Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Irish Snug

The Irish Snug restaurant and bar looks like a nice enough place from the outside -- there is a decent sized patio and a lot of frontage.  But it hides much more, the place is expansive inside, with a basement that runs below the entire half-block building.  There is also a wide variety of environments inside, including a couple "snugs," which are booths with walls and doors of their own, historically used for private conversations.  There is also an area with big couches downstairs, and an area that looks like a theater, as well as numerous high-top bar tables upstairs and down.

In ethnic restaurants, I always like to order as prototypically as possible, so we perused the appetizers for something "Irish."  Nothing particularly screamed its ethnicity, but the British Isles are known for their love of Indian cuisine, and there were curry fries on the menu, so we had to try them.  The fries were a bit soggy and the curry didn't add much until you got down to the bottom of the pile of fries, but the curry sauce was pretty tasty.

I think I went pretty authentic for dinner -- I ordered fish and chips, and drank a Guinness.  The chips had the same issues as in the appetizer, somewhat soggy and not all that interesting.  The fish, though, was very good.   It had a very light breading that was just crispy, and it smelled terrific.  The fish itself had good flavor and wasn't overpowered by the breading.  I was a bit put off by the shape, just because I like it when fish looks more like fish, but the taste more than made up for it.

We also ordered a Reuben, which, according to Wikipedia, is more of an American Irish thing than authentically Irish.  I have to admit not being a Reuben expert -- I don't know that I've ever ordered it before, but the tastes, while bold, were not overwhelming, and it made for a decent sandwich. In the annals of reuben, this would go down as solidly average.

There were signs up saying there is live music, but we came early on a weekday, so we missed it.  I also noticed that there were many men there with shaved heads, which seems like a popular fashion choice for Irish men, so I took it as a good sign.

As an aside, for those readers who are runners, the Snug sponsors a Thursday night running club. The participation is impressive with consistently 200+ runners showing up for a 3-miler, followed by free salad and spaghetti. A far cry from traditional Irish food, but it is free, the beer is happy hour prices for runners and it provides a reason to run.

Irish Snug on Urbanspoon

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