Traditional Irish at Stop Inn
At this tiny diner in Woodside, the traditional Irish breakfast consists of two eggs, hash browns, white pudding, black pudding, sausage, ham, and grilled tomatoes, plus buttered toast and a pot of tea. For $9.95. The sausage links were sweet, the black pudding crisp on the outside with a soft interior, heady with cloves. The white pudding was my favorite—extra crisp slices of salty and spiced pork, which went well with the soft mound of hash browns and the charred tomato slices. Quite a way to start the day.
Sausage Roll for lunch
I had to wait ten minutes during the lunch rush for a fresh batch of sausage rolls. Hot from the oven, the crust was buttery, flaky and tender, encasing a white sausage link, tasting of pork and salt. Worth the wait, and worth the burnt tongue; at $1.50 each, I couldn't buy just one.
Pot Roast Dinner Special, The Butcher Block
Every day brings a different special at The Butcher Block, and on the day I visited it was pot roast. Each special comes with meat and two veg, and I chose the mashed potatoes and peas and carrots to go along with the hearty portion of stewed meat. The meat was incredibly tender and doused with extra gravy. The potatoes were processed with barely any butter or cream, just a soft potato mash. The peas and carrots were fresh tasting, with just a hint of salt. $8.00, and enough for two meals.
Soda Bread, PJ Horgan's
Bread comes with every entree at this pub, and although I knew how much food was to come, I could not stop eating this soft, moist, caraway- and raisin-studded soda bread. Sweet but not overly so, and even better when spread with butter.
Bangers and Mash, PJ Horgan's
Four sweet sausages, smothered in mushroom gravy, resting on a mound of buttery smashed potatoes. Nothing not to like here. $12.50.
Fish and Chips, PJ Horgan's
The fish was light, the batter was fluffy and flaky. Chips appropriately crisp, then soft. Served with tartar sauce and lemon, as they should be. $14.95.
Chicken Pot Pie, PJ Horgan's
This pot pie is impressive. Once cracked open, steam quickly escapes from the domed crust, a thin layer of pastry that gives way to a creamy sauce coating peas, potatoes and carrots and large chunks of chicken breast. The portion is quite large but it's difficult to stop eating, or to share. $11.95.
Shepherd Pie, PJ Horgan's
One of my all-time favorite dishes. The buttery potato topping is crisped under a flame so that the first bite is crunch, then smooth, then savory once the beef filling is hit—with just the right amount of rich brown sauce, peas and carrots, seasoned simply. Creamy, rich, and so comforting. Another large portion that disappears effortlessly. $10.95.