west end chili

Restaurant of the Week: West End Diner

Opened in 2019, West End Diner is located in the heart of Marion and a few blocks from the Uptown District. It is a contemporary, neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot that features many homemade fan favorites.

West End is an emerging destination for shopping and regional festivities in Iowa, as it owns the whole block and has a green space for events during the summer. There is even a unique shopping experience that includes small, standalone shops that feature local businesses, allowing customers to eat and shop all in one stop.  

For those looking for a restaurant to gather with a friend or have a meeting in the Uptown Marion district, West End is a great spot. This historic home-turned-restaurant is a classic and cozy environment with patio seating in the warmer months. The diner was once a house that is now 152 years old, with only 11 houses left from this era. There are salvaged barn doors from the old carriage house and old doors from the house that are now used as tables. As soon as you enter, you will immediately feel at home and greeted with friendly faces.

Order at the counter, and the food will be brought out to your table, with coffee, alcoholic beverages and pastries also available. There are many lunch specials throughout the week, including its famous brisket, and West End is definitely a hot spot for weekend breakfast.

So much thought and love goes into every single dish at West End. Every item is outstanding, and many regulars have their favorites that have them coming back time and time again. There is the house-made soup and an oatmeal cookie that took owner, Annette, took three months to perfect.

One of the top favorites is the Best Ever Breakfast Sandwich, which is definitely true to its name. There are two hearty slices of Texas toast, which comes from Chicago, with a fried egg, bacon, tomato, onion and white cheddar cheese. This ideal breakfast sandwich is a great way to start your morning and is served with a side of house-made cornbread, with strawberry-jalapeno jam.

Another fan favorite is the brisket hash. Your mouth will instantly start watering as soon as this dish hits your table. The hash includes diced potatoes, peppers and shredded brisket, topped with a fried egg. The brisket is smoked for seven hours using real wood and is then shredded to allow for even distribution through the dish. The smoky flavor is present but not overwhelming. This comfort dish is also served with that delightful aforementioned cornbread.

Lastly, the biscuits and gravy are one for the record books. The biscuits are dense, which allows them to hold the sausage gravy well. There is a slight spice from the creamy sausage gravy, which is generously poured over the biscuits. The most surprising part of this dish is the fresh cranberry component served on the side. Top the biscuits and gravy with the component, and you have yourself a unique dish. The starch of the biscuits pairs perfectly with acid and sweetness of the cranberry component. This breakfast classic will leaving you feeling full and satisfied.

West End Diner is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on West End, visit www.facebook.com/WestEndMarion.

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