There are no waiters at Mikey's. You order at the counter and find your own seat. But the pub’s casual atmosphere doesn’t detract from the quality of its food. Diners dig into gourmet pub eats such as open-faced prime-rib sandwiches, pulled-pork flatbreads, and buffalo chicken dip served with warm tortilla chips, sipping stiff drinks and craft beers all the while.
Walls the color of frozen margaritas and fresh guacamole surround visitors to Tipsi Monkey, their electric green hue mirroring the energy of the restaurant's busy goings-on. But despite the game-watching nights, Vegas nights, and dance parties filling its schedule, Tipsi Monkey is all about the food. Classic Mexican food dominates the menu, including carnitas slow-cooked for three hours, and chorizo and potato tacos. A bevy of aged tequilas adds a piquant note to meals and keeps the steam-powered avocado-masher running.
Within its storied confines, The Ivanhoe presents hearty cuisine drawing from classic Irish and American pub traditions alongside a selection of 26 brews and a focus on lively community. A bountiful drink menu holds the secret access code to an international cabal of crisp brews, indexing aliases such as Spotted Cow ($4), Smithwick's ($4.50), and the notoriously elusive Blue Moon ($4). Sample one of more than 100 whiskeys, absorb a glass of wine, or sip a martini such as the tongue-tickling Snickers ($8). A robust food menu details singular starters such as the wasabi-laced sesame seared tuna ($10) with greens in a honey-soy-ginger sauce, as well as Celtic standbys such as the European-style fish and chips ($10). The Jameson burger ($9) extends a transatlantic bridge of onion rings smothered in Jameson sauce and the relieved tears of stranded sailors.
As the sun sets over Antioch every Wednesday night, most people are thinking about going to bed; that’s not the case at Port of Blarney. Instead, a captain is firing up his boat for the weekly sunset cruise, which departs from the eatery’s 8-acre stretch of lakefront property. Free to the first 35 diners who made a reservation, many passengers bring a drink from the restaurant’s bar along for the ride after indulging from a menu loaded with classic American and pub food. Inside the Key West¬–themed dining room or on the freshly planted patio, diners nosh on spicy wings, half-pound Black Angus burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches, such as the Havana Cuban, which tucks slices of pork tenderloin, ham, and pickles into french bread. A regular stream of musicians and other live acts hits the stage at Port of Blarney to keep guests entertained as they eat.
On summer weekends, Port of Blarney’s docks also provide a free boat shuttle to Blarney Island, a bar located 1 mile offshore. Legend has it that entrepreneur and card shark Jack O’Connor won the rights to the bar in the 1900s in an all-or-nothing poker game. The bar's success during the past century inspired the founding of Port of Blarney restaurant to feed guests year-round and to ferry revelers to the lake-bound oasis during warmer months or giant-squid migrations.
Greco’s Pub & Eatery lures revelers with a sports-centric atmosphere and anchors them in place by filling their stomachs with pub grub, which beckons hungry stomachs from a menu of contemporary American fare. Aggressive tummy grumbles dissolve into whispers over platters of homemade haystacks ($5.95), extra-thin onion rings served with chipotle-mayonnaise dip. Finicky fingers can dip regular or boneless wings into a choice of 12 sauces, including extra-hot, sweet-and-spicy, or wasabi (12 wings for $8.95), and the nacho supreme ($9.95) amalgamates shredded chicken or flavorful ground beef with tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and molten cheese lava. Among the house’s pack of handhelds, the butterflied tenderloin sandwich ($9.95) coddles tender steak, sautéed mushrooms, and onions on a soft hoagie bun and excites incisors with more facility than a meat-stuffed piñata.
At Fatman Sports Lounge & Lanes, bowlers hurl orbs down 12 automatically scored lanes. Illustrations of electrified neon balls and pins line the alley's walls, complementing the beat-heavy tunes and pulsing lights of nightly cosmic bowling. An arcade challenges guests with pinball machines, racing games, and a claw machine that beckons with the promise of winning a stuffed toy or permission to cheat at one round of bowling.
The restaurant proves far more ambitious than the standard bowling-alley snack bar, dishing out thick, slow-simmered chili, a score of piled-high sandwiches, broasted chicken, and house-made pizza. Bartenders spin cocktails that tend toward the elaborate, potent, and sweet, with a dozen different variations on a long island iced tea alone.