Jump to: Reviews | Finnegans Wait, What?
The Emerald Isles' greatest export is neither potatoes nor leprechauns, although both are invaluable to our modern way of life. No, the most important Irish contribution to Western society is the Guinness-fueled pub philosopher. Share in their wisdom with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of intoxicating pub grub and intoxicant at Finn McCools Ale House in Center City. Finn McCools is an authentic Irish-style pub that was recently upgraded to a full kitchen with an expanded beer selection, thanks to a leftover genie someone donated to a local thrift store with a perfectly good wish left in it.
The new kitchen is piloted by Irish cuisine expert, chef Larry Smith, so the menu has shamrock specialties in addition to classic bar favorites. Smith has taught at Temple University and studied under chefs at The Joseph Ambler Inn, Le Bec Fin, and Table 31. Try the bangers and mash, Irish pork sausages with mashed potatoes and peas served with savory gravy ($10.50) or a scotch fillet, 10 ounces of well-marbled rib eye served with vegetables and a baked potato ($25). Finn's serves perhaps the most traditional Irish favorite—nachos ($13), as well as wings with fries ($8) and fish and chips ($11). Unrepentant foodies, meanwhile, will find gastropub offerings such as zarzuela pasta paella ($18), poached-pear salad ($8), and moules mariniere ($9). Finn's 16 draft beers are mainly Irish, Belgian, German, and local microbrews. The bar's expert tenders are fast and friendly, so ask for directions home if your speech begins to resemble Molly Bloom's soliloquy.
After eight months of renovation, Finn's barroom is even classier and finally banshee-free. The authentic pub space has bare brick walls, wood accents, and well-stocked back-bar shelves (peruse the gallery for a peek at all the fancy new features). The giant-scaled, 20-foot ceiling could accommodate the actual Finn McCool and makes watching the game on Finn's four large, flat-screen TVs more comfortable than watching it at home on your corrugated TV boogie board.
Your Groupon can be used on yourself or on an entire table, so start a tab at Finn McCools and treat your entire U2 tribute band to some well-deserved shenanigans.
Citysearchers and Yellow Pages reviewers give Finn McCool's a perfect five stars, while CityVoters rave about the delicious food and affable staff:
- The place was excellent, great selection of beers and cocktails. We got a big selection of appetizers and it was very good. The fried Ravioli was great. The bartender was fast and excellent, and the owner and people in the bar were real friendly. – boomer71, Citysearch
- It's the best bar ever...with the coolest staff! Always a good time. Never a disappointment. Food and service is flawless. – kristen12345678, CityVoter
- Friendly staff, clean, and a great place to watch games. – mcDog, Citysearch
Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub brings the best of Ireland and the States together under one roof, thanks to its hearty menu of Irish and American fare. Patrons can gather around the bar to watch sports on a high-definition TV as they munch on everything from spicy buffalo wings and philly cheesesteaks to golden-fried fish ‘n’ chips or bangers and mash. Friday and Saturday nights encourage customers to take their draft or bottled beers to the dance floor, where they can burn calories to the beats of a house DJ, the live crooning of a local band, or the constant reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance that hasn’t left their heads since middle school.
Murph's Bar matches its full bar with a full kitchen that fires its food cannon until 1 a.m. every night. In addition to boasting pulled-pork and cheesesteak sandwiches, the menu also tells tales of 12-inch pizzas topped with spinach, shrimp, and ricotta cheese. Inside, eclectic furnishings such as a jewelry-wearing bear head and old beer signs surround a lengthy wooden bar bedecked in hundreds of shiny pennies. On the ceiling, a colorful mural of hunters stalking snakes, boars, buffalo, and dogs illustrates a common event throughout human history, the zoo escape.
The Adobe Cafe's chefs find a way to accommodate nearly every diner without sacrificing the piquant flavors and aromas attributed to southwestern cuisine. They skillet-sear filet mignon and marinate chicken breasts and duck before tossing the seasoned meat with black beans, sautéed green peppers, and white onions for fajitas. But they also alter their traditional Mexican-inspired fare by substituting ground beef, chorizo, flank steak, and carnitas with seitan and tofu for vegetarians or meat eaters' pet goats. The chefs' use of ranchero sauce, roasted peppers, jerk seasoning, and even barbecue has earned the eatery a number of awards; The Adobe Cafe was recently named Best Southwestern Restaurant in Philadelphia by LocalEats.
Named after the proprietors' father—a longtime veteran of the restaurant trade—Mikey's American Grill & Sports Bar continues the family's tradition of serving good food in a congenial atmosphere. Seated in the light-filled dining room, guests peel their eyes away from the sports-filled big-screen TVs above the bar to peruse a menu of classic bar standbys. Juicy 8-ounce burgers arrive piled high with tantalizing toppings including bacon, goat cheese, and fried eggs. Their tater tot brethren are no less decorated, coming tricked out with extras ranging from jalapenos and blue cheese to grilled chicken. The thirsty receive equal consideration, with bartenders pouring beer, original cocktails, and fishbowls that let friends share their libations or help pet tetras just loosen up for once in their lives.
The green-, white-, and orange-striped façade of O’Neals Pub hints at what one may expect to find inside: a menu replete with shepherd’s pie, beer-battered fish and chips, and Irish beef stew along with an extensive selection of beers and whiskeys from the Emerald Isle. These Irish staples share space on tables with American pub grub such as creamy bacon mac 'n' cheese, hearty sandwiches, and 100% Angus beef or veggie burgers. Between bites, guests can marvel at the Celtic cross carved into the woodgrain on the front door, practice their aim on the dartboard, or play pranks on friends by slyly filling their bagpipes with mashed potatoes. Guests may also turn their attention to one of the pub's 20 TVs, which all have Direct TV packages, or bask in the sun on the outdoor patio, where oversize umbrellas provide shelter to those scanning the horizon for telltale rainbows after thundershowers.