Having gone to many Irish pubs in the southern half of Ireland, I tend to miss the pubs when I go to an Irish pub in the states and they lack that authentic Irish atmosphere. However, I miss it more when I spend time at an Irish pub that gets pretty darn close to that vibe. The Auld Dubliner in Long Beach gives a proper dose of Irish, and last night was no exception. Michael and I walked in to the pub with musicians rehearsing in a corner table with about a dozen empty beer glasses grouped in the middle. They were showing The League One Championship Final (soccer) on TVs, which was a pretty entertaining game that kept us turning our heads the whole time.
What better way to start off than a Smithwick’s on draft (by the way it’s pronounced Smitt-Icks not Smith-Wicks). This is probably my top 3 Irish beers. Check out the rest of their selection on draft AND their whiskies:
I don’t really think of great food when I go into a bar or pub, however, this place has great food. They have a lot of traditional Irish dishes as well as other American plates, all very good. This time I noticed they changed their menu and added “Crispy Bacon and Parmesan Cheese Tots.” Of course I had to order them, and it was perfect for sauceless finger food until our entrees came. One thing to notice is that the price is very reasonable. Most appetizers are under $10 and the entrees aren’t that much more.
For the main course, Michael ordered the Reuben Burger. He generally dislilkes anything that resembles a 1000 island dressing, except when it comes to a Reuben. So he ordered it even with the 1000 island dressing that comes with it and wolfed it down. It helps when the food is good of course. I had a bite and it was quite the juicy burger. I’ve only had a Reuben as a sandwich, not a burger, so I was skeptical at first. Also, the fries came with the request of having smears of goat cheese throughout. Good call Michael! The goat cheese might not look good in the picture but it was a perfect balance to the saltiness of the fries.
I ordered the Guinness Meatloaf with Blue Cheese Gravy. The meat was tender and the gravy was very flavorful. Vegetable had the perfect tenderness and just the right amount of seasoning. The mashed potatoes were nice and fluffy, but if I had to give one complaint, it would be that they were a little bland.
Other entrees I have tried have been from their “Boxty Dishes” which are Irish potato pancakes varying with ingredients and styles. Check the list:
If you go in on a crowded night, the service may be slow, so expect to have ample time for your visit well before your next planned stop. Same goes for lunch on the weekends.
I’m open to hearing your requests of good Irish pub and restaurants 🙂