Plates piled high with Emerald Isle favorites such as corned beef and shepherd’s pie grace Kavanaugh's tables, which open their mahogany arms to families as well as those looking for a casual pint. The rustic, clover-laden interior is the setting for limerick recitations and scrumptious meals such as the corned beef and cabbage—thickly sliced slabs of meat paired with seasoned cabbage and buttery boiled potatoes ($14.99). The ground-beef shepherd’s pie bakes up lean beef, peas, carrots, and mashed potatoes culled from Mr. Potato Head's personal entourage into a golden-brown crust ($12.99). A flavorful host of American-style pub fare complements the Irish cuisine, with Sean Patrick’s burger charting in at a robust half-pound ($5.99), and appetizers such as nachos ($4.99) and chicken wings ($7.99) courting frothy pints of Guinness. A Little Leprechauns lunch menu ($3.99) allows parents to inundate youthful lads and lassies with old-country culture in a friendly atmosphere, without the threat of ferocious Celtic tigers.
Peppered with a fleet of entertaining games, the jovial bar atmosphere at Beer Bellies serves as a textbook example of the ideal environment for patrons to throw back libations and snack on classic grill fare. Like a fish's dining room, the watering hole boasts limited table seating, but customers can perch along the ample bar to imbibe beers and cocktails mixed by a staff of friendly bartenders. Fried appetizers, including mozzarella sticks and cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers, precede burgers swathed in american or pepper jack cheese. Between bites, diners can test their luck and elbow strength on penny, nickel, and dime slot machines. A fleet of Keno varieties, including Caveman Keno and Lightning Keno, neighbor digital poker and black jack, and budding opera stars can take the stage for karaoke on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Inspired by Prohibition-era vigilante Richard Williams Jr.'s illicit liquor deliveries, Whiskey Dick’s boasts a menu of savory burgers, sandwiches, and more, as well as 16 draft beers. Goad chompers into taking on the Big Dick’s burger challenge, a beef binge that bombards mouth caverns with nine 1/3-pound patties slathered in cheese ($26.11). Those who complete consumption in 15 minutes are rewarded with a T-shirt, not having to pay for the burger, and a set of false teeth once worn by champion eater George Washington. Vacant belly hovels can also be furnished with the fried mac 'n' cheese ($8.79) and a slab of Don’t Let Your meatloaf ($10.14, available 5–11 p.m.)
In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare wrote, "A cheeseburger by any other name would taste as juicy." Okay, not quite, but if the Bard found himself at Shakespeare's Grille and Pub, he'd probably be inclined to try the Angus cheeseburger that's named in his honor. Not surprisingly, the rest of the menu has an English slant?there's shepherd's pie with homemade mashed potatoes, English breakfast served all day, and bangers and mash covered in onion gravy. The pub fare pairs perfectly with the 100-plus beers on hand, such as drafts of Guinness and bottles of Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. Even more eclectic than the beer list are the weekly events, which include everything from wine-and-paint parties to Johnny Cash karaoke.
Each Auld Dubliner location must meet the stringent level of authenticity required by co-owner and Gaelic strongdrinker David Copley. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Copley might share a dirty poem if you ask nicely, but he's more likely to tell you that every part of his pub's polished wood, brass décor, and menu of toothsome Erin edibles was designed and crafted in Ireland and transported piece by piece to its new American home. Tuck right into pub classics such as shepherd's pie with ground beef and lamb ($12.95) or the for-more-than-St.-Patty's-Day corned beef and cabbage ($12.95). Other fare that comes with a shamrock stamp of approval includes the traditional boxty (a potato pancake), stuffed with delights such as Irish bacon and melted cheddar ($13.95) or Atlantic salmon with shallots and tarragon ($15.95). For a finish as sweet as a "yes" from Molly Bloom, the Irish-whiskey crème brûlée adds a twist to the traditional dessert.