Authentic pub food, homy decor bring taste of Emerald Isle to Coleman’s

Mitchell Franz | Photo EditorColeman’s Authentic Irish Pub has a leprechaun door. It’s a teeny, tiny door next to the regular-sized one, built specifically for any Wee Folk in the mood to knock back a few brewskis after work.

Like a few of the pub’s other features — an in-house gift-shop and a miniature telephone booth outside — the leprechaun door sounds tacky, but it doesn’t feel out of place.

Located in the predominately Irish Tipperary Hill, Coleman’s captures the atmosphere that an authentic Irish pub would have. The owners may appreciate a good joke, but one thing they take very seriously is the quality of their grub.

Although the menu offers several non-Irish dishes, like Scallops Bruschetta and Chicken Tenders, the real specialties are the items that offer a taste of the Emerald Isle. The Beef on Weck sandwich tempted me at first, but another option won me over.

“I’ll have the Beef O’Flaherty, please,” I ordered.

It’s the best name for a dish ever, bar none. A Coleman’s classic, the Beef O’Flaherty is made of thinly sliced roast beef topped with homemade blue cheese, all layered over a roll and baked in the oven. Irish fries come on the side, of course.

One cannot go to an Irish pub to eat a heaping serving of Beef O’Flaherty without also ordering an Irish beer to go along with it. At my waiter’s recommendation, I ordered Tilted Kilt.

My dining partners and I peered around the expansive pub as we waited for our meal to arrive. We sat on a wraparound porch, separated from the rowdy bar area. Another large dining room jutted off the other side of the bar, a section filled with several cushioned booths.

All of the pub’s hardwood tables gleamed. Predictably, much of the décorwas proudly green. A diverse set of people crowded around the bar: everyone from 20-somethings to a man wearing a spiffy suit. With a pool table, free popcorn and dim lighting, Coleman’s gives anyone a good spot to go to for an evening, whether they’re Irish or not.

It took less than 20 minutes for our food to arrive. The browned top of my Beef O’Flaherty steamed alluringly. I grabbed my fork and went to town. It was even better than I imagined: every bite an explosion of cheesy, meaty glory. The homemade blue cheese melted around each tender slice of beef.

The $8.99 meal was rich and homey. I felt like Mama Ireland herself whipped it up for me back in the kitchen. Long and oval-shaped, the Irish fries were cooked for longer than most fries typically found at a pub. A thin layer of skin barely contained a bursting amount of creamy potato. Unsalted, they could trick anyone into thinking that fries could actually be healthy.

A blessing in contrast to my heavy meal, the beer tasted smooth and light. The only way the feast could have felt more Irish is if my beer looked green.

I may have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a little early, but I recommend stopping by Coleman’s on the actual holiday. The pub is completing a new outdoor pavilion just in time for the celebrations. In the words of the hostess as we walked out the door, “St. Patrick’s day is going to be insane.”

Source: Jillian D’Onfro, dailyorange.com

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