Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm back and I'm eating at Minihane's Irish Pub in Elkton, MD

Remember when I said I would be back after exams?  You shouldnt have believed me.  Lettuce move past the anger and get to the food.  (Shiftless Family motto.)

The Shiftless Family visited our local Y today, where I lifted heavy things for an hour and the rest of them played in an inflated castle.  As a result, by lunchtime the kids were cranky and I was looking to eat an entire side of beef.

Speed being of the essence, we went nearby to Minihane’s Irish Pub.  A competent reviewer would give you background on the establishment.  By contrast, I’m going to tell you that Minihane’s was previously the Howard House, where my friend’s mom used to bartend.  Are the two businesses related?  No idea.  Answering that question involves non-food talk.

Corner of "across from where the Newberry's was" and "where the live music sometimes is"

Because both Mr. Shiftless and I had previously been to the Howard House, we attempted to enter at the old restaurant entrance, only to realize the only entrance is through the bar, pub-style.  Maybe this should have offended my prudish sensibilities but I needed food in my belly immediately.  

Fancy, but not too fancy.

The décor is rustic, with exposed brick and exposed floors and exposed wooden tables.  It is all fashionably and comfortably naked.  The table settings had wine glasses and fine china, which the kids immediately began touching with their grubby hands.  The waitress promptly removed the excess wine glasses, apparently assuming, correctly, that the Shiftless children would take their wine in a take-home fun cup with a lid.  

There is no children’s menu, but all the items can be prepared in half portions.  This was fine with us, as Mr. Shiftless and I end up eating the majority of the children’s meals in any event, and today was no exception.

True to my beef-eating word, I got the burger with Dubliner cheese and Irish bacon.  The Shiftless minions each got half a burger with cheddar.  All were delicious, although I had asked for my burger medium and got more medium-well.  This may have been a function of the minions getting theirs well done, and it was still good.  If you haven’t had Dubliner cheese, it is a salty, sharp, cow’s milk cheese.  People who actually know cheese call it “somewhat sweet.”  I can’t tell if they are delusional, lying, or just accustom to cheese so sharp it slaps one across the face.  If your main dietary cheeses include “American” and “Pizza,” you will not find Dubliner “sweet,” but it is still worth trying. 

Mr. Shiftless got the Spring Wrap, which provoked snorting from this gentle reviewer, but ended up being delicious: smoked salmon, mint and herb goat cheese, watermelon, green things, and watermelon vinaigrette.  He ate it before I could get another bite.  In fact, we all finished eating before I could grab photos.  

For dessert we had the Rollo Salted Caramel Brownie.  It came with a banana sauce and ice cream.  I managed to get a picture before we dug in:

Not pictured: main course

Fair warning, I got more “banana” than “salted caramel,” from the sauce, but overall we couldn’t get enough of it.  The chef also sent out a selection of cookies for the kids.  There was chocolate, oatmeal, shortbread, and toffee.  I’m a staunch believer in chewy cookies so toffee was my favorite, but the chocolate had a satisfying bite and assertive flavor.

Chocolate cookie was already claimed.

Before we left the chef came out to say hello, which was very nice.  The service overall was great.  We’ll be back, mostly because I didn’t get the Reuben, which is apparently life-changing:

I believe all Reubens straddle the fine line between delicious and terrible.

If you’ve had the Reuben-experience, or just want to comment on your visit to Minihane’s, don’t be shy in the comment section.  Also, if you haven’t been to Minihane’s, do get off your duff.  Elkton needs to support its quality restaurants.  One cannot live on square pizza and wings alone.

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