English/Irish


I’m doing this because some “critic” on Urban Spoon screwed up – as in, “I’m unable to read the menu of the restaurant I’m reviewing” style screw up. After someone  said that shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash were not to be had at Iron Horse Tavern, I went ahead and ordered the dishes there.

Shepherd's Pie. If you're a diabetic, scrape off the potatoes on top.

Bangers and mash. Couldn't have the potatoes but the sausages were good.

Now, to be sure, the manager here tells me that shepherd’s pie may be going off menu in a bit – The Dunwoody Restaurant Group routinely changes their menus, often seasonally, so what is available can come and go. That said, the menu I ordered from had been in place for a year and a half, time enough for people to get it right.

Iron Horse Tavern
29 Jones Street
Norcross, GA 30071
(678) 291-9220

Iron Horse Tavern on Urbanspoon

The Dublin is located a little north of the intersection of Killian Hills and Highway 78,  a bit south of Golden Corral and in  the same building that used to house a Mellow Mushroom and later, Benny’s Bar and Grill. The theme is English/Irish pub, and the menu is moderately ambitious as pubs in the Snellville area go. I went recently, to try it out, and staff there were saying that the pub owners have plans to add another in the Lawrenceville area. If so, it becomes another small English/Irish chain in Atlanta, a bit similar to the Dunwoody Restaurant Group.

I had a beer, their mozzarella sticks, and a corned beef sandwich when I went. I thought the kitchen ran a little slow, but this place was only open 2 months when I dropped by. Best part of it was the staff, which were pleasant and very attentive. Food was pretty good once it arrived. My gut feeling is they’ll get better once they get all their newness worked out of the system, but for now, the Dublin is certainly an alternative to bars for whom buffalo wings represent a culinary challenge.

The Dublin Pub and Grill
3902 Highway 78
Snellville GA 30039
(678) 805-8403

The Dublin Pub and Grill on Urbanspoon

On Wednesdays, on the nights where the Atlanta Braves are away, the 680 the Fan crew will be broadcasting from the Firkin and Gryphon.

Atlanta Braves pregame show.

To note, this picture shows Buck Belue, Leo Mazzone, and Mark Lemke during their broadcast. John Kincade left a bit after I arrived, and isn’t in this photograph.

In my estimation, the Firkin and Gryphon provides a decent sports bar experience, with food quality better than most, and good to excellent service. If you can combine that with some face time with some of Atlanta’s best radio sports broadcasters, that’s just icing on the cake.

Firkin and Gryphon
4764 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Firkin and Gryphon on Urbanspoon

I like the staff at the Royal Oak. They have one of the best bartenders around. She’s efficient. She remembers your name, she remembers what you like to eat and drink. And she’ll tell you when the specials at the Royal Oak are good. This one, a spicy chicken sandwich on ciabatta bread, was a good one.

The Royal Oak Pub
1155 Mount Vernon Highway
Sandy Springs, GA 30338
(770) 390-0859

Royal Oak Pub on Urbanspoon

It’s a member of the Dunwoody Restaurant group, a small chain of English/Irish pubs, near the corner of Mount Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody, across the street from Fresh Market. You won’t see it from the road. You’ll see a J Christopher’s first (heading north), so turn left when you do.

It’s like many of the other Dunwoody Restaurant group restaurants (reviews here, here, and here), the same menu, and much the same beer selection, but far roomier than the ones I’ve reviewed in the past.

I had their reuben this day. It’s a big sandwich, with enough meat and stuffing to feed two easily. All the burgers and sandwiches across the group are like that, very large. Service here was good. The location has plenty of tables and room for some pool tables as well.

Verdict: A larger version of a Dunwoody Group restaurant. Large burgers, large sandwiches. Recommