An Irish pub is probably the easiest way to put me in a good mood… especially when the weather is less than ideal. I can’t actually complain about the weather we had in Vancouver. Seasonal, yes, but it was mostly dry. Mostly dry this time of year is a victory.
Earlier in the day, B and I walked through Canada Place since it was under construction on our last visit. Along the way, we walked by Mahony & Sons Public House (Burrard Landing). It was pretty early, so there were only a couple of people visible in the window, but it looked like a nice idea for a predictably chilly night.
First in their favor, live music. Second in their favor, Guinness and Harp. B didn’t opt for a Harp right off the bat, though. He actually went for the sampler of Guinness, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Harp. The Harp still came out the clear winner. As an aside in case anyone knows where I can get them, I really want these glasses.
As for me, well, it’s Guinness and Guinness is my happy place. I’m both happy and sad to report that Guinness in Canada is better than in the US. I had a few Canadian pints (one in another restaurant) this trip and not one was bitter in the way US Guinness tends to be. Malony & Sons poured an especially good pint.
And then, of course, there was the food… Yam fries to start. These were good… and they were huge. The chipotle mayo was, well, it was spiced mayo and it was delicious. Our entrees arrived midway through the fries, and that was a good way to keep us from eating far more fries than we should.
B has decided to start judging all Irish pubs by their Bangers and Mash. Me, I’ll stick to judging their pints, but to each his own. These Bangers and Mash were a bit on the elaborate side. There were lots of vegetables on the plate and while I enjoyed eating the endive, I’m not sure how wild B was about it. All that said, though, the actual bangers and potatoes were both really good.
For my part, I had the Irish stew (slow simmered lamb shank and vegetables in Guinness demi-glace with mashed potatoes). This is exactly what I got (though the photo was bad beyond salvage). I should have read the menu closer. I probably would have gone with my standard Fish and Chips. The potatoes were great, the lamb shank (on the bone) was delicious and tender, but the demi-glace was just too rich for me to eat much of it. Maybe I was just in the mood for something different.
Mahony’s isn’t necessary the most authentic Irish pub experience out there, but we enjoyed the food and really enjoyed the beer. The music was an added bonus. There is much to be said for the familiar comfort of stew and a pint in cold weather in a country that’s just different enough from our own to be interesting.