Tag Archives: Irish Pub

A couple more AZ breweries…

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My Aunt Terri and her husband Bryan are not craft brew fans. They prefer the light stuff. Yet, they know that we are, so they indulged us a bit while we were visiting them! Our first stop was Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert. I love the sign that makes you feel like you are visiting a National Park or going camping!

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Rob and I were in utter awe of their varied and unique beer menu!

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I went out of my comfort zone and tried the Peachanomyces Saison.

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I’m glad I just got a taste because it wasn’t for me. Can you guess what the winner was by our glasses below?

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Well, the menu and listings are hard to see, so I’ll just tell you…

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Yeah, love the unique-ness and the name!

The bartender tried very hard to find a beer that Bryan would enjoy…
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But alas, not even the lightest beer could make him a craft beer convert. (Although I don’t remember any lagers on the menu.)

Arizona Wilderness also offers food. The menu looked incredible – lots of fresh and local ingredients. This is definitely a place I’d like to return to and have a bite to eat if I’m ever back in the Phoenix area again!

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Our other stop was SanTan Brewing Company in Chandler. We knew this stop was imperative because they make the seasonal Sex Panther Double Chocolate Porter which Rob had already tried and loved. {Plus, he liked ordering it!}IMG_6080

However, tonight it was not on the menu. {Just out of season.} Still, did you want to get 1/6 or 1/2 barrel to-go?!

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I elected to go with something completely different – a Mr. Pineapple!

A stylish wheat with a tropical personality, infused with fresh pineapple juice from Fair Trade Costa Rican farms, takes traditional wheat beer and adds some seriously cool character.

Mr. Pineapple Wheat – infused with fresh pineapple juice from Fair Trade Costa Rican farms served with a pineapple wedge

It was not my favorite, although I do like wheat beers in general. It was fun to try something completely new, though! We ordered some snacks before we stopped for dinner at… a token Irish Pub!

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The food was okay, which Terri and Bryan say has gone downhill since the new ownership. But we all loved the garlic bread! {I know, traditionally Irish, right?!} Stopping at an Irish pub while traveling is a tradition my friend Jen and I started and Rob and I have been practicing for years.

Do you have any traditions or purchases

you always make while traveling?

Other posts on our 2016 trip to the Phoenix Area:

Cheers~
Carrie

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Eating & Drinking in St. Augustine

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Yes we did make it to the Old Town on the days that we didn’t golf while we were vacationing in St. Augustine.  Those were some chilly and cloudy days for Florida. Take a look!

And just like when we were in Las Vegas and Kaua’i, I didn’t snap photos at every place where we ate or imbibed. But I’ll list some of the places we tried anyway. When we go back one day, we’ll have an account of where we’d like to return {and what to order!} and where we can skip.

A1A Rail Works

A1A – Beach Front Avenue!” Did I just do that? Oh, yes, I did! And we did it all trip, too. I mentioned that the only real craft brewery in St. Augustine is the one we visited – Mile Marker. However, when Rob inquired about places with lots of tap brews at check-in, A1A was mentioned. It’s actually a brewpub and they do brew their own beer. But they do not distribute. Think Rock Bottom Brewery, or for those of you in the TC Metro, Town Hall Brewery. It was late afternoon of the day of our arrival. And it was chilly.

We settled in for some of the best beer cheese soup we’ve tasted: A1A Ale & Cheese Soup – Red Brick Ale blended with aged cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, caramelized onions and roasted barley.

And these didn’t suck either. {Actually, rather addicting!}–>: Blue Cheese Chips – Fresh, housemade chips and blue cheese cream sauce topped with scallions, smoked bacon and blue cheese crumbles.

The beer was good, but not outstanding. It’s what we expected. But I’d like to give a shout out to Terri’s Skinny Cocktail {under 125 calories}: Strawberry Soda – Cruzan strawberry rum, sugar-free triple sec, fresh-muddled mint and strawberry topped with soda. Mmmm…
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JP Henley’s

Just behind A1A is JP Henley’s, which boasts over 70 beers and many wines by the glass. We loved the selection and ordered a couple of apps. We were served plastic forks and knives, so I felt like we were in an airport. And the food wasn’t anything special. If I were to visit JP Henley’s again, I’d go for the beer and then head over to A1A for the food! It’s smallish inside, so I can only imagine what it’d be like when it’s packed.

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Murray Bros. Caddyshack

Yes, you guessed it. Bill Murray and his five brothers opened this place. And the location was perfect in that we had finished a day golfing and happened to be staying at the World Golf Village. But the food – not so much. Between our Cheeseburger Pizza, Pork Chops and Fiesta Salad, nothing was that great. There isn’t really a reason to go back when there’s so many other places to try in St. Augustine. However, if you are a Caddyshack fan, check it out. This place could be a museum with all of the memorabilia on the walls!

