To do that, my family of nine ventured to Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach. Since 1974, the restaurant has been serving up traditional Irish plates, pub bites, whiskey, beer and more whiskey. Step onto the brick courtyard and you’re in the middle of two pubs. Yes, two pubs. The party can start.
The feast begins with raisin-filled scones and a crusty loaf of soda bread. Both are tasty when buttered. And both prove to be an excellent pairing to, ahem, Jameson.
Since my carb fix isn’t easy to quit, I opt for the St. Patty’s burger. Though it’s not that holiday, it should suffice for Father’s Day. This gigantic burger is not prepared for delicate hands. The Angus half-pounder and thick white bun together are already intimidating. Add the vintage cheddar, oak-smoked bacon, homemade guacamole, lettuce, tomato and red onion onto the dripping patty, and the burger becomes a mighty meal. It’s the chunky guacamole that kicks up the burger’s overall flavor. The ripe green mash makes each bite taste fresh. A knife, fork and napkin are necessary; ketchup isn’t.
As a pub staple, the fish and chips are a natural choice. The golden-brown strips are crispy in each bite, and there’s an appropriate balance between the batter and fish. Drizzle malt vinegar atop the pieces or dunk the fish into the creamy tartar sauce for a richer taste. As for the classic side, the lightly-salted fries are addictive with each chew.
A party can only be complete with dessert, and thankfully there are plenty of tempting options on the sweets menu. The mint chocolate chip ice cream cake may fool you with the word, ‘cake.’ Rather, it’s a green mountain of ice cream covered in chocolate syrup and peanuts. The soft texture and bountiful chocolate chips make it impossible to have just one spoonful.
Not only is Muldoon’s a delicious restaurant, but it’s also a happening scene. They have an active music calendar, which can be viewed on their website. Anything from Celtic rock to Van Morrison tributes are on the schedule. Patrons crowd their weekend concerts.
As the celebration quiets and the plates are cleared, I think of my Irish grandfather who’s probably delighting in the scene from the heavens. I lift my drink to another great father.