Molly Maguire's: Good For The Hangover, Bad For The Wallet
One expects that when one travels cross-counties to spend a Friday evening at North Texas' finest honky-tonk, where $5 pitchers of Coors Light are on offer all day every day, one will wake up the next morning in need of some serious brunch relief. Thusly, the dark, cool booths of Molly Maguire 's -- formerly the Tipperary Inn -- in Lakewood provided precisely the welcome the Man O' The Hour and I needed when we broke away from the Deep Ellum Community Day , at which we'd been sweating alcohol for an hour or two. Though the Internet told us brunch would be available at Molly's, the Internet lied to us. No brunch was available. Never believe anything you read on the Internet, even if I've told you the exact opposite before. But the MOTH and I were already settled into a dim booth with Bloody Marys on the way before we realized that we'd be ordering off the regular menu, like it or not.
I rationalize: Any bar that's open before noon on a Saturday while serving both food and alcohol is, more or less, serving a version of brunch. Our meal at Molly's may have been egg-free, but it was nonetheless a combination of breakfast and lunch. (Because I would be spending the next day judging cat-box flavored ribs at the otherwise awesome Blues, Bandits and BBQ event in Oak Cliff, Saturday was our only brunching option. I'm busy. You're busy. Accept that this Brunch Drunk Love is not really about brunch and let the zen wash over you.)
Molly Maguire's is a fine place to eat at any hour, and the menu is diverse enough to be as appetizing at 11:30 a.m. as 12 hours later. But, just like the Tipperary Inn before it, Molly's is disappointingly overpriced. I loved the Irish atmosphere and meals on offer -- I didn't like spending $60 on a daytime meal for two at a bar.
On to the breakdown: We're talking about an Irish pub, here, but let me start off this next bit by engaging in a little straight-shooting Texas honesty. Listen up, Molly, or whoever's running the place, $8 for a well Bloody Mary is downright outrageous. In fact, it is borderline offensive. Sure, only a few tables were occupied when the MOTH and I stumbled in around noon, so I guess maybe Molly needs to get her dollars wherever she can. But damn, that $8 ... it hurts. Particularly in a pub that's otherwise so warm and soothing and fun to be in that you want to stick around for a few hours, sipping drinks and watching football. Molly, don't punish us because we prefer tomato juice to soda with our vodka. Please?
On the upside: Molly Maguire's does at least use Zing Zang mixer, and their Bloodys come with a salted rim and a lime garnish in a tall glass. So there's that -- certainly better than the squatty and bland Bloody Marys served for the same price at Breadwinner's. I had no problem ordering two before I realized I could have gone to see two crappy late-season summer blockbusters at NorthPark for the price, and carried a flask of whiskey in for free, besides.
I ordered the James Joyce Potatoes -- niblets topped with smoked salmon and dill sour cream. Heavenly little bites, no question. To supplement: a bowl of corn beef and barley soup. It was perfectly salted -- often, this dish ends up being too tangy or too bland -- and just the right amount of coating for my morning-after stomach. MOTH had the whale and chips -- a fine chunk of breaded fish atop steaming hot fries from which we were both happy to graze, accompanied by a mayo dip.
It's hard to beat the darkness of a Molly's booth and your own personal television screen airing a good football game. As for the food? Says MOTH: "I didn't miss the egg, bacon or biscuit brunch players," and I concur. Molly's was a nice break from the Hollandaise-and-gravy standard -- though we definitely paid a price for that pleasure. Yes, their offerings are better than most bar food - -but in a city with options of the same or better quality for a more appealing price available at the Libertine, Londoner and Bolsa, Molly's needs something competitive to keep me coming back. I'm just thinking out loud here...but how about a Bloody Mary drink special?
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