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McFarlane’s porch is available for dining outdoors since children under 18 are not allowed in the bar. (Johnathan Manning / American Press)

McFarlane’s porch is available for dining outdoors since children under 18 are not allowed in the bar. (Johnathan Manning / American Press)

McFarlane’s offers must-try Irish dishes

Last Modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:12 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The Scotch Egg at MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub sounds like something straight out of a Cajun cookbook — a boiled egg wrapped with sausage, then battered and deep fried.

When I hear discussion of the restaurant, the appetizer is usually one of the first things mentioned, thus it is a must-try.

I’m not particularly fond of boiled eggs, but when wrapped in sausage, battered and deep fried, this one is pretty good.

MacFarlane’s is in the same Ann Street building as The Brick House downtown.

I visited the restaurant recently with a friend, my heart set on a MacFarlane Burger.

If you’re a carnivore like myself and haven’t had one, you should make your way to MacFarlane’s with haste. The burger is topped with beef, Irish bacon, sausage and a fried egg. A choice of cheese (goat, smoked provolone or swiss) is available, although I settled on the safe choice of swiss.

Perhaps the only thing similar between the bacon I’m familiar with and Irish bacon is that both come from a pig. The Irish bacon looked more like a thin-cut pork chop.

I enjoyed it, but what really kicked off the burger was the sourdough bun and the roasted garlic and shallot mayo. Each of the six burgers on the menu come with a choice of honey wheat, sourdough or jalapeno bread.

Put together, the MacFarlane Burger is big enough that it must be cut in halves or in fourths to be eaten with any manners — if such a thing is of concern to you.

As a side, I ordered colcannon — mashed potatoes with vegetables mixed in.

My dinner companion ordered The Dubliner, which has a marinated and grilled chicken breast with Irish bacon.

Neither of us could finish our burgers, but my excuse was that I was

saving room for dessert.

The Drunken Irish Bread Pudding is topped with Irish whisky cream sauce. It was as delicious as it sounds.

In keeping with the well-kempt restaurant and the bar’s Celtic persuasion, the waiters wear kilts.

The menu items also reflect the theme — Irish Stew, Limerick Burger, Blarney Burger, the Kilarney and Blarney Stones, to name a few.

Three items on the menu are listed as “not to go:” spinach and artichoke dip, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Chocolate Pot.

I’ve heard quite a few people recommend the Shepherd’s Pie, which is finely chopped lamb with peas and carrots, topped with creamy herb potatoes. MacFarlane’s advises that it takes 20 minutes to cook.

The Irish Chocolate Pot is advertised as an Irish chocolate custard topped with whipped cream. I’m for trying any dessert that’s so messy that the restaurant won’t let you take it with you.

There are many items on the menu that sound delicious — it’s going to take a few trips to get a full sampling.

For those wishing to get some air, there’s also a nice front porch on which to partake of your food.

The porch is also where youngsters will have to eat their food; because MacFarlane’s is a bar, no one underage is allowed inside the building.

Prices are reasonable. Our total ticket was $38.68 (the MacFarlane Burger was $11, the Dubliner $9, the Scotch Egg $6.50, the bread pudding $5 and drinks $1.99 each).

Those prices are indicative of the rest of the menu, with the most expensive item the $19, 14-ounce rib-eye steak.

For those looking to partake in libations, MacFarlane’s offers more than 130 beers and more than 45 scotches.

If you’re going

• Where: 417 Ann St.

• Hours: 11 a.m. - until, Monday through Saturday.

• Bar restrictions: No one underage allowed inside, although they can be served food on the porch.

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