Bar food can be hit or miss. Like almost everything in this world, it serves a purpose. Perhaps you're drowning your sorrows with a tall pint of frosty ale. Fried savory foods always seem to complement those refreshing suds and give you a perishable confidence boost. Like, "Who is she to break up with you because your nose hairs were too long and you always addressed her as 'bruh?' Like, bruh, everyone knows 'bruh' is a term of endearment."
But not all pubs are created equal. Some continuously offer only basic fare such as wings, burgers and fries. Some go the extra mile to concoct an elaborate food menu that is bound to keep people coming back.
One of those special places is Cannon’s Corner Irish Pub in the Bishop Arts District. The word pub derives from the word “public house” from the 17th century, which was the word to describe taverns, alehouses and inns open to the public. Pubs quickly became the place for communal gatherings, weddings and celebrations for the common folk.
Cannon's Corner is located a few blocks west of the Bishop Arts District's main square, which entertains the weekend warriors and tourists that flood the neighborhood's trendy bars and boutique shops. The pub itself has a very homey and familiar feel.
After being greeted with generous smiles and warm welcomes, I fixated on the menu. My gracious waiter, Leon, who seems like he really knows some things and perhaps has done some things, pointed me in the direction of precisely what I was pining for: fried duck wings.
Now, I’ve seen pork shanks described as pork wings on a menu, but duck wings seem to make more sense. When I asked my ex to make an honest man out of me and be my wife, her only response was, “When pigs fly.” (It never happened, so apparently, pork doesn’t have wings.) I was curious about a few other items that were also outside the norm of traditional bar food. So, I was also persuaded to sample the Scotch eggs and drunken mussels.
The best part of the drunken mussels is waiting at the bottom of the bowl.
The mussels came first soaked in a decadent creamy beer broth with perfectly toasted crostini. This is the ideal meal for a guilt-free cheat day. The mussels were delightful, and after consuming each mollusk, I involuntarily submerged my remaining toasted bread in the savory and milky broth.
A superbly cooked runny Scotch egg with dollops of Sriracha.
The duck wings and Scotch eggs were next up to bat. The eggs were deep fried with a thick, herb-heavy batter. Spicy is my first language, so the best part of the dish for me was the Sriracha sauce that garnished the plate. Smothering a boiled egg cloaked in a fried batter veneer in a bowl of Sriracha should be a new sport.
The duck wings at Cannon's Corner are slathered in a marmalade sauce with a bit of ginger.
Last, but definitely not least, was the main event of duck wings. The tour of duck wings is a sight to be seen. Upon their arrival, you can smell the citrus from the spicy marmalade glaze tossed in ginger and scallions. It was enough to make my “not too long” nose hairs tingle. The light and crispy wings are a lot longer and thinner than your typical fried chicken wing, which I have somehow convinced myself is also a lot healthier. It easily reminds you of a better version of your favorite wings spot’s sweet and spicy Asian sauce.
Cannon's also has some killer happy hour specials. On Whiskey Wednesday, you can enjoy any whiskey regularly sold for $10 and up for half off. That means top-shelf bottles like Basil Hayden and Johnny Walker can be enjoyed for a fraction of the price. I was also reminded that you will not find any waiters at Cannon's Corner Irish Pub. Each staff member is a fortified bartender who can sling both food and drink any way you need it. So, whether it’s a celebration of bereavement of your cruel ex or not, Cannon's seems to be one of the best places for elevated pub fare and sea shanties.
Cannon's Corner Irish Pub, 1314 West Davis St. Open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday - Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday