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The Irish In Us

Pubs for St. Paddy's Day


If the closest you ever get to a dose of Irish food is a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal, perhaps this St. Paddy's day will inspire you to turn over a new leaf - a clover one at that. Saint Patrick, after all, wasn't Irish himself. In fact, his real name was Maewyn Succat - I guess later that became O'Succat - and at 16, he was kidnapped by Irish marauders, sold into slavery, escaped, became a priest, and ultimately converted the Irish population to Christianity using a handy shamrock leaf to demonstrate the Holy Trinity. In honor of the Emerald Isle and all things Irish, expect to see a lot of green food around next Thursday: green beer, green bagels, green cookies.

At RiRa, you won't find any wussy green beer. I'm not sure you could dye Guinness anyway. On the menu at this charming Irish two-story pub (the interior was actually shipped to Charlotte from Ireland) are Beef and Guinness pie, bangers (imported Irish sausages) and mash, fish and chips, and corned beef and cabbage. Their breakfast menu, served all day, includes an Irish breakfast with black pudding. Special music is planned as well. St. Paddy's Day is also RiRa's eighth anniversary.

RiRa The Irish Pub 208 N Tryon Street. 704-333-5554.

At the Lake, the Galway Hooker Irish Pub has a week of celebration planned with a parade, music, dancing and, of course, lots of beer. For that authentic Irish "top o' the morning to ya" feel, try their beer breakfast at 8am on the 17th. On Galway's regular menu are many Irish specialties: shepherd's pie (beef), bangers and mash with imported sausages, lemon-marinated Cornish hen with garlic mashed potatoes, rack of lamb with potato cake, West Cork Irish salmon, fishermen's pie with white fish, clams, scallops, crabmeat and bechamel sauce, and beer crisped fish and chips : prepared with Harp beer, of course.

Galway Hooker Irish Pub, 17044 Kenton Dr, Cornelius. 704-895-1782.

Sir Edmond Halley's will have local Irish youth dancers, a bagpiper, and some of their regular crowd (also an Irish singing group) performing Irish tunes, so patrons can weep into their beers or lift the beers higher. Chef/owner Tobin McAfee's menu will have corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie (made with lamb, the way it should be), fish and chips, Irish potato cakes served with warmed goat cheese, Irish Guinness stew, Irish yeast rolls, bangers and mash, his renowned Guinness chocolate pudding, and vegetarian burgers for the truly green Irishman or woman. Halley's full menu is served daily until 2am.

Sir Edmund Halley's, 4151 Park Road. 704-525-2555.

Third Ward's Hartigan's Irish Pub will serve corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie (beef), beef stew, green beer and Shamrock shooters.

Hartigan's Irish Pub, 601 South Cedar. 704-347-1841.

If you're on the authentic Celtic liquid diet, Connelly's on Fifth is an Irish pub in the truest sense. No food here, and it's members only.

Connolly's on Fifth, 115 E. 5th Street. 704-358-9070.

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