Tommy’s West Restaurant Believes in Traditions

Tommy’s West Restaurant, 393 Edgewood Road NW, has been a mainstay in the Edgewood Plaza in Cedar Rapids for many years, but tucked in the corner of the strip mall, it sometimes gets overlooked.

adam

Chef Adam Mykris

But it shouldn’t. Tommy’s employees not only believes in good dining traditions, the amazing kitchen staff dish up home-cooking style cuisine that is comparable only to Mom’s.

Tommy’s dishes include Broasted Chicken, Meatloaf, and Chicken-Fried Steak, as well as Tenderloins, Philly Cheese Steak and Hot Beef sandwiches. They also offer a variety of traditional breakfast items and homemade pie.

And even though the folks at Tommy’s provide their customers with the best food and service possible, they are stepping up their game even more. There is a new chef at Tommy’s, who not only loves to create new dishes, he also believes in the value of traditions.

Adam Mykris started at Tommy’s earlier this year. He is the mastermind behind the restaurant’s current special, Summer Salads, which he created uniquely with Tommy’s customers in mind; a fresh twist to healthier eating.

The Spring Salad is made with fresh spinach, candied walnuts, fresh strawberries, and dried cranberries, with Chef Adam’s special poppy-seed dressing.

The Teriyaki Chicken Salad starts with shredded lettuce and is topped with a chicken breast marinated in teriyaki sauce. It also includes mandarin oranges and almond slivers, and is topped with Chef Adam’s Ginger Dressing.

The Fruit Nut and Cheese bowl is a variety of fruits, feta cheese, and candied walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette.

The Creamy BLT Salad is an old favorite with a new twist; a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, without the bread. It is also topped with cheddar cheese and croutons.

The Greek Salad begins with fresh spinach, Kalamate olives, feta cheese, and croutons, and tossed with Caesar dressing. You can add a grilled chicken breast for an even better flavor.

The salads are available for a limited time, so come in soon and experience one for yourself!

About the Chef

Chef Adam grew up in the Marion area and graduated from Linn-Mar High School in 1999.

“I’ve been interested in cooking most of my life,” he said. “I started helping my mother when I was little. As I grew older she let me help a little more, making pasta, cutting vegetables, things like that. I just really enjoyed it.”

After graduation, Adam said he took some time to figure out what he wanted to do with his life and realized his passion was with cooking.  He looked into the program at Kirkwood and knew that’s what he wanted to do.

Chef Adam worked at the Doubletree Hotel for two years before coming to Tommy’s. He started as a line cook, and was promoted a few months later as a sous chef, or assistant to the head chef. He has also held positions at Granite City and New Pioneer Co-op.

Besides creating the Summer Salads, Chef Adam recently introduced a homemade strawberry lemonade pie, which is made with a lemon meringue base and fresh strawberries.

“Tart and sweet; the best of both worlds.”

Chef Adam is also beginning plans for a fall menu, which will feature a few new dishes.

“Most people like to try new things, while others like things the way they are. We want to make sure everyone is happy, so if you have a favorite, we would love to hear from you!”

In his spare time, Chef Adam enjoys spending time at home creating new dishes and experimenting with the recipes he already knows.

“I can take an ordinary recipe, add a few new ingredients, and make them even better than before.

“It’s what I love to do.”

 

Everyone should be a server at least once in their lives

I enjoyed being a server. Maybe that’s why I did it for more than 25 years.

No one says, "I want to be wait on people when I grow up." Usually it just happens. (funfamily.cgo.com)

 

It not only  taught me how to relate to people, but also how to remain calm in a crisis and how to handle five different things at the same time.

Though I liked what I did, there came a time when I wanted to do more with my life. But I’ll never forget the valuable lessons it taught me.

It’s no secret that being a server is hard work. They put up with a lot of grief from the customers, the cooks, and the boss. They have to make sure that the customer is happy from the time they walk through the door, until they leave, and sometimes even that isn’t enough. But most importantly, they have to make sure that the customer wants to come back. Try doing that 10-20 times during a shift, and you will know why being a server builds character.

My fist job as a server was downtown at Armstrong’s, and I hated it. I was 17 and had never worked for tips before. I think the first Saturday I worked, I wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn’t. I got yelled at, I dropped things, the cooks made me cry, but I didn’t give up. Before too long, I got good at it. Then I found that I loved it.

It wasn’t always great. There were days I wanted to walk out. I got a penny one time from a customer because he said that I should have waited on him before I waited on a female customer. Another time, I was the only server, and the whole restaurant filled up. I nearly lost my mind! (I still have an occasional nightmare because of that incident.)

But I am a better person because of my experiences. And I am proud to tell people that I was once a server. For those people who think that a waitress is someone who can’t get a real job, I dare them to try it. I seriously doubt they’ll be able to handle it.