McClafferty's Irish Pub

By Candace Nelson - 8:00 AM

After class one Wednesday, me fellow graduate students and I decided it was time to check out the Irish pub, McClafferty's. If you've seen me, it's clear I'm Irish. I even have an Irish tattoo. So, I was extremely excited to finally have a beer here. Located right along Beechurst, it's within easy walking distance from the campus. We walked up the ramp on the side and through the doors.

At this time, the smoking ban wasn't in effect, though many bars had already implemented it. McClafferty's was as smokey as they come - a smell of disappointment. That's okay; it wasn't enough to completely turn me off. As soon as we stepped inside, we were met with lots of unfriendly looks. Did we break some sort of unwritten rule? Or were we too young to frequent this pub? A handful of people were seated around the bar - all of whom were probably in their mid-thirties. I was happy with that. I like that crowd, but they didn't seem to like us as much.

We searched for a table that could hold six. We found one near the stage and got situated. Since no one had been here before, we looked at each other awkwardly for a minute before the bartender came over. He checked our IDs. We asked if we ordered up at the bar and whether or not they had food, considering we had all just been in a three-hour class and were hungry. He looked annoyed at our question, and said something to the effect of "I'm not going to be waiting on you. You go to the bar." Surly service, and not in the fun way.

Once we made our way to the bar, we grabbed the menus and gave a quick look. Bar food, but it looked appealing at the time. I put in an order of mozzarella sticks, and a beer, of course. I continued back to my seat and took in the atmosphere. A stage area was set up behind us, where a band began to play. It was nice, alternative kind of music. A few gambling machines were set up nearby. In the back were some booths. It wasn't overly busy, and I liked it for that.

When our food came out, I was very surprised to see my mozzarella sticks covered with french fries. I didn't order the fries, and I didn't know they came with them, but I wasn't unhappy. In fact, these were some of the best fries I've had. They were crispy and crunchy and not too thin and not too thick. I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure if it was the batter they were fried in, but the texture was phenomenal, and it wasn't dripping in grease.They even provided some cups of ketchup and cocktail/marinara sauce for my convenience.

The mozzarella sticks were good, too. Hot stringy cheese in a breaded coating - does it get much better? They weren't freezer-burnt like some bars tend to serve. And the cocktail/marinara sauce - I say this because it was like a mixture of the two - was a nice touch. I was happy with my decision. If the attitudes and (un)friendly welcome aren't enough to scare you off, the food is a nice surprise.

Grade: B
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