Comfortable Irish pub serves great food

Monday, 24th October, 2011

Ahh, Irish pubs, how I love them. They are a weakness of mine. In many respects I cannot believe I waited nearly eight months before I tried Frances O’Dooley’s Irish Pub and Grille located at 1930 S.W. Westport Drive. The pub is somewhat difficult to find, as it is in an out of the way location in a small shopping center. However, it is worth the effort to locate this fine establishment.

When you enter Frances O’Dooley’s it feels comfortable. The wood is dark and you feel as though you are in a pub. There is a nice bar with a nice selection of beers on tap. On one wall are what are supposed to be fake barrels of whiskey and beer that is a bit schmaltzy. However the overall atmosphere is inviting. It is a place you want to spend time with your family and friends. The décor earns three forks.

We were immediately greeted by a hostess and seated. Our waitress immediately came to our table and asked us what we wanted to drink. I appreciated the fact that the pub has a drink menu. It makes it easier on both the customer and the wait staff. When there is no drink menu the waiter or waitress has to rattle off the available beers or drinks that are offered. If there are a lot of selections, I sometimes forget some of them and make the waitress repeat the list. A drink menu avoids all of that. But, I digress.

Our waitress was a pleasant young lady. Her uniform consisted of a Frances O’Dooley’s t-shirt and jeans. I am a bit old-fashioned, and would prefer if the wait staff in a restaurant as nice as Frances O’Dooley’s would have a nicer shirt, such as a polo. Our waitress was very friendly, and even sat and chatted awhile. She had a friendly smile and enjoyed working with the customers. My only criticism is that she did not check on us after our food arrived. Another member of the wait staff brought our food. Our waitress should have come to the table after we had a chance to try our food and ask if it was okay. She did come over, but not until we had eaten most of our meal. The service at Frances O’Dooley’s earns three forks.

One thing I like about Frances O’Dooley’s is that it serves more than sandwiches and the usual sports bar food. It has a nice selection of Irish fare and American meals. I opted for the chicken boxty and my wife went with chicken masala. My boxty was a potato pancake rolled like a crepe. It was stuffed with chicken and a cream sauce with bacon and leaks. My side was a dish with red potatoes with bacon, baked in cheese. Sour cream was drizzled on the top. My wife’s chicken masala came with champs potatoes. The chicken masala was topped with pieces green and red sweet peppers.

The food tasted heavenly, and was presented well. The meals came on large china plates that had dried parsley around the entrée. Our meals cost $12.99, which was very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the meal. I noticed O’Dooley’s offered a rib eye steak for $18.99, which was the most expensive item on the menu. That puts O’Dooley’s in the $$-$$$ range. Three and one-half forks is the rating I give Frances O’Dooley’s for the quality of the food.

Frances O’Dooley’s got the quantity of the meal, just right. I usually feel like Goldilocks. There is usually not enough food or too much food. At this pub, it was just right. Both of us finished our meal and did not leave hungry, nor did we need a take-home container. I would rather pay a few dollars less and get a smaller meal than to take a bunch of food home to warm up later. For value, I give Frances O’Dooley’s a rating of three and one-half forks.

Frances O’Dooley’s is a great place to visit, whether you go there to eat lunch, dinner or just spend time nursing a beer. The wait staff is friendly, the food excellent, plenty of drink selections and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It deservedly earns three and one-half forks. If I would, I would move it to a better location with change the exterior to look like a pub in “The Quiet American.”

Source: Food & Flicks

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