Short Orders: Irish Rover

Irish Rover
8250 Gaylord Parkway, Frisco

No need to venture here for the food. You can also ignore the decor, a den of predictable Irish-themed odds and ends surrounded by dark wood and glass--what anyone gets when they call up and order an authentic look-alike.

Go for the beer and the folks who show up for whichever sport happens to be playing on whichever screen they're facing. These people are expressive, lending real character to a place otherwise lacking.

Food service has a pre-packaged feel. Not that they purchase ready-made stuff, but certain dishes just mock the taste and consistency of frozen goods. In some cases you'd be equally well off heating something from Costco at home, then heading over to the pub for drinks. Their version of shepherd's pie, for instance, is an exercise in monotony--hearty but under-seasoned monotony. Scotch eggs (yes, we're skirting Ireland) reveal a little spice under its fried shell, making up for interest lost elsewhere. But, on my most recent visit they forgot the promised Branston Pickle.

Maybe they were out, but still...

Dishes really match sports bar quality, with an Irish-British-Scottish twist here and there. So you won't be disappointed if you're in search of a place to munch on something mindless while the game is on. After about seven years in business, however, it's unfortunate (perhaps unforgiveable) that staff members still fumble around making rookie mistakes. Case in point? On my last stop they brought out my entree long before I was half finished with the appetizer.

C'mon. Expediting is fundamental.

Oh, well. At least they don't mess up the beer.

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