Bull McCabe's traditional Irish pub unhinges diners’ appetites with a full menu of both American and Irish pub fare. Pique taste buds with a selection of tavernesque appetizers, such as breaded mushrooms ($6) or a basket of fries ($5), before getting stomachs to bench-press heftier fare, including a half-pound Black Angus No Bull burger, cooked to order with a choice of toppings ($8). Singing duos and centaurs alike will applaud flawless pairings of Irish bangers and mash ($9) and fish and chips, made with fresh haddock ($12). Enjoy these fine eats in the easygoing atmosphere afforded by daily live-music performances, weekly karaoke and trivia contests, and yearly blinking tournaments.
Olde Magoun's replaces the handlebar mustache fights and blindfolded moonshine tastings of old-timey saloons with a menu of fresh pub fare. Thai beef skewers ($9.95) and Cuban egg rolls ($8.95) warm up the palate in time for exquisite entrees like the chicken curry ($11.95) and the grilled Reuben XXL ($9.95)—which arrives overstuffed with layers of shaved corned beef, Russian dressing, Swiss, and either ale-braised sauerkraut or homemade coleslaw. Carnivores who insist that their meat be shredded by a skilled hair-metal chef will savor the North Carolina pulled pork sandwich ($9.95), while the veggie-friendly V-8 pizza ($9.95) tops itself with every herbivorous morsel in the house. Olde Magoun's serves its food until late so that it can be paired more easily with a vast array of draught beer that includes Clown Shoes Brown Angel Ale, Murphy's Irish Stout, and Paper City Blueberry Ale.
As the sister venture of the restaurant known as Journeyman, Backbar sits directly behind its precursor in an unfussy, industrial-style space. But don’t let its afterthought origins fool you. Backbar has emerged from the shadows of Journeyman and built a following of its own, thanks to award-winning bar manager Sam Treadway and his merry band of mixologists. “The bar staffers are eager to please,” remarked Boston Magazine, “and they do.” A reverence for cocktails of days past mixed with an uncontainable thirst for innovation has yielded modern takes on classics such as the fall back, a revisited old-fashioned that blends bourbon with maple, walnut, and bitters. And the innovation doesn’t stop there—ever-changing selections include the drink of the day, drink of the week, and the seasonal milk punch, a traditional eggnog-esque concoction treasured by early American colonists and the cows that loved them. The inspired cocktails find accompaniment in an equally inspired menu of small plates that includes spicy caramel-bacon popcorn, charcuterie platters, and gourmet ice cream sandwiches.
If your old method of sampling everything on a restaurant's menu tends to make bewildered enemies of everyone else in the restaurant, today's Groupon will let you curtail the thievery while still treating the palate. For $15, you get $35 worth of small-plate Thai cuisine and drinks at Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar in Somerville.
Don’t be fooled by the myriad flat-screens streaming sports and the expansive bar with a bottomless supply of draft beer. East End Grille’s menu is a bounty of housemade dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients sure to give any restaurant a run for its money. Chefs carefully tuck mushrooms into tortolloni and pair baked halibut with a lemon and white wine sauce. The flatbread is reimagined with toppings that include sweet chili shrimp, house-pickled red onions, and strawberries. Even the appetizers skirt simplicity, from cornmeal-breaded fried green tomatoes to deep-fried brie slathered in strawberry compote. Once a week, East End Grille opens for brunch that boasts french toast with fresh strawberries and whip cream, burgers with house bacon-chili mayo, and wasabi bloody marys.
At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.