Looking for lunch on a Sunday, my husband and I decided to pop into Maggie Meyers Irish Pub, which had been suggested by reader Pamela. Maggie Meyers is a pub, placing as much emphasis on the live music and beer as on the food. As such, noon on Sunday is hardly their busy time. However, it’s also a smoking establishment, and since both my husband and myself are sensitive to the smoke, heading in during off peak hours sounded like a good plan.
The entrance to the restaurant features two sets of double doors, leaving a small entryway to ward off the weather. Opening the first set left no doubt that smoking was permitted, but thankfully, the scent had not lingered inside the restaurant so in opening the second set of doors, we left it behind. As I had expected, we were the only patrons in the place so we approached the bar and requested some menus. The staffer working was friendly and promptly retrieved them.
We selected a table and the same staffer came over in the role of our server. When she returned with our drinks, we placed our orders–a Cottage Pie for me and Fish and Chips for my hubby. As we waited for our food to cook, we chatted and I took in the decor. A decently sized stage was immediately to the right of the door, and five or six TVs were scattered around the room. They were smaller and less prominent that I would have expected, but still plenty large enough to see from a distance. The seats at the bar were tall stools with backs, but if you wanted to at any of the tables, your only option was backless stools. I found the seats themselves comfortable, but I still would have preferred a chair over a stool. Aside from the tables there were a couple of pin ball machines and a somewhat random brown leather couch. The air conditioning was clearly set for a crowd and, even with a sweater, I was still chilly. The lighting was dim, but not dark, and complimented the muted walls–burnt orange, slate blue, mustard yellow. The chair rails were made from carved wood, an unexpected detail.
Our food came out nicely presented.
My cottage pie was generously sized and featured a creamy potato topping–one with just enough potato chucks that you knew real potatoes had gone into it’s construction. The salty flavor and minced herbs gave the potatoes a faint and familiar sour cream and onion flavor. The sharp cheddar topping created a strong latticework that made a knife preferable. Tucked in under the potatoes was a layer of juicy, and strongly seasoned lean ground beef. Cooked with carrots and onions, it was beautifully complimented by the potatoes. But my favorite part of the meal was the soda bread muffin. Served as buttered and toasted halves, it was a delicate balance of the springy bread and the crunch from having been toasted. The bright, lightly sweet flavor reminded me of certain corn breads. This was offered with many of the dishes and looked to be a signature item; I certainly understand why. If this was my menu to design, I would certainly want to highlight this treat.
My husband enjoyed his fish and chips (shown at the top of this post), declaring them “pretty good” and the potatoes tasty. From my small sample, the tartar sauce was a little thinner than I prefer, but he enjoyed it.
The menu at Maggie Meyers is well balanced and a nice change of pace from the usual burger and fries. Several of the dishes included braised kale as a side item, which I thought was a bold choice. I was also surprised to see that their menu included hand tossed pizzas. (Though I’m not sure how I feel about a Ruben pizza…) The whisky based cocktails play up the fact that they are an Irish bar, as does the whisky float available on the dessert menu. I enjoyed my meal and would be happy to return to explore more of the menu, though I’ll continue to stick to non-peak hours to avoid the crowds and the smoke that I imagine accompany popular performances.
Total for the meal: $26.44 (Includes one cottage pie, one fish and chips, and two sodas)