“The Oldest Irish Pub in America,” Patrick’s of Pratt Street, is, believe it or not, right here in Baltimore. An affable, somewhat unconventional shrine to the Emerald Isle, Patrick’s, on West Pratt Street, has been owned and operated by the same family since 1847.
If the trivia and suggestion of Irish food and drink isn’t enough to get your attention, the fact that you can get some pretty sophisticated victuals there should.
Anne Rowley takes great pride in her family’s establishment. Her husband mans the bar and she oversees the kitchen. Her take on “traditional” Irish food is a refined one. As a result, her love of good eating translates to a menu serving much more than your standard Celtic fare. Gourmet appetizers such as brie with sliced almonds, a generous helping of Brie served with toasted almonds, caramelized apples and crackers ($7.95), are a far cry from your basic bar grub, though they do have that, too. Try the Indian samosas served with mint chutney and Anne’s own hot and sweet mango sauce ($6.95) and you’ll agree: This place may be old, but the menu is anything but.
Entrée-wise, they tout their crab cake (market priced daily). We found it good but uninspiring when compared with more inventive and delicious things on the menu such as Anne’s Cod with Thai Lime Sauce ($14.95). The shepherds pie, to be honest, resembled a stew more than a pie ($14.95), but don’t let that stop you, it is very good. The mashed potatoes that seal the pie are so light and delicious, they seemed ethereal.
If Irish whiskey or beer isn’t your fancy, the place makes a mean espresso, and the wine list? [It] is quite decent. Desserts are made fresh daily. We enjoyed a caramel espresso ice cream that was almost sinful, it was so good.
Patrick’s also serves lunch, where a wide range of sandwiches, as well as the dinner menu, are available. Service is friendly and quick and the staff goes out of its way to make you feel at home. With good food, great drinks and the infectious Irish cheer, you can’t go wrong.