I try to keep my budget roomy enough to allow me to eat lunch out once a week. My work location at 3rd st and Osborn affords me access to a host of central Phoenix restaurants. Occasionally, I find true gems such as Pane Bianco and Baiz Market.
And then, there’s Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub (Near 7th st and Camelback).
I grew up in Chicago so, I have a relatively decent grasp of what makes good Irish food ( and women). Plus, I watched that episode of Kitchen Nightmare where Gordon Ramsey showed that Irish restaurant how to make his mom’s Shepherd Pie.
Having established my Irish-food-street cred, I feel safe to acknowledge that while spreading Irish slogans and green paint over an establishment creates a campy Irish atmosphere, a stale beer scent reminisce of my college frat house does not. Against my better judgment, I ignored the eau de old Budweiser and sat at the bar.
I ordered a diet coke ($1.95). The bartender served it to me in a tall, wide glass. The best part was that I could have unlimited refills.
While the Rose McCaffrey menu boasts a full sandwich list, I decided to skip over to the dinner entrée section and order a Shepherd’s Pie ($8.75); my theory being, based on my credentials, that an Irish restaurant with a lousy pie is not much of an Irish restaurant.
With the Pie came Potato Soup ($1.25). I added Sour Cream and Onion fries ($3.25) to make sure that I met my starch quota for the day.
The heat was my favorite thing about the soup. I was cold, and wet from the rain. Nice, chunks of potato complimented the rather flat broth, although, the potatoes had a soft, water-logged quality to them. It really wasn’t noticeable and the crumbly effect added interesting textures.
Because I was in my lunch hour, and because the food took too long to arrive, I had the bartender give me my fries in a to-go box. They lacked sufficient sour-cream and onion flavor. I’m thinking the seasoning came from the leavings at the bottom of a bag of sour cream and onion chips.
Reader, have you ever covered left over mashed potatoes with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese? You’ve then eaten Rose McCaffrey’s Shepherd’s Pie.
I spent some time playing “Where’s the Beef”. And, ah, it’s there, in a thin layer beneath the mounds of potato, marinating in a watery broth.
The best flavors in the Shepherd’s Pie came from strips of what appeared to be phyllo dough. Nice, buttery crunch.
While I’m happy I can cross Rosie McCaffrey off my to-try list, I do wish I went to the Noodle Café instead. It was my first choice.
Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe
914 E Camelback Rd Ste 1, Phoenix, AZ 85014
Rosie Mc Caffrey's Irish Pub
906 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014