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Milltop Tavern

After our stops at Mile Marker Brewing and the San Sebastian Winery, we parked near the old town. As we were walking around, we stopped for a coffee to warm ourselves up. Were we really in Florida?

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Then we made our way down the pedestrian-only St. George Street.

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It was late afternoon and time for some food! We hadn’t had lunch so we w climbed the stairs of the Milltop Tavern to the second floor where live music was thriving. We found a seat at a little table top against the wall. The heaters were on, but this place has to be open to the outside in nicer weather. This is a great place for local music, but the food was so-so. I had some black bean nachos while Steve & Terri ordered the black bean soup. They must like their black beans there! {For the record, I do, too.}

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The Prince of Wales

We wandered off St. George Street hoping to explore further and maybe find another place to stop. And it was this “Taste of England” joint that was chosen. It’s basically a very small one-room restaurant with a handful of tables inside an old house. The bar seated maybe two people. When I walked through the door, my face felt instantly greasy. Maybe this is the British Equivalent to a greasy spoon? We stopped for a drink. Then Rob decided to order some onion rings, which the group seemed to love; but I was too full from my earlier nachos. The room was small enough that you could talk with everyone in it. And we kind of did… Someone was looking for prime rib in town for later that evening. We couldn’t give any advice, but the locals on the other side of the room overheard and offered theirs.

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Barley Republic

We found an Irish Pub! This is a tradition Rob and I have that my friend Jen and I started when we spent ten weeks backpacking Europe after college. We just had to stop. And we are so glad we did. They offer over 70 beers, ten of which are on tap.

Rob peruses the menu, while Steve checks out the malt vinegar while the musician sets up for set!

Rob peruses the menu, while Steve checks out the malt vinegar while the musician sets up for set!

But the best find? They had the Southern Tier Pumking on tap! Rob and I spotted it at the same time. But we were worried. How could they still have it on tap? Would it have gone bad? We decided to chance it. We were still teaching Terri about beer outside of the light stuff! A round was ordered. We found out later that they’ve had it for a while, but just tapped it the week prior for the first time.

With the Pumking, Irish music and good friends, we felt like we were home. Well, not at home, but relaxed and content. We stayed for quite a while, some of us enjoying Pumking after Pumking {10 ouncers were only $4.50!} But Steve was eyeing the Bangers and Mash that others tables were ordering. Let’s just say he ended up getting a to-go order. And he loved it. Good food, good beer and good times. Win-win-win.

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King’s Head British Pub

On our last day, after a long day golfing at King & Bear, we weren’t really up for going back to Old Town, so we did a little search for something not too far from the World Golf Village. We ended up at another pub! Who knew there were so many in St. Augustine? I was really not feeling like going for more greasy food, but I had no other options to offer.

Adorned with twinkle lights, it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, except for the fact that it was right off of a highway.  When we walked in, it immediately felt like a traditional British Pub to me with its dark wood, patterned red carpeting and tap handles. And despite the fact that I was originally looking for something a lot healthier, I opted for the Fish and Chips. I know. Grease. What I said I Didn’t Want. But they were the best I’ve had since Anchor Fish & Chips in the Twin Cities. I was fulfilled. And the guys enjoyed the Pasties they ordered, too.

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It was kind of cool that we didn’t always have a real lunch so that we could jump around and have a few apps here and there to try a bunch of different places. Next time, I’d love to try some St. Augustine restaurants on this list and give the Savory Faire Food Tour a try…

What’s your favorite item on an Irish or British Pub menu?

Cheers~
Carrie

An Irish Pub Calls for Chicken

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This post is meant to show you some photos of the funny things I only TOLD you about O’Sullivan’s Pub last year

Over the past ten years that I’ve been going with Rob to Michigan, we first discovered O’Sullivan’s Pub just last year. We really did enjoy it; so we had to go back. First, I need to post some silly photos of the menu for those of you who are looking, since they don’t post theirs online. You can click to enlarge.

And again, just as I did last year, I wondered if they bought their furniture from an old Buffalo Wild Wings.

Carved into our booth.

Carved into our booth.

Rob’s mom was smart and ordered the Reuben Sliders that we all so adored last year. Knowing how good the corned beef, was, Rob and his dad opted for another take on the Reuben, which they each really enjoyed:

Nathan's Special - Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread

Nathan’s Special – Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread with onion rings

And although we were in a self-proclaimed Irish Pub, I didn’t order any fish and chips nor corned beef. Instead, I did what worked for me in Ireland. I ordered CHICKEN!

Chicken Finger Salad - chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

Chicken Finger Salad – chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

It may look like your basic salad. But it was sooooo good and hit the spot for me that day. And I splurged with that perfectly cooked, fried chicken with just the right crunch to make it worth it!

And now, for the bathroom I was telling you about last year:

Finally, the women’s bathroom was just strange to me. It was just the one-person restroom, not the kind with stalls. It was very narrow, but had two toilets! I guess, ladies, if you are out at the pub drinking with friends, this is just plain efficient.

Really?

Two toilets in one women’s restroom…

We still love this place. And because I like to get a fried chicken salad about once every year or two, I just have to remember that this is the place to get one where I’ll be satisfied.

What’s the strangest restroom you’ve been in?

Cheers~
Carrie

O’Sullivan’s Pub – Gladwin, MI

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Yes, I’m almost finished with our Impressions of Restaurants from our Michigan summer vacation. Lucky for you, I’ve only been taking one day per week to subject you to them!

Speaking of luck…

We found an Irish Pub in Gladwin! I can’t quite remember how we found it. Maybe we drove by. Maybe we read about it in local brochure. Or maybe it was just a suggestion my in-laws gave us. In any case, the four of us piled into a van after deciding to go out for lunch one hot summer afternoon in July.

Rob and I thought that this was new, but apparently it has been open since 2007. And we’ve been missing out!

Located about six miles east of downtown Gladwin, O’Sullivan’s Pub is another one of those Michigan restaurants where I’ve yet to find the menu online. I think I’ve learned my lesson: Take photos of the menus in Gladwin on our next visit, not only at this establishment, but also here and here! The menu at O’Sullivan’s was quite extensive for a little pub. There was so much we wanted to try!

As every Irish Pub should have, there is Guinness on tap. That’s tough to come by in these parts. There was no cider, which is a fave of ours when visiting Irish Pubs throughout the world. However, we were quite surprised by both their tap and bottled beer selection. Our server told us that they are striving for a focus on local beers. YES! When in Michigan… Right?

One particular beer on tap that we savored was:

Dark Horse Brewing Company is out of Marshall, Michigan, and I salivate over their Crooked Tree IPA. It’s a go-to beer of mine if it’s ever on tap. In fact, a restaurant-bar in our neighborhood no longer carries it. Thus, we no longer frequent that watering hole! So Dark Horse’s Raspberry Ale was a fine choice! However, I’ve had a few just plain bad raspberry ales in my day; so it was still a gamble.

It was perfect!

Can that be said about a beer? This beer was fruity without being overly sweet. It still had an ale flavor, too. Overall, I’d call it well-balanced. I may have had a second pint… at lunchtime. And I may have had a nap that afternoon, too. 😉

We ordered an appetizer for the table:

Reuben Sliders

This was some of the best corned beef I’ve had in a very long time! It was agreed at the table that these could be ordered as a satisfying meal all by themselves.

Three of us ordered the fish and chips. Can you guess who didn’t? 😉

I think that those of us who did had a choice of coleslaw or cottage cheese. Always needing a little extra protein in my diet, I went with the cottage cheese:

Uh, no description needed, right?

I thought it was a little strange that the cottage cheese came out first instead of on the side. Maybe they knew our food would take a little longer? I didn’t mind at all, though!

Fish and Chips

The fish and chips were okay – a little too greasy for my taste. But I was getting full anyway. It’s a little difficult for me to enjoy fish and chips to the fullest now that I’ve had them at The Anchor Fish & Chips. I will have to really pay attention to the fish and chips while in Ireland this fall to see how everything stacks up. My friend Jen and I ate them extensively while traveling in England and Ireland while on a backpacking trip through Europe after college. We didn’t have any complaints! Well, not until later in the trip when we were craving real vegetables.

Rob ordered:

Reuben Pizza

Ha! Good thing we ordered the Reuben sliders as an appetizer!

He really did enjoy this pizza! It was huge and the leftovers did not go to waste. However, Roasted Pear’s Reuben Pizza is still his favorite. {I have yet to write about that!} I asked him if he’d get the O’Sullivan’s Reuben Pizza again and he said that he probably wouldn’t; but only because there are so many other things on the menu he’d like to try.

The décor of this restaurant includes walls lined with Irish collectibles for that authentic pub vibe. However, some of the chairs don’t quite seem to fit. They look like they once belonged to Buffalo Wild Wings, with that hole carved in the back in the shape of a buffalo.

Upon entering the building, it smelled a little funky, kind of like a dirty dishrag. While that sounds like a complete turnoff, we only noticed it when we walked in, not while dining. I surely hope that it doesn’t smell that way everyday or they may be turning away customers with that first impression!

Finally, the women’s bathroom was just strange to me. It was just the one-person restroom, not the kind with stalls. It was very narrow, but had two toilets! I guess, ladies, if you are out at the pub drinking with friends, this is just plain efficient. 😉

But despite those little details, the corned beef and beer list alone make O’Sullivan’s Pub one little dive bar and restaurant where we’ll be back when we return to Michigan.

What’s your favorite dive bar and why do you love it?

Cheers~
Carrie

McHugh’s Public House – Savage

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Despite the fact that I recently pled for help on how to be more concise in my blog posts, I’ve decided to write a post that is going to be anything but that.

You see, I’ve been waiting to post about McHugh’s Public House in Savage until we had gone just enough times to get photos of all of our favorite menu items there.

Then something happened on Tuesday.

They changed their menu.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

At first I was excited. I love trying new dishes. But then I realized that many of my favorites are no longer offered. For example, they no longer serve one of my favorite salads:

Crispy Chicken Salad (Old Menu)

However, this is how I’d order it:

Crispy Grilled Chicken Salad with ranch dressing on the side, add buffalo sauce on the side

I normally am not a huge fan of salads with iceberg lettuce; however, I loved the combination of cheese, tomatoes and onions in this one. The chicken was always juicy and the buffalo sauce gave it a nice kick. Bye-bye, Chicken Salad. 😦

They also no longer serve:

The Petite Sirloin (Old Menu)

nor the:

Merlot Sirloin (Appetizer off the Old Menu)

While the Petite Sirloin was a steal of a meal at $10.99 for six ounces of great steak, a potato and some excellent garlic sautéed veggies, I would often order the Merlot Sirloin appetizer instead because it was also a tender, well-seasoned steak at the right portion size:

Merlot Sirloin (Old Menu)

Replacing these steaks on the new menu, are the:

6 oz Petite Sirloin with Jameson Teriyaki Sauce

and the:

Jameson Sirloin with Jameson Teriyaki Sauce  (Appetizer)

Okay, so I get it. It’s an Irish Pub. Flavoring the steaks with a Jameson sauce makes sense. However, I’ve never been keen on whiskey or bourbon sauces on meat. They have always been too sweet for me. So bye-bye,  Merlot Sirloin. 😦

Still, on this night of the new menu, Rob decided to order the Jameson Sirloin Appetizer:

Jameson Sirloin

It was still a great cut of meat at an incredible price. And the sauce wasn’t as sweet as I expected. Still, it wasn’t my Merlot Sirloin! {Poor Carrie, right?}

The Quesadillas at McHugh’s have been some of the best, in my mind. While there aren’t any frilly fillings like cilantro or black beans that I often tend to like, they are chock full of lots of chicken, cheese and onions:

McHugh’s Quesadilla

perfect, toasty, cheesy goodness

While I rarely order them since I’ve been losing weight {it’s just too tempting for this Wisconsin girl to eat all of that cheese in one sitting}, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that they remained on the menu! Then, we saw something new we wanted to try:

Mini Reuben Sliders?

I never really ate Reubens until I met Rob. I don’t mind them; but for me, it takes a lot to make a decent one. However, when we saw these on the new menu, we knew we had to try them:

Reuben Mini Sliders: soft pretzel buns toasted and stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut & thousand island dressing

Yummy!  The pretzel bun really made these. And while I’m always one to prefer a well-balanced sandwich
{the proper ratio of meat to cheese to sauce}, I know I am in the minority here. These have more meat than cheese or toppings.  However, if you are at McHugh’s, they are definitely something you have to try! {Now that I think about it, isn’t Mini Sliders a little redundant? It doesn’t matter. Doesn’t make them any less tasty.}

And while he didn’t on new-menu-opening-night, Rob nearly always orders this:

McCheeseburger Pizza

And because he orders it, I always get to steal a couple of squares! It really does taste like a cheeseburger. It appears that it remains on the new menu as the Cheeseburger Pizza. {Why drop the Mc? That was kinda cute!} But we have yet to determine if it’s the same thing.

McCheeseburger Pizza

And as I’ve mentioned before, we always like to enjoy a good cider in any Irish Pub. Our go-to at McHugh’s:

Strongbow dry English cider

Seriously, McHugh’s is only one of two places that serve Strongbow “south of the river”. Other places are starting to serve that Crispin crap… but you know how we feel about that.

Sometimes, Rob will add a shot of whiskey and make his own Johnny Jump Up.

While I’m sad that some my favorites are no longer on the menu, I realize that change is inevitable. No matter what, we always get great service there when we sit at the bar. Just know before you go that this is a sports bar, really, more than a traditional Irish Pub.

Has something you liked ever been eliminated from a menu?

If so, what? And has it ever kept you from coming back?

Cheers~
Carrie