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Restaurants & Bars 9

O'Reilly's Holy Grail

fine wino | Jul 18, 2006 05:15 PM

Do people like this place? I wanted to love it but it fell a bit flat for me in the fish & chips department. Maybe there are better things to order there?

I was really craving some tasty pub grub on Sunday afternoon and headed down Polk St. thinking I'd try something new. I was thinking of a good sandwich and fries and a nice cold beer. I stopped to read the menu at O'Reilly's, which appealed for it's "gastro pub" offerings. As I was standing there a guy walking by said "Have you eaten there? The food's really good!" So even though there weren't many sandwiches on the posted menu, I was encouraged and went in.

It was pretty quiet in there at 2:00 but the space appealed with it's tin roof tiles, stained glass and dark wood beams. It reminded me of some of the Boston/Somerville pubs I used to frequent, only newer. I sat at the bar and ordered a beer from the friendly Irish woman behind the bar. I asked her some questions about the menu, which seems to have a lot of traditional sounding Irish dishes, but she didn't have a good knowledge of a couple items on the brunch menu - maybe it changes often? I didn't ask. She was going to look something up, presumably to get some answers for me, but when I asked about the fish and chips, her eyes lit up and she said "they're very good". I went for it.

The F&C arrived pretty quickly and I could already tell that the chips were soggy. There were three strips of yummy looking, golden fried fish place on the thin cut fries, which were indeed soggy, yet nicely seasoned with parsley and a smidge of garlic. The fish had a nice crunch but the batter reminded me of Jiffy Corn Bread mix. It was thick on the fish and a bit sweet, which really masked the flavor of the fish. The fish was fresh and very mild - could have been catfish actually. I must say that the cole slaw was delicious! Thin shreds of red and green cabbage with a very light hit of mayo and capers. It was very fresh and tangy - a great counter to the fried stuff.

So, maybe the fish and chips aren't the thing to order there. Do people like this place for other things? For dinner? Or is there some place else you'd go to in the Polk Gulch area for good pub food with quality ingredients?

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