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I found coolest Irish pub in Las Vegas, and it is a real hideout, unless you are in know or Irish. The Publican (what Irish call a pub manager) has most Irish of names - Declan McGettigan. He is Publican of J.C. Wooloughan's Irish Pub (the only one in world) at JW Marriott Las Vegas, far off Strip.
All local Irish descent merrymakers know about place. The entire pub was constructed in Ireland and shipped piece by piece to Las Vegas and reconstructed on site. The warm northern European hardwoods, bars, and tables mellow place out like you were in Ireland yourself.
I was at pub for lunch one afternoon and then returned later that evening. What a switch of events. I had a hale and hearty meal and then later I stepped into a real Irish jig band - Darby O'Gill and Little People - cranking out native tunes with some very ribald and thick Gaelic verse for native Irish. People were jigging and singing and drinking Harps beer and other premium imports from Eire and telling dirty jokes to each other and I truly felt like I was in a local Celtic tavern - Blarney! The narrow pub made it a close atmosphere making it a chore to find a seat, but who could sit with all those fiddles energizing joint? Real Irish music is played in evenings from Wednesday through Sunday. During NFL season pub is also home of local Pittsburgh Steelers fan club, so grab a mug in pub with some grub and watch action.
There's a selection of traditional pub fare and Irish beers and whiskeys on menu of authentic casual dining establishment that is open from 11 a.m. and stays in full swing until wee hours of morning. During lunch I had a long chat with pub's day manager - Troy, originally from Toronto, Canada, and it made me feel a real hometown Failte go dTi (welcome).
Traidisiunta Agus Nua (traditional dishes from ol' Sod) includes Murphy's Boxty Corner. Boxty has long been a staple throughout Ireland. Mashed and grated potato pancakes are grilled and stuffed with a choice of selected items for a classic omelet. The Gaelic Steak and Mushroom is a ribeye in an Irish Whiskey Peppercorn Cream Sauce. Of course there is Corned Beef and Cabbage on menu, a standard in Conley kitchen and throughout Ireland; finest corned beef is served with boiled cabbage and potato cakes or boiled yukons, topped with creamy parsley sauce. I saw a lady order Beer Battered Fish and Chips and fish was huge. Trust Irish to get as many flavors into a staple dish. The fillets of cod come with peas, coleslaw or kettle fires. Then there is All Day Irish Breakfast that includes imported Irish rashers and sausage. What you may ask is Bangers n' Mash? Take a hand of Irish sausages, grilled onions and good old mashed potatoes and you get a solution to hunger. The freshest of Atlantic North Sea salmon is flown in for Salmon Of Knowledge, broiled with potato cakes and a medley of vegetables.
The lunch specials are only between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and arrive with Wooloughan's own brown Irish soda bread. For an appetizer I chose Potato Leek Soup, a 19th century McCarthy family recipe handed down through generations. It was rich with chicken stock and very comforting. I picked Beef and Guinness Pie, which had tender chunks of beef marinated in Guinness - that's what sold me - and pie is slowly cooked with mushrooms and vegetables, topped with puff pastry that is real crusty. You break through crust to tendrils of this steamy, hearty delight, and as Mickey Boyd (pub owner) ssays: "Eat it or drink it, either way you'll like it." The pub has a very substantial sandwich board as well. Try Smoked Turkey and Irish Rasher Sandwich.
For dessert I tried Aunty Maura's Stickey Toffee Pudding, a classic from homeland. I don't know Aunty, but warm butter toffee over plum cake with a dash of whipped cream was indescribable and I know I would like Aunty Maura. You can also choose Rich Irish Cream Cheesecake, Banoffee Cream Pie (bananas and toffee), or Fresh Barry Truffles with Whipped Cream.
Wooloughan's is a "Craic" (Gaelic for fun) place at night, with an attentive and dedicated staff. Darby O'Gill and Little People played on as long as jokes lasted, I am sure. And if you know Irish, their joke list is longer than Wooloughan's menu. The luncheon crowd is a little more subdued, but attendants are helpful with suggestions, - beer or whiskey? - pie or stew? - and they all smile with an Irish glow in their cheeks. I guess they get a tot or two of Harp's throughout day. Hey, they are Irish! You can even check Irish news at J.C. Wooloughan's website http://sideoftheroad.com/jcw/.
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By Kriss Hammond Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
Kriss Hammond, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com