Wear the green and pull a pint at any number of pubs around Palm Beach County. They’re pulling out the stops – many begin as early as breakfast, and continue into the wee hours, with live entertainment, Irish dancers and bagpipers, beer and food.
I wrote a piece for The Coastal Star newspaper about being Irish on St. Pat’s Day even if you’re not – and how to properly order food. Here’s the guide to the common stuff:
Shepherd’s pie: No shepherds are harmed in the making of this dish, we assure you. Traditionally, this is a pot pie made with leftover meats, vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes. Versions today include ground beef, carrots and peas, and mashed potatoes often topped with cheese and run under a broiler.
Bangers and mash: Housemade sausages with mashed potatoes. Like many other dishes on Irish menus, it’s an English favorite, too. These are dinner sausages, fat ones made with pork or beef. They’re called bangers because the original ones made with water to stretch them during lean war years, exploded readily under high heat cooking. They often served with an onion-heavy gravy. It’s considered a ploughman’s lunch favorite – blue collar fare, to you Yanks.
Boxty: Ireland’s version of the potato pancake. If there’s a country that knows ways with potatoes, it’s the Emerald Isle. Boxty is something every cook learns as a side dish.
Corned beef and cabbage: Something you rarely find in Ireland, but it’s a big favorite of American Irish and represents their new homeland’s fare. To many, it also means a tasty New England boiled supper. It is what is appears: corned beef slices, with boiled cabbage alongside. Sometimes, it’s accompanied by boiled or mashed potatoes.
Fish and chips: Fried fish and French fries. Typically served up in a cone made of newspaper. You’ll have a harder time finding a real newspaper wrapping than you will getting the food – the combo is common today in most Irish pubs and American ones, too.
White pudding: Part of the traditional Irish breakfast, this pudding is made of oatmeal, pork and pork suet, and bread. It’s typically sliced and fried, and served with eggs and black pudding.
Black pudding: Made with meal and meat blood – pork, beef or sheep, it’s a type of sausage grilled, fried, or boiled. It’s well known in the County Cork and Clonakilty regions of Ireland – and in the Southern U.S. where it’s called blood sausage.
Guinness: This yeasty stout is often called “bread in a glass.” Rich and sturdy, it warmed the bones in the chill Irish winters. There’s much debate over what temperature to serve it at – you’ll get it cold, or warm or somewhere in between. Nonetheless, ask for it this way: “Pull a pint, please.” Guinness is never poured – it’s pulled from a tap, and traditionally, should take 119 seconds for the perfect pint to be drawn. You can mess with your bartender on this, but I wouldn’t do it on St. Pat’s Day. Just saying. If you’ve got a real experienced pint-puller, look for a shamrock drawn in the foam. (Harp is the other Irish beer to ask for: it’s a lager. On no account would you on this day order a Bass Ale.) That green stuff: Just regular beer with food coloring.
Where to go Irish for St. Patrick’s Day Parties
Count on anyone who sells beer on this day to be Irish. Here are the real deals, however.
- 51 S.E. First Ave., Boca Raton
- (561) 338-7565
- 111 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton
- (561) 750-5208
- 504 Via De Palmas, Boca Raton
- (561) 361-8445
- 435 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub
- 1725 S. Federal Highway, Delray Beach
- (561) 330-3153
- 210 N.E. Second St., Delray Beach
- (561) 330-0022
- 1500 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach
Brogue’s on the Avenue
- 621 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
- (561) 585-1885
- 531 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
- (561)- 833-3865
Rooney’s Irish Pub
- 6901 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
- (561) 833-7802
- 10971 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach
- (561) 691-4366
Rooney’s Public House
- 1153 Town Center Dr., Abacoa, Jupiter
- (561) 694-6611