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REAL Irish food in Philadelphia & Suburbs

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A very good friend of mine from Ireland is homesick for some Irish food.

She is a bit tired of "Wicklow Chicken Fingers with Tipperarry Cole Slaw" :rolleyes:

Any suggestions? Philly, or any of its southern suburbs, is fine. Much thanks.

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You'll have to head north instead of south, but this should help your Irish friend:

Brian Duffy's Shanackie Pub and Restaurant in Ambler has authentic Irish traditional as well as nouvelle Irish cuisine and there's live Irish music most nights of the week ... and the pub is fully stocked with Irish beers, whiskeys, etc.

Located in Ambler, just off the PA Turnpike. You'd be best off heading up 95 North or 1 North to 476, then 476 N, then east on the turnpike to the exit for Route 309.

Brian is very friendly, usally in the kitchen (he also does a food segment for CBS locally and The Today Show 1-2 times per month; and has two shows on TVFN), authentically Irish and loves to come out and say hello (just let the maitre d' know when you come in). Brian's website site is BRIAN's web site

Directions, menu, and special events are on the Shanackie web site HERE

Also, do you know about Irish Philadelphia? IRISH PHILA

Edited by JasonZ (log)


Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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  • 1 month later...

Well, my friend, her 10 month-old baby, & I ended up at The Shanachie on Saturday. The food was EXCELLENT. "Brilliant!" per my Irish friend.

We both had the Ulster Fry ( 2 fried eggs, 2 bangers, 1 black & 1 white pudding, roasted tomato, rashers, brown bread & butter, & tea). :shock:

For dessert I had the Guiness Bread Pudding. Done in a terrine I think, not soggy or too sweet. Nice flavor. Came with vanilla ice cream. It was good.

My friend had the Tiramisu. NOT a hit. :sad: She sent it back as she took a very strong aversion to the chocolate in it. Said it had a funny taste. Seemed fine to me, but to each her own. :huh: The staff were very gracious about it, which I really appreciated. I HATE it when waitstaff gets all snooty/hyper about a returned dish. So what? Sometimes things just DON'T click.

We were there a good 2 hours, what with the heavy food, the baby & the Smithwicks :wink: . The waitstaff were very good & the music was nice. Really looking forward to trying the rest of their menu as there were many items that looked delicious and worth the making the trip again. :wub:

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I'm fascinated at what's perceived as "real" Irish food... Have no quibble whatsoever with the Ulster Fry, but things like corned beef and cabbage, for example, really don't exist here - I've never once eaten it.

Have, however, eaten bacon and cabbage - which can be delicious if done well.

Tiramisu is probably as close to irish food as you get - it's a "favourite" dessert here, yet... nope, not Irish. Kind of like chicken tikka masala being the great British dish...

What would you guys call Irish food?

(and this is not snobbery, I'm just interested...)

Edited to add: Shanachie (ugh, horrible spelling)'s menu is actually quite good! I have never in my life eaten coddle, though, and Boxty only once on a visiting friend's birthday when he really wanted to go to a restaurant that I would class as a theme park... (Gallagher's Boxty House in Temple Bar... shudder at the memory)

Edited by Catriona (log)
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Hmm, when I think of or look to find "Irish Food" I am generally talking about what I perceive to be "Traditional Irish Food" like Boxty, Fry-ups, Colcannon or Champ, not food that might be served in any kitchen in Ireland today. :smile:

This whole thing got started because my friend went off on a waitress who insisted that the "Wicklow Chicken Fingers " ( I am NOT kidding) are Irish. They may be served in Ireland all the time, but I wouldn't consider them "IRISH", just ubiquitous. :rolleyes: Then Anna got to talking about how she would love something from back home and I ended up here. :biggrin:

Edited by shelly59 (log)
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oh great, now I've got a hankerin for colcannon, which I did not even know had a name until I ate it at an Irish Theme Park type resto in Atlantic City. We had corned beef and cabbage on St. Pat's all the time when I was growning up (Boston Irish) and the fam still makes it, but my 1/2 dutch husband wants very little to do with it. sigh.

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