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All About My Cheddar

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Top o’ the morning to ye and welcome to Mastication Monologues!  Today’s post involves an Irish pub with plenty of class and delicious food.  I’m talking about Lady Gregory’s located on the north side of Chicago.  The name references a female Victorian Irish playwright who penned “Playboy of the Western World”, a play made infamous due to its scandalous reference to underpants.  Ohhhhh my! She faced plenty of resistance and even death threats from audiences until Teddy Roosevelt saw the play and praised it.  Looks like the king of “Bully!” stopped the bullies, and Lady Gregory’s menu contains the same sassyness the original Lady Gregory possessed.  It ranges from flatbreads, salads, soups, burgers, and big plates.  Plus, they have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to wet your whistle.IMG_3254

As for the layout of the restaurant, it has both indoor and outdoor seating.  Janice and I chose to sit inside, so we were ushered past the impressive wrap-around bar to the area known as “the library”.IMG_3253  Why?  Simple.  It’s an actual library that has walls stocked with reading material to go along with your eats and a few board games as well if you’re not entertained with simple conversation.IMG_3252  After looking over the menu, I went for the ultimate grilled cheese ($10) and a side of champ ($3.50).  My meal eventually came out, and it looked great.  When they say the grilled cheese is “ultimate”, they mean that every element of the sandwich is coated, stuffed, and/or infused with cheese.  *Cue Homer moment*.  It was unlike any other grilled cheese moment I’ve had in other parts of Chicago or in my life.  First, the bread was a Parmesan encrusted sourdough that had plenty of crunch, cheesy flavor, and consistency to support the flavor bomb that was ticking between the slices. IMG_3247 When I bit through the beautiful bread, I was greeted by an avalanche of lava hot cheeses:  Gruyere, Irish white cheddar, mozzarella, and brie to be exact.  While these smooth and flavorful cheeses were cascading down my palate, I also managed to catch some of the mashed tomatoes in the waves of dairy along with some delightfully smoky yet sweet, candied bacon pieces. IMG_3251  I’d highly recommend this delightfully rich in flavor but not in price plate.  The free pickle on the side only “sweetened” the deal with its sour, dill crunch.  As for the champ, it’s an Irish take on mashed potatoes.  Called brúitín in Gaelic or “poundies”, this side takes basic mashed potatoes and combines them with butter, green onions, and milk.IMG_3250  A simple food that packs plenty of complex sensations into a humble bowl.  While the potatoes were extremely creamy, the rich butter contrasted with the semi-strong green onions that introduced a bit of attitude like a champion side dish should have.

So if you want to have some great versions of simple meals that won’t cost you a pot o’ gold, check out Lady Gregory’s!

Lady Gregory's on Urbanspoon

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When Irish Stomachs Are Shrugging

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Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Mastication Monologues!  Today I’m going to be talking about a restaurant that I visited in Incheon after I once again was foiled by Taco Cielo.  The name of the restaurant is O’Malley’s Irish Pub located at 1474-3 Guwol-dong, Top Plaza 4F.  They don’t have a website but can be found on Facebook.

Since my good friend, Ravi, has come over to visit me from London, I’ve been trying to show him the sights and sounds of Korea whenever I’m not working.  However, sometimes it’s nice to take a break from soaking in all of the culture, smog, and kimchi and indulge in some Western food.  So, after having a short walkabout around Incheon’s Songdo International City, I decided I wanted to take him to Taco Cielo, a much vaunted Mexican restaurante in Incheon.  As I mentioned in a previous post, “Not Phonomenal“, I went to this Mexican eatery on a Saturday at 2pm, and it was closed.  It was closed again on a Wednesday night with a simple note on the window saying, “Closed today.  Sorry.”  Hopefully, the third time’s the charm, and I’ll finally be able to blog about it.  Anyway, I instead took my friend to O’Malley’s which is a building over.

When we walked in, it was like any other type of British pub with darts, foosball, and a long bar.  They serve mainly pub food like burgers, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.  We settled down to our seats, and we ended up ordering nachos (10,000 W) to share. I got a bacon cheeseburger (10,000 W) with a Red Rock beer on the side (4,000 W).  I had this brew before on a night out when I was less than fully sober, and it tasted good.  Now that I was of sound mind and body, this wasn’t the case like most Korean beers.  The color overall was a warm reddish-brown with a slightly hoppy aftertaste with some minor sweet notes in the background.  However, it was an extremely watery lager like all the other Korean beers.  My expectations weren’t that high to begin with, so I wasn’t that disappointed.  As for the nachos, they were another story.  They came out, and it was a large plate of chips coated with meagre amounts of cheese but plenty of jalapenos, onions, and tomatoes along with a small cup of salsa.  I wasn’t very satisfecho with this plato.  Then, there was my burger.

A wee burger for a wee lad

A wee burger for a wee lad

I wasn’t too happy with the size of it, and I felt they cheated me with the amount of fries nestled next to the burger.  Then again, I justified the size of the burger with the fact that we’re in Korea, and everything is smaller.  Yet the Wolfhound in Itaewon didn’t disappoint in this department (See:  “Everything’s Bigger In Itaewon“).  As for the quality of the burger, it was pretty decent.  The bun was soft, pliable, and resilient to my savage mauling since I was quite hungry after a long and frustrating day of work.  The patty was perfectly grilled and juicy but had a strange pork taste to it like many burgers I’ve had in Korea.  As for the bacon, it wasn’t heavily seasoned but adequately crispy.  I really appreciated the basket of condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, and vinegarette) they provided us when they came back with Ravi’s meal.  Finally, the fries were quite tasty even though there was an inadequate amount of them.  They were seasoned with a bit of allspice and salt, and their golden, crunchy exteriors led to fluffy white interiors.

Overall, O’Malley’s was a decent restaurant with really friendly staff, a welcoming atmosphere, and a variety of food.  However, if you’re looking for a great burger for a good price, I’d still recommend The Wolfhound in Itaewon over O’Malley’s.

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