I went to McDonagh's Pub in Keyport for the first time recently, looking for a quick pub lunch and a nice pint to accompany it.
It was a gorgeous day, so our immediate reaction was to beeline for the outdoor seating they have. A few people I work with had told me about this place, and that the food was pretty decent, so I went there hungry.
They have a very extensive menu, which was almost overwhelming because everything sounded good. I first ordered a Harp to start sipping on while I made a decision.
While the menu itself looked great, I actually opted for an item on the specials menu that day, the "Grown Up Grilled Cheese," consisting of brie cheese, pesto, and tomato on a rosemary foccaccia bread, served with homemade potato chips and choice of a cup of soup (I channeled the Irish in me and went for cream of potato leek).
The entire meal was very satisfying. The combination of warm brie, pesto and crunchy bread was phenomenal, and the soup was a delicious counterpart. And, of course, the homemade chips were great to nosh on with a side of McDonagh's Cajun mayo which I finished all of, despite not being a fan of mayo.
My friend ordered the veggie burger sliders, with three mini burgers available on whole wheat buns, lettuce, tomato, and a side salad. For an Irish Pub, even the most vegetarian of options was pretty tasty.
For more vegetarian variety, they have a generous list of salads, like the Bay Breeze, with mixed greens, walnuts, dried cranberries, and crumbled blue cheese, or the Fresh Mozzarella Salad with roasted red pepper, tomato, and fresh basil over mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette.
The not-so-veggie salads include a Cobb Salad with roasted turkey, crumbled blue cheese, bacon, hard boiled egg, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes over mixed baby greens.
Now, at a pub, salads can probably get boring.
So McDonagh's has its traditional Irish Fare, including a Corned Beef wrap with swiss, kraut, and horseradish sauce, or the Dublin Irish Stew, with slow-cooked beef, mixed vegetables and potatoes in a rich gravy.
There are also many different sandwich options to satisfy any true beer drinker, such as the Amazing Cajun Wrap, grilled cajun chicken tossed with cheddar jack cheese, romaine, and ranch dressing, or the McDonagh's Pub Po Boy, popcorn shrimp on a soft roll with shredded lettuce, tomato, and cajun mayo.
Exhausted yet? They also have a burger menu, featuring the Guinness Burger, topped with cheddar cheese and Guinness BBQ sauce.
There's also a wide variety of pizzas, like the BBQ Chicken Pizza (fried chicken tenders, Guinness BBQ sauce and cheddar jack cheese), Veggie Pizza (roasted red peppers, spinach, portabella mushrooms, red onion, mozzarella cheese, and zesty tomato sauce), or a classic Margarita (fresh sliced tomato, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella).
Entrees include Chicken Murphy (bangers, peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions, and red bliss potatoes in McDonagh's special zesty Murphy sauce), Shepherd's Pie McDonagh's Style (chunks of beef and mixed vegetables in a hearty gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown), and Bangers and Mash (pork sausages on a heap of mashed potatoes, topped with McDonagh's brown gravy).
If this extensive menu, found at www.mcdonaghs.com, doesn't entice you enough, they also have a great happy hour on every weekday, from 4 to 7 p.m..
The specials include $1.75 domestic drafts, $2 domestic bottles, $3 mixed drinks, and $3 baskets of "Pub Grub."