keep that in mind when it gets cold.

Gilroy's Kitchen + Pub + Patio 

Find It: 1238 Eighth St., West Des Moines

Info: 515-809-1727; gilroyskitchen.com

Hours: Sundays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays until midnight. 

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