Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Party on the REAL St. Paddy's

By now, we've hopefully all completely recovered from our weekend long St. Paddy's Burgh hangover -- or at least we're close. But it's officially time to make a very important decision on where to celebrate the REAL Saint Patrick's Day!

Pittsburgh has a surprising offering of authentic (enough) Irish Pubs and restaurants to choose from as well as a plethora of St. Pat's Specials to choose from.  Here is my TOP ten list of magically delicious Irish offerings for you!

#10 -- McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon. It's a chain, and I typically don't love to promote chains. But it's Irish. Tomorrow they'll have $2 green Millers and $5 Car Bombs (and March Madness). Do they have Irish food? Nope. But I've had what they call a Dublin Burger, and it's Dublin' the delicious!
211 North Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: (412) 322-3470

#10-- Claddagh.  Yes, another chain. But I consider it worthy of making the list. To enjoy the food you have to have a palate for the startchy Irish culinary classics that they serve.  It's not the greatest Irish fare I've tasted, but it's also not the worst.  They certainly have quite the appropriate tap roster (Guinness, Smitwick's, Harp, Killians...the list goes on).  Call them for Thursday specials.
407 Cinema Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
Phone: (412) 381-4800

#8 -- Patrick's Pub.  I list it eigth only because I have to admit I haven't been there myself.  But if their active Twitter account and fan base is any inclination, these guys know Irish. With specials like Guinness Corned Beef sandwiches, Corned Beef & Cabbage and Chicken Armagh (and of course, classics like Shepherd's Pie and Bangers & Mash), these guys will certainly serve up a meal fit for a leprechaun.  
1625 Brodhead Road
Moon Township PA 15108
Phone: 724-457-9770

#7-- Mahoney's.  Hey -- you know that place on Liberty Ave downtown with the GIANT weird looking statues? Yeah. Head next door.  While it's got a very Irish name, it's missing a few key ingredients that would make it authentic. I'm sad to report I don't recall them having any Smithwick's or Killians (though they've got Guinness and Harp on tap).  They're also missing those classic Irish dishes like Shepherd's Pie or Corned Beef, but they DO have a Bison Burger that's to die for. Give it a shot!
949 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

#6 -- Gorman's Pub.  I've been here once because it's just so darned convenient.  Down the road a'ways from PID and  it's good food and great beer for a great price.  It's a lot more spacious than it looks and is extremely clean.  Pub food for certain, but a friendly staff and an even friendlier tap list await you inside.
3301 Saw Mill Run Boulevard
Brentwood, PA 15227
Phone: 412-882-7550

#5 -- Finnigan's Wake. Excellent place to celebrate on St. Paddy's Burgh, before (and after) any Pirate or Steeler game, and generally speaking a fun place to hang out.  I've always noted their VERY friendly staff and sectional interior. Tomorrow they'll have drink specials and live music going on all day long!
20 East General Robinson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: 412.325.2601

#4 -- Piper's Pub. Good food, great Scotch. Though it can't claim Irish fare alone, it certainly proudly represents the culinary stylings of the entire British Isles well. With a list of Single Malt Scotch's that can rival any in the state, Irish breakfasts served all year round, and a slew of TV's that show nothing but football (oh... I'm sorry, SOCCER) all day long -- this place wins my heart time and time again. If you go tomorrow, get the Corned Beef & Cabbage.  Any other day? The Apricot Salmon and red pepper artichoke dip. YUM, I say.
1828 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh PA 15203
Phone: 412-381-3977

#3 -- Molly Brannigan's.  OK, it's ALSO a chain.  But there's one in Harrisburg, PA (near my hometown) and I spend my first legally drunk New Year's Eve there, so it's got a special place in my heart. When I first visited the Washington Rd. location in Mt. Lebanon, I felt that same love. Irish Nachos...I have no words. Just order them. Tomorrow they will have kegs and eggs and entertainment all day.
660 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(412) 341-7827

#2 -- Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle. Tiny pub, big Irish flare. The tent/patio area in the back is typically open for business on St. Pat's (both the Pittsburgh celebration and official holiday) so you'll have lots of room to maneuver. Live Irish bands ALL DAY LONG on March 17 and all the Irish beer you can dream of will make your celebration feel real. Their Fish & Chips is actually battered in Guinness -- so it's one of my favorites around.  No matter if you're Italian, Polish, Indian or African, you're Irish at Mullaney's.
2329 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

#1 -- Paddy's Pour House. Riley's Pour House I have never once been here (Back when it was Paddy's) and NOT had a great time. You know that feeling you get when it's St. Patrick's Day and, even if you're not lucky enough to be Irish like me, you still feel that crazy sense of camaraderie like you've known every person you pass on the street for years? That's how every day is at Paddy's. It's one of the only places in the area you can find Murphy's on tap (and every other Irish liquor and beer you can imagine).  It's also some of the best executed and most diverse Irish menus in the burgh. If you haven't been here, go.  Just once. New to Irish dining? Just try the sampler! (Check out the patio, but don't go on Sundays or Mondays... it won't be open)
215 E. Main Street
Carnegie, PA 15106
Phone: (412) 279-0770.

So Pittsburgh Paddy partiers -- you may take my advice or leave it, but no matter if you're looking to celebrate with we Irish on St. Patrick's (official) Day or you're hoping to make your next St. Paddy's Burgh a wee bit more authentic, I hope you find today's TOP ten list helpful.

I leave you with an Irish toast:

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.
'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!'
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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