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Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: The Irish Rover Louisville

Many years have passed since my husband and I first visited The Irish Rover on Frankfort Avenue. Back then, it was a favorite date spot for us, but now we return often with our 3 kids in tow. The cozy cottage atmosphere and authentic Irish food appeal to all ages, and we love the budget-friendly prices for our family!

The Irish Rover is a genuine Irish pub and restaurant owned by native Irishman Michael Reidy and his wife, Siobhan. Here you’ll find traditional Irish fare such as bangers n’ mash (Irish sausages and potatoes) and cottage pie (Irish stew in a hollow bread loaf, piled high with mashed potatoes and topped with cheese). The menu mainly features hearty, rustic dishes, although meal-sized salads and a variety of sandwiches are available, too. You can order up good Irish beer or a local brew on tap, and feel right at home in the pub room, with its green-painted booths and long bar. The main dining room is bright and cheerful in a 150-year-old building, walls hung with quaint photographs and images of Irish landmarks. At peak dining hours, lively conversation creates a jovial atmosphere, so that we never have to worry about the kids being too noisy! We like to request a table by the cozy fireplace or, in mild weather, eat outside on the patio overlooking Frankfort Avenue.
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The appetizer menu could furnish a main meal by itself. From the many authentic, tempting choices, Scotch eggs (hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and deep fried) and creamy potato-leek soup are some of our favorite starters, not to be missed.

On a recent visit, my husband enjoyed his usual entrée of fish-and-chips - the lightest and crispiest you can find anywhere in the city.  It’s a favorite of our 3-year-old too, and all the kids enjoy the “fat fries” (Irish “chips”) that come with many of the kids’ meals. Perennial kids’ favorites like mac and cheese and chicken fingers are always on the menu, too. Kids’ meals are $2.95.

I had the salmon and potato gratin, a comforting, cheesy casserole, served with a side of fresh steamed vegetables. Entrees are always accompanied by a delicious assortment of breads, from brown soda bread to sourdough. Prices for traditional pub entrees are generally below $10, while more sophisticated beef, chicken and fish offerings can range up to $15.

We couldn’t end our meal without a dessert of authentic trifle: layers of cake, custard and raspberry jam, portioned large enough to be shared by our family of 5. Accompanied by hot Irish tea, it was a fitting finish to a celebration of Ireland’s best, right here in Louisville. We can always count on prompt, friendly service, and have never left The Irish Rover unsatisfied in any way!

The Irish Rover is located at 2319 Frankfort Avenue in  Louisville. Visit their website or call (502) 899-3544 for more information.

The Irish Rover also has a second location in LaGrange at 117 E. Main St
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By guest contributor: Lynne

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