My two teenage sons and I contemplated where to go to fill up on nutritious but quick food and watch the Sunday night NFL match up. One of my requisites to watching my fantasy football team players is that I have a good pint in-hand so that I can swig each time my players score points for my team. Paddy Brannan’s Irish Pub in downtown Ashland fits the bill for this tall order. Not only was I pleased to see that the new owner, Robbie Lindauer, has a diverse, hearty and nutritious menu – no small feat when serving out of such a small kitchen—but I was even more pleased to see an old friend behind the bar: the legendary Paulie, former bartender at the Avalon in Talent when it was under the ownership of Dal and Renee Carver.
Paulie was running the front of the house by himself but made it around to every table efficiently and with a smile. Everyone was served well, and well served. There were only two tables open when we arrived on Sunday evening. All tables were taken by 8pm. A gentleman by the name of Richard Johnson strummed out Irish tunes on a mandolin; then switched to a guitar to play some American folk/rock. The atmosphere was sublime for a Sunday evening with family. Paddy’s has eight kegs on tap, and I immediately was drawn to the Fearless Scotch Ale, so Paulie drew me a pint. Delicious! I usually would have ordered a Guinness but I couldn’t pass up the Fearless Scotch Ale, having tried it at the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival and having met the brewer. Always support your local brewers!!
Making a decision on dinner was difficult; there are so many options for such a cozy pub: pulled pork, bangers n’mash, corned beef & colcannon, Oregon cod & chips…but the grilled salmon Caesar appealed to me the most. The choice was easier for my sons: one opted for the Brannan’s Burger and the other chose the Ruben. The Ruben can be ordered with pastrami or house made cor
ned beef and I’m glad my son settled on the corned beef because I couldn’t wait to try it. My eldest also wanted to try the Pot O’Gold – a dip made from three cheeses flavored with jalapeno and served with pita chips. It would not have been my choice, seeing as I’m not very dairy tolerant, neither is my youngest offspring.
Since I had never had colcannon, I asked someone at the bar that had ordered the Corned Beef & Colcannon if I could try it.Our drinks came swiftly, thanks to Paulie; and the Pot O’Gold was served to us shortly thereafter: a creamy dip, mainly tasting of cream cheese with a jalapeno kick. My youngest claimed the chips were the best chips he’s ever had in a restaurant. I agreed. They were crispy and light – homemade tasting—pita style chips. My eldest was
very satisfied with his choice of appetizer. He liked the balance of spicy and creamy. Our dinners were served up promptly, and Paulie made it over to our table to refill our drinks before dinner was served.
The Brannan’s Burger was a good sized burger (over a third of a pound) served on an onion roll/bun with fresh veggies and a side of fries. The burger was really moist, probably due to the tasty marinade all for just $7.95. My eldest is a Ruben connoisseur, having tried Ruben sandwiches all over the Valley, he decided that Paddy’s serves up the tastiest Ruben around. The house-made corned beef was succulent and tender; seaso
ned with “house” spices –ginger, maybe? Cardamom? The Ruben came with fries for only $8.95.The salmon was perfectly grilled, and seemed like a larger portion than the 7oz. advertised on the menu. That is most likely because most restaurants don’t serve such a large portion of salmon. The salad was a simple bed of crisp, fresh lettuce with croutons and the dressing was light – just the way I like it. The best part of my meal was the combination of: Sunday night football on the tele, local scotch ale, healthy and delicious meal, great pub atmosphere, good live music, and my children enjoying it with me. Life doesn’t get much better.
$12.95 for a 7oz. grilled salmon Caesar is really a deal. For $1 more I could have ordered the grilled salmon plate which comes with potatoes au gratin and soup or salad. Paddy’s also has a nice feature to their menu; they list each gluten-free option with an asterisk, taking the guess-work out of what to order if you are avoiding gluten. Menu items on the gluten-free list include: Irish Stew, Caesar Salads, Mussels Malone, and a Wild Salmon Plate. I will definitely visit Paddy’s again soon for great fare and atmosphere. Live music is booked at Paddy’s 5 nights a week (Wed. thru Sun.) with Karaoke on Tuesday nights. Paddy’s is located at 23 S. Second Street. Hours are 4pm to “close” (open late on Fri./Sat. for the pub crawling crowd) Tuesday thru Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Their phone number is 541-488-7973.Yes, Paddy’s is the kind of place where it’s like one big family, where I felt totally comfortable approaching a total stranger and asked to taste his meal. In fact, that stranger was visiting from Idaho for the purposes of paragliding off Woodrat Mountain (I think he sailed a little far off course to land in Ashland), and was more than happy to share stories and his meal. Good times. Colcannon is a blend of parsnips, potatoes, kale, basil and spring onion and is yummier than it sounds. It’s like creamy mashed potatoes but better for you because of the added super-food, kale. Healthy food in a pub is a great concept, and makes me feel so much better about taking my kids there. Good work, Paddy’s.
New owners are awesome. Guinness on tap and bottled Guinness FES is a rare find. Very reasonable prices and pulled pork is great. – Paul S
Great lil place! People are very friendly – good food, great beer – soccer on TV- who could ask for anything more! – David T