Monday, June 4, 2012

Irish Times

This review has been on the back burner for far too long, I went to Irish Times TWO WEEKS ago and I haven't been able to get my act together to write this post! What's up with that! But never fear, I took good notes and I have a particularly good memory when it comes to food, so regardless of the long wait I promise I'll give you my honest opinion of the lunch I had there the other day.

I love walking into Irish Times. When I was in college I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland for a semester and Irish Times reminds me of one of my favorite pubs there. I get particularly sentimental when we go there for drinks and there's an Irish trad band playing. During the day though, there's no music and it's drastically less crowded so my friend and I had no trouble getting a booth for lunch. We sat down and our waitress came over to get our orders and we showed her our Spa City Coupon, $8 off $25 or more. We weren't sure if we were going to hit $25 or not, but we figured we could always order a dessert or something.

After our waitress took our order we waited...and waited....and waited for our food. A whopping forty minutes later our waitress came to apologize and said that the kitchen had sent our food upstairs where it had just been waiting at the bar. Forty minutes is a long time to wait when you just have an hour lunch break, and it made me wonder how much of that forty minutes our food was sitting there. Just to be safe, we asked for take away boxes and the check with our food so if we cut it really close we could throw everything in and head out.

I ended up getting the Crab Cake Sandwich with Claddagh rings on the side instead of french fries for $2 extra (in an attempt to hit $25, plus I was curious how their Claddagh rings were different from plain old onion rings).

The crab cake itself was good, but other than that I was pretty disappointed. The roll was stale, the red pepper aioli was watery, and the Claddagh rings were in fact just plain old onion rings. Maybe it was the forty minutes of hungry waiting, but I was definitely expecting something more exciting. 

My friend got the R-L-T (Irish Rasher, lettuce and tomato) with a side of potato leek soup and sweet potato fries. 

The thick pieces of rasher certainly made this sandwich, and the soup met all expectations. I actually met the friend that I was having lunch with while studying abroad, and we talked about how soup was one of our staples while in Galway, definitely a comfort food. We were pretty impressed at the menu - a lot of what they had to offer was what we would have seen on menus in Ireland. The only thing I would have wanted that wasn't on the menu was a good old seafood chowder, a dish that I really miss from Ireland that was offered at almost any pub you walked in to.

Then we got the check. This is where we got slightly confused. There was something on the check that we didn't order (I can't remember exactly what it was) for $3. Our guess was that our waitress had put that on for us so that we hit the $25 minimum and could get the $8 off. So basically we spent three dollars to save eight...does that make sense? While it was nice of her to make sure that we could use our coupon, we didn't like the idea of just having three dollars on there instead of us actually ordering a dessert or something to make the minimum. Not to mention the fact that in my opinion, we should have gotten something by way of apology (like the $8 off without meeting the $25) for having to wait so long for our food. And then to top it off - because we waited so long for our food we didn't have time to talk to our waitress about the check - we had to eat as much as we could as fast as we could, throw the rest in our take away boxes, and then head out. Oh well.

Overall I had a pretty mixed experience at Irish Times. I feel like there was the potential to have a great meal there, and I want to give them a second chance and maybe order something different. Maybe it was an off day for them, maybe they're more on their game during dinner, who knows. But I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and revisit them soon. 


  1. IT has had a bad reputation for both food and service ever since they opened. A shame.

  2. Same experience for me.

  3. It's one of those places that someone brings up as "there's always the Irish Times" but everyone else in the group agrees to check a few other places first. Nice spot, but food is average, room is always loud, and service is spotty at best.

  4. I agree the food is nothing special, but I disagree on service. Drinks are great, staff is fantastic, and it's a fun time!

  5. I have to say - I've had great service at Irish Times when I've gone on weekend nights for drinks. However the service during lunch hours was not so great.

  6. I've eaten there a few times and never had any problems at all, with the service or the food.

  7. I was only there once - saw no reason to go back. Service was ok, but the food was not good.