Keegan’s Public House by John Bickford
I ran into Will Underwood at Cuppy’s Coffee last Thursday. He informed me that he’d be playing guitar with Joe at Keegan’s, and invited me to come visit. When I got there, I met Mike and Patrick Ford, the brothers who own and run Keegan’s.
They have done this place up right. The pub was everything a neighborhood pub used to be, and more. No overkill with fancy decorations. No girlification. A place with a Larry Bird jersey and a few flat screens on the wall. The dark worn wood. The comfortable bar, a handful of tables and regular patrons. Booths align the wall that separates the bar from the second dining room.
The bar has a wide window behind it, that, when opened, reveals a patio bar. The patio runs the side of the building, providing a nice cafe style setting. There is no smoking inside the building, so the patio is a haven for smokers and non-smokers alike.
I enjoyed the music, and decided to bring my wife to Keegan’s for dinner on Friday.
We showed up just after seven and the inner room was full, so we were seated in the outer dining room. Our waitress tonight was Erin, a very happy, very knowledgeable and appropriately red haired young lady.
Erin walked us through the menu, which is full of a blend of traditional Irish and Irish-American dishes. While we decided on that we got a sampler plate of appetizers, which included wings (the sauces are a bit more hot, compared to other places, i.e. mild=medium, etc.), Angus Beef Sliders, and Keegan’s own Irish Spring Rolls. The Irish Spring Roll, Patrick’s contribution to the food side of the business, was a Taste of Marietta First Place winner in 2009. It is a unique adaptation of a traditional spring roll, in that corned beef is added to the mix. Absolutely delicious!
For dinner, my wife ordered Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes. The meal is a beef and gravy lover’s delight. The roast beef was prepared the traditional way with extra celery, which added a nice veggie flavor. The mashed potatoes were just lumpy enough with a hint of garlic. The portion was large and satisfying.
I ordered the Finnegan’s Fry. I received a huge piece of haddock nestled atop an ample supply of fries, with a side of slaw. The tartar sauce was delicious but unnecessary. The beer battered, lightly fried filet was meaty, tender and moist. The batter was just firm enough to not fall apart. Sprinkle some malt vinegar on the fries and I was transported to Maine, back to the piers of my youth, where you could buy fries in a cup, soaked with malt vinegar, topped by a piece of the catch of the day.
For dessert, we ordered the KrispyKreme Bread Pudding and the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake. The KrispyKreme bread pudding is exactly that, Bread pudding made from KrispyKreme Doughnuts, a Keegan’s original. The Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake is also self explanatory, a cheesecake with a nice chocolaty taste. Not too heavy and very sweet. Both were delicious!