Seasons Greetings to everyone! Thank you to my readers for your attention to my food musings. This is a good time of year to express my gratefulness for all the food service people who have fed me over the past year. These folks work hard at all hours of the day and I really appreciate your good food and graciousness. Christmas brings out the best in restaurant folks, particularly for travelers. Two special thanks: to the staff of Jetro's in Clive who provided excellent Christmas Eve dinners with cheer; and to the staff of Perkins in Des Moines who served carloads of hungry people with good food and caring service.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.