Before I start my rant, I just want to say Im a HUGE fan of Irish pubs. However, I typically go into these pubs to drink rather than eat.
I just went to Matt Murphys in Brookline the other day and had dinner there for the first time. Ive been in for drinks in the past and I have to say that Im not a big fan of the place. I know a lot of Chowhounds and others have praised how wonderful this place is. And I honestly dont know why.
This is why Im not a big fan of the place:
1. The setup is poor.
If you go on a really quiet night the setup is fine. But if it is busy at all then it is uncomfortable. The bar is tiny and even if you get a spot at the bar you get bumped by anyone walking by or trying to get a pint themselves. There are only a handful of tables and they are jammed in. You can also have people bump into you as they are walking by or you might have someones rear end about a foot from your face.
2. The service is not great.
Granted I think the waiter was just a fill in because Ive seen him behind the bar in the past. But the staff isnt rude, but not incredibly friendly. I had to ask twice for bread and they were short on knives. The people I was with said they were short on knives in the past too. One time mistake, fine. But how do you not just buy a few more knives?
Im all for a dark pub, but I had trouble making out my food because they turned the lights down so low. It took me a few times, but I finally figured out why my chair was vibrating was the dishwasher going on and off. Pubs can also be loud, Im fine with that. But when I cant hear a word someone two seats away from me is saying because the Buena Vista Social Club is playing, there is a problem. Latin music is nice when I eat, but doesnt fit in an Irish pub.
The positives are there as well. The décor is nice on the inside. It has a nice upscale Irish pub feel with the wooden bar and benches along the wall. Although you cant sit at the tables unless you are having dinner. (Not something you would see in pubs in Ireland)
One of the most important parts of course is the food. The food itself was very good I have to say. I got the duck and it was done very good. It didnt blow me away, but it was very good. I want to try the Fish and Chips next time because Ive only heard rave reviews about it.
As a result of all this, Ive decided to go on a search for the best Fish & Chips in the Boston area. Any suggestions?
Also, am I alone on my impressions of Matt Murphys? I know good food is the key, but I can get good food lots of places. The other aspects have to account for something.