Thursday, November 10th, 2011
After we wrote about comfort dishes in Springfield a couple weeks ago, a reader commented that we should try the French onion soup from McLynn’s on Morris Avenue.
We’ve written about the burgers and shepherd’s pie here, and we’ve also enjoyed the potato skins and fish and chips. But McLynn’s offers an extensive menu, as well as several daily specials on a chalkboard brought to every table — and we had yet to try any of the soups.
With the season for comfort food fast approaching, we began featuring in this space meals that start with a hot bowl of soup. Last week, it was bouillabaisse at Marino’s; this week, we’re at an 11-year old Irish pub on the other side of town.
With a full bar and full-service dining room, McLynn’s is decked out with old-fashioned, Irish-themed décor—wood tables, green carpet, and walls adorned with an eclectic array of old washboards, maps, prints, hockey sticks and clocks. It makes for an inviting, comforting environment, especially in the cooler months. Service is attentive, often with an Irish brogue.
The French onion soup is served in a crock here covered in melted cheese that seals the soup inside. Poke the golden broiled cheese–probably not gruyere, possibly Swiss–with your spoon, and it will reveal a dark, rich beef broth.
The broth is salty for my taste, but the dark, translucent onions give the soup some sweetness–and its name. The soup has a few chunks of bread in it, soaked in the broth but not soggy, proof that this is all prepared fresh.
Aside from enjoying the complex flavors of the soup, much of the fun here is in scraping the cheese off the sides of the bowl. I can see why one of our readers went out of his way to recommend this. We were pleased with this Irish pub’s preparation of a classic French dish.
Looking for something lighter than a burger to compliment the French onion soup, we ordered a BLT to follow. Served on white bread, the sandwich included an inch of crisp bacon, as well as the usual lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. It complimented the soup well, and we left McLynn’s sated without being stuffed.
Who else in Springfield makes a good, hot soup for these cool fall days?