UPDATED Monday, February 13, 2017
Last October the growing Jethro's BBQ empire opened its sixth restaurant in the Metro, Jethro's BBQ n' Bacon Bacon at 1480 22nd St. in West Des Moines. As with its other ventures, Jethro's focused the restaurant on a theme, and as the name suggests that theme is bacon. Along with a core of Jethro's BBQ specialties, the restaurant features a variety of specialty bacon entrees.
The Bacon Philly, left, offers shaved, dry aged, smoked bacon on a toasted hoagie, with sautéed onions and peppers, and American and white cheddar cheeses. A few dribbles of hot barbecue sauce tamed all that richness. I worried about an unpleasant texture with all that wilted bacon, but shaving gave it a thin deli meat quality that was tender and easy to chew. Outer parts of the meat mound did exhibit some flavorful grilling. The Ultimate BLT, center, is a tall sandwich, and difficult to hold together as you tuck into it. Papa's 1/2 Pound Steak Burger, right, is pretty darn good, even with just a slice of cheddar cheese and raw onion.
A Breakfast Burger, left, with Canadian bacon, hollandaise sauce, American cheese, and fried egg on an English muffin was extraordinary, while a side of Tater Tot Casserole was nothing short of adulterated gluttony on top of that luxurious sandwich. The most popular appetizer of the menu, the Bucket of Bacon, right, offers ten strips of hickory smoked bacon. Tastes like hypertension! The strips can be particularly greasy unless you order them extra crispy.
Another popular appetizer, the Fried Cheese Squares, left, are thinly battered planks of white cheddar, served with a chipotle ranch dip. The Squares are not at all bready like your run-of-the-mill deep-fried cheesestick. Aside from bacon, another hallmark of Jethro's BBQ n' Bacon Bacon is its all-day breakfast menu. The Triple Bacon Bacon skillet, center, features slab bacon, Canadian bacon, triple bacon crumbles, American cheese, two eggs, and choice of tots or hash browns. The Kielbasa Mac-a-Noodle omelet, right, with macaroni and cheese, kielbasa, and American cheese was fairly clean-tasting and abundantly cheesy, but a side of hash browns tasted like they were cooked with rancid oil. On another opportunity the quality of the hash browns were nearly vindicated, except for an abundance of seasoning salt. I initially had decent experiences with Jethro's omelets, but with repeat visits I have found the egg to be considerably dry.
Sides generally do not disappoint. Mashed potatoes, left, are quite velvety, but the bacon sausage gravy on top is the star of this dish. I'd eat it as side all by itself! Campfire baked beans, center, are toothy and tasty. Jalapeńo cream corn, right, is insanely rich, more like a loose corn pudding.