Nothing Like a Little Pub Grub to Get You Past Winter's Last Snowy Blast

When winter's last crispy cold blast canceled plans to visit a time-honored Dallas destination, my wife and I were left with little choice but to stay close to home at The Colony.

On such frigid occasions, comfort food is often the order of the day, and given the fact that many new Irish pubs have opened hereabouts, we decided to revisit one newish import straight from Boston, McSwiggan's Irish Pub, which has been doing brisk business in our neighborhood for the last six or seven months.

First, you should know that McSwiggan's main entrance door is quite heavy and care should be exercised when entering. The place is quite small and you will be greeted by dark woods, dart boards, a few booths, a polished bar, Irish beer signage, and a few very special seats to the left of the bar. On this occasion my wife and I sat at the convivial bar and bantered with the genially sarcastic bartender, who was just finishing up a discussion with a patron about the relative merits of women in a post-Apocalypse world. "It's already been quite a morning, " she sighed.

Sounded like bar business as usual to me.

McSwiggan's does indeed serve breakfast on weekends, and one woman said that she had just finished up "the best breakfast of my life," though she wouldn't give details. We requested draft Guinness and Smithwicks and peered at the menus, which we already knew quite well. My companion finds few foods more comforting than a good grilled ham and cheese, and requested a side salad instead of the usual fries. Fresh sliced deli ham was grilled with cheddar cheese on wheat bread, and she topped it with Coleman's mustard from the handy condiment caddy strategically placed nearby. One or two bites told me clearly that they were using quality ingredients and the side salad proved to be a simple mixture of good field greens, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, and very good mushrooms doused with vinaigrette.

My own repast was a pair of pub standbys: A cup of Guinness Beef Stew and Shepherd's Pie. I could really taste the beer in the savory stew, a concoction loaded with beef, potatoes, and carrots and served in a coffee-cup-sized mug. Perfect on such a frosty day, particularly when paired with Harpoon Celtic Ale. My Shepherd's Pie was even better: Ground beef blended with carrots, corn, and warm beef gravy and capped with mashed

We sat at the bar and watched March Madness as we dined, and soon noticed those special seats I spoke of earlier, just to the left of the bar. Turns out they are genuine Fenway Park and Boston Garden seats, complete with certificate of authenticity. Since I am a sports fan, I felt I had to sit in each one, and I soon felt the authentic thrill you get when you touch a piece of history. But even if you're not a sports fan, you might want to consider McSwiggans for the excellent fare, convivial conversation, and good drink specials. Plus they deliver. No need to venture out into winters last icy blast if you just happen to live North of LBJ.

6910 Windhaven Parkway, Suite 105
The Colony, TX 75056
972 820-0688

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Chris Meesey