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Liam Fitzpatrick's

liam logoThe owners of Liam Fitzpatrick’s, an Irish pub in Lake Mary, went to great lengths to create an authentic atmosphere. It’s a little larger than most of the pubs you’ll encounter in Hibernia but most of the details are there, from the bar to the fireplace nook to the raised dining area. The only authentic touch that is missing is the beer-sodden, well-worn carpeting that seems to be in every pub, and for that I thank the owners of Liam Fitzpatrick’s.

There is authenticity in the menu, as well, and I wish the proprietors had the confidence to stick with them. It sends a wrong message, I think, when the server immediately recommends the nachos and announces the kitchen does a really good quesadilla.

The kitchen does a very nice beer-battered fish, whether enjoyed as little bite-sized nuggets as an appetizer or as part of the iconic fish and chips. The batter was nicely done, a thick jacket on chunks of grouper. A simple tartar or malt vinegar would have been appropriate; I’m not sure why a Key West remoulade was offered as a dipping sauce.

I also liked the Scotch egg, which had a perfectly hard-boiled egg inside a thick coating of spicy sausage. If the sausage didn’t have enough heat, a whole grain mustard could kick it up.

For entrees the corned beef and cabbage came close to being a winner. The meat was just right, with just a bit of chew and a good salty taste (overseas you’re likely to see this dish listed as salt beef). However, the cabbage, a big wedge, was undercooked and hard, but still tasty.

Shepherd’s pie was a decent rendition, well, short of the melted cheese. But under that was a good beef and lamb blend with vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes.

The final course brought a nicely custardized bread pudding and sort of an apple crispy dessert that my tablemates enjoyed immensely.

Besides pushing the Tex-Mex items, our server was otherwise knowledgeable, especially about the nuances of the various lagers and ales available.

Of course, many people will visit an Irish pub specifically for the beverages, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. But I would question the sanity of anyone who would visit one and order a Corona. When you go to an Irish pub you should try the Irish brews. Follow that same advice when you order food and your visit to Liam Fitzpatrick’s will be all the more enjoyable.

Thursday, 28th August 2014

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