Top Ten Irish Pubs for St. Patrick's Day
We had to do it. We had to have a Top Ten on Irish places to go for the food, even though St. Patrick's Day is probably the one day you don't want to go to an Irish pub for anything but the drink. Unless you like crazy.
For other recommendations, please look at the comments under my earlier post. And while I didn't include them on my list, there are a couple of decent chains in the area, Tir Na Nog in the Inner Harbor and the new Fado in Annapolis.
If what you're looking for is an authentic Irish pub for drinking, Midnight Sun Sam has posted a list of Irish pubs on his blog.
Here's my list. If you have others to add, please be specific about what you like about them. It's more fun to read that way. ...
* The couple of times I ate at An Poitin Stil in Timonium, both the Irish and the New American food (like the grouper in a potato crust) were quite good. It worries me a little that I've been hearing more about the bands than the food lately.
* Brian Boru in Severna Park is the new sibling of Galway Bay in Annapolis and Killarney House in Davidsonville -- both well-regarded Irish restaurants. It gets the nod because it's the most recently reviewed. LIVE reviewer Karen says the kitchen brings real "culinary finesse" to the Irish food offerings.
* Claddagh in Canton is pretty straightforward about the fact that the feel of the place is Irish and the staff are warmly welcoming, but the food isn't very Irish. The menu highlights are "flavors of the Chesapeake," the steaks and the lamb chops.
* OK, I have to include J. Patrick's in Locust Point on the list. It got some mixed reviews under my earlier post (I like Donny B's passion), but Fairfax's won me over: "small boneless chickens" on the menu (deviled eggs), and they've blacked out Beefeater and Queen Vic on the bottles. Now that's Irish.
* James Joyce in Harbor East does a good job with traditional Irish fare. It's quality comfort food like beef stew, potato soup and fish and chips. Of course, you have to like cabbage. The interior came from the old country so there's lots of atmosphere.
* The specialty at Life of Reilly (2031 E. Fairmount Ave., Patterson Park, 410-327-6425) is "Baltimore-Irish fusion food," although the Guinness beef stew and the fish and chips are more successful than the chicken Chesapeake. In general, the food is a notch above the usual pub eats.
* Maggie Moore's/Lucy's (21 N. Eutaw St., downtown's west side, 410-837-2100) is in a state of transition. I debated whether to include it because of the uncertainty factor. Still, this is such a beautiful place; and you can still get bar chow, traditional Irish favorites and a nice before-theater dinner here.
* Mick O'Shea's in Mount Vernon is another pub that doesn't focus on Irish food. But traditionalists can get decent bangers and mash, shepherd's pie and fish and chips there.
*When we went to Ryan's Daughter in the Belvedere Square area, I had a cozy seat by the fire and enjoyed the seafood pie, made by a local baker who was a relative of the chef.
* Slainte in Fells Point has a great water location on a cobblestone street, and good traditional Irish fare as well, like a satisfying lamb stew, the oyster po-boy -- wait a minute, its that really Irish? Well, no. But it was a favorite of LIVE reviewer Karen Nitkin.
(John Makely/Sun photographer)