Asha celebrated her 19th birthday and in true fashion of being my child wanted a nice dinner to celebrate. I was really trying to stay within a $30 price point but I was hungry for some curry and my favorite shrimp curry spot is closed on Mondays. Enter the head foodie of the family…my brother. I called him for a Vietnamese restaurant suggestion and when I mentioned curry he brought up West End Grill and Pub (354 N. Boyle ) in the Gas Light Square neighborhood. He raved about the green curry sauce served with the mussels. When Tony raves I tend to listen. I immediately pulled up the menu online and declared that’s where we were having her birthday dinner…whether she liked it or not.
I knew from the Yelp review that the restaurant was not “kid friendly” so I knew that there was a possibility they wouldn’t even have high chairs as I had my 2 year old in tow. Luckily, they do have at least one high chair and they carry booster seats. The main dining area is located adjacent to the bar in a separate room and it seats plenty. We were seated at a large table. I don’t recall there being any booths. Enough about the aesthetics…
Since this was my first time dining I had to enjoy a cocktail. I was in the mood for something fruity so I ordered a watermelon martini. It took a bit longer than I wanted it to but once it arrived it was tasty just a little too sweet.
I ordered Kylie the roasted garlic hummus. So it would come in a hurry because she was starting to be 2. It was served with carrot sticks, celery, pita triangles, and par boiled broccoli. (this made me extremely happy because I was concerned it would be too crunchy for the baby) It was a really good hummus. Not oily or overwhelming. It was a perfect meal choice for my little one. It actually would’ve been the perfect dinner dish for me but I couldn’t go there the first time and order just hummus!
After speaking with our server (who was really nice and cute and whose name I can’t recall) Asha and I decided to share an order of the mussels as an appetizer and the pasta special which was a bowtie pasta with pork belly, shrimp and sundried tomatoes in a cajun butter. The mussels came on a huge platter swimming in the infamous green curry sauce and a full large soup bowl of the same sauce and 4 tostinis. THE SAUCE IS AMAZING. I don’t think I’d ever met green curry but my first impression is nothing but love. It was spicy and tasty and addictive. It had that kind of heat that snuck up and stuck around but didn’t beat you down. The mussels were just standard mussels. That sauce though…I’ll dream of that sauce. I actually brought the left over sauce home. No idea what I’ll do with it. Maybe have it over some scrambled eggs in the morning…hmmm
The pasta entree was divided in the kitchen so when it arrived at the table the portion was not overwhelming. Thank goodness because we were pretty full from the water and appetizers. The bowtie pasta was a little softer than I had hoped but the flavors were all there. The pork belly was like butter and the shrimp was a 2-3 bite size. It was an alright dish. It didn’t knock me out but I wasn’t disappointed either.
Since I was reviewing I couldn’t pass up the dessert menu. There were peanut butter and banana ravioli (I will be back for those) and a chocolate cake but we went for another off the menu option with the peach cobbler. When he mentioned it me and Asha gave each other the raised brow look. Birthday girl knows how to eat! The portion of that was perfect for 3 of us and it was covered with premium vanilla ice cream. It was served beyond warm…I had to let it cool off some before allowing Kylie to dig in. It was easily the best non soul food restaurant cobbler I’d ever had. Impressive.
I would definitely suggest this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a great meal. They even have a prefix $25 menu on Mondays where you get an app, soup or salad, entree, dessert, and a glass of wine. That’s a great deal for a single person. If you are in the CWE and you want a good meal in an unpretentious spot definitely hit up West End Grill and Pub…the only thing Pub about this place is the name.