Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub

We made it through December in relative comfort this year compared to the freeze of last December. In December of 2013 the last 17 days of the month saw the night temperatures at or below freezing with some stretches that got a low as 6 degrees. This last December we had 14 nights of below freezing but none lower than 30 degrees. Now in January, we thought it a good month for comfort and hearty food by a roaring fire…Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub…here we come!

In 1978, Tom and Melinda Mooney opened Murphy’s Pub. Friends and family opened the pub with a passion for their Irish heritage and the desire to bring traditional Irish food and entertainment to their community at affordable prices. This they did, and it continues today. We went for their great Sunday brunch at the end of December. It was a very pleasant day…about 50 degrees, but the fire was blazing and the place was about 85 percent filled, which meant we didn’t have to wait long for a table. Seating at the bar was, however, at capacity.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict

Murphy’s is a rustic old place, as are most of the old buildings in Old Town, but this is what gives Murphy’s its charm. On Sundays they bring out the white linen to add a bit of chic to the dark wood, and it does make it a bit classier. Realizing that there is not much you can say about a brunch, there is a reason that Murphy’s is packed on Sundays…it is where the locals go! The offerings are substantial and at a very reasonable price. For $9.95 you can get your choice of Irish Country Breakfast, Three Egg Omelette with home fries, Eggs Benedict with home fries, Pancakes with Sausage, French Toast with bacon and home fries, Hamburger Platter, and for $10.95-Steak and Eggs. These choices also come with a complimentary glass of champagne – and all refills are only one dollar. This is a way better use of your dollar than a trip through the McDonald’s drive through for their special!

Irish Breakfast
Irish Breakfast

My southern upbringing always makes me go for the country breakfast, which comes with sausage, bacon and home fries. I noticed that this particular morning they also offered shrimp and grits, so I asked if I could switch the home fries with the grits, which they were glad to do. The breakfast was what I expected…hearty and good. Adding salt and pepper, some fresh brewed coffee and I had what I came for. One thing I liked about this breakfast was that the sausage was American and not Irish (I know, I know, I was in an Irish restaurant) and the bacon had a great flavor. My companion had the Eggs Benedict, which were done just right. Even with the English muffin there was also a biscuit with the dish, which was a bit of overkill with the starches. However, if you have the appetite, a little honey or jelly on the biscuit is a treat and goes great with another glass of champagne.

In addition to the $9.95 deals, for $10.95 you can get Belgian Waffles, Blueberry Belgian Waffles or Blueberry pancakes; Crabmeat or Steak Benedict with home fries, Shrimp & Grits with eggs and biscuit or Sausage gravy over biscuits with eggs and home fries; American breakfast with ham and eggs and home fries- Shrimp, cheese, mushroom quiche with a salad or fried Tilapia in a lemon-butter caper sauce. The last part of this list may change from week to week, especially the fish special since they serve what it fresh. Bunch is served every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. Ask for our waitress Sheila…she was great and attentive…as are all of the wait staff.

Sheila Pours the Champagne
Sheila Pours the Champagne

Murphy’s also has a hearty lunch menu with snacks from $6.50 to $8.50, salads from $3.50 to $9.95, sandwiches from $5.95 to $11.00, and entrees from $7.95 to $10.00. This is the only Irish restaurant in Old Town that serves traditional Irish Stew and it is always worth a try. In fact, it was the only thing that my brunch companion ordered for lunch or dinner here for the first 15 years she lived in Old Town. Nothing wrong with sticking with something you know I guess. The dinner menu has more items than lunch with Irish Meat and Potato Pie at $10.00 to Jameson’s Strip Steak at $17.00 topping the Irish Specialties.

My brunch companion also said I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Lester (the chef) makes some of the absolute best egg salad she has ever tasted. The only down side of this is that you have to make sure you are there when it is on the lunch special menu since it isn’t available every day!

Murphy’s also prides themselves on being the Old Town Home of the New England Patriots so if you are a fan, you will want to head up to the bar on the second level and join your peers for some Patriot football and a few pints! You may even find a special or two on the menu for you up there during games.

With a 40 seat bar and Irish music every night, Murphy’s is a local gathering spot with the best of good food, good times and great prices. The four-sided fireplace has seating on all sides and is a wonderful place to spend a cold afternoon this winter.

Murphy’s is located at 713 King Street. See their ad in this section for contact information and details.

Written by: Bob Tagert

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