A tale of two Irish pubs in NYC

Recently I went to NYC and visited a couple of Irish pubs. If you have been to the city you know there are an awful lot of them. It feels like that on some blocks there are 2 or more right next to or across the street from each other. So why bother? I am Irish and proud of it. Also it is a dream of mine to own my own pub one day. So call it research to go out of my way to places and see what they are about.

My grandfather owned two pubs. Patsy’s I am told the name were. One in NJ and I believe one to be in NYC. Might have both been in Jersey for all I know.  it was back in the late 50’s to early 60’s. My mother says my dream of owning a pub just is one more thing to prove I am the incarnate of her father. His ghost walking around in the flesh to tease her. I have heard this most of my life. The weird things that make me different from my family tend to always be something “he” did. I never met my grandfather. He died when my mom was 13. He was one of  two  husbands my grandma would have and as she says “wore them out” meaning they both died on her. Her long time boyfriend could almost be considered a husband but she never married him. But like the other two she wore him out too. Yeah my maternal family is a hoot. I will leave it there. I am sure they will come up again.

Back to my NYC trip. It was a cold day and I had taken the boys down to Madison Square Park to play and get them out of my husband’s office for a bit. We did some window shopping up 5th Ave and then met my husband for lunch. I was ready for some warmth and some comfort food at this point. So when hubby suggested a Thai place or an Irish pub, it was simple, Irish pub. To me that is comfort.

So we went to Blaggard’s on 38th St. Again I have to say it was cold outside. I had been out for over and hour and was looking forward to getting warm. Maybe they were saving money in this economy or maybe the owner is a cheap bastard but it was colder in there than it was out on the street. I mean that in a couple of way too.

We were seated in the back near a fireplace that was not working and I am not sure it actually ever  does but it would have been nice to even stick a fake fireplace in there just to add some warmth to the place. The place was empty and maybe it was the fact I had my two boys with me they stuck us in a corner where our barely able to speak English , Spanish waitress could forget about us . Was that the plan?  Kids should not be seen or heard I suppose. My boys are not loud or annoying so I am not sure what to think on this one. There were no children’s options for my 9 yr old so maybe kids are not welcome.

My husband said the normal bartender was not on staff. The angry one was. Well my pint of stout arrived poured correctly and that might be where one stops in this place. I had Bangers and Mash. My poor husband paid $13 for me to have 3 sweet Italian sausages ( I know what a real banger is and I suppose thought they could fool the average person) , a small container of some nasty beans (they were not Bachelor Beans that is for sure) and the worst mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. I think I had better glue in Kindergarten. My 9 yr old had chicken fingers off the appetizer menu. He didn’t know I was unhappy but looked disgusted at his food. My son loves chicken fingers. How can you screw that up for a kid? If they taste like fish and look odd inside you might have it. 15 yr old son had a Hawaiian burger that was ok he said. He did have to take his steak knife out to cut the rock hard (yes we banged it on the plate) pineapple piece from cheese. My husband had fish and chips. Not good he said but he was hungry and ate it.

Never were asked if we wanted a second pint or the boys sodas refilled. Heck shots of Jameson might have helped but I doubt it. The waitress took forever to come around so we could get the check from her. She was fast to run the credit card  threw the machine though.

They have a few odd things on their menu that make me think they might not want to do the Irish fare. Just drop it or do it right. The bartender said goodbye, I wished him health in Gaelic and tried not to run for the door. Hubby apologized and said he remembered why he didn’t go there any more. He was sorry he didn’t take us else where.

Back to work he went and the boys and I had appointments to keep. Mass at St. Patrick’s and later a horse drawn carriage ride threw central park with a lively Irish driver as well as meeting up with a wonderful friend. We walked all over the city. When hubby was ready to leave work we were ready to sit and warm up a bit. He was happy to take us to another pub for a drink and a snack.

So into O’ Casey’s on 41St we went. I liked the place the moment we walked in. The place is really cozy. The British bartender greeted us and smiled and was eger to take our drink order and have us relax. No really he actually took the order and then told my husband to relax and take a load off. Another perfect poured pint. I am picky as can be about how my stout is poured. We had a basket of chips and pretzel rods for the kids to nosh on. We might not have eaten there but I would go back. The ball game was on. The people were happy inside and the place was warm.  A smell of something good was in the air. It made me wish we didn’t have dinner plans at home. There is a restaurant in the back and downstairs according to my 15 yr old son who went to the head. Hubby said it is one of his favorite places. I tell you the next time I come into the city I will go there. I would like to try the food.

Till next time ,

Slainte!

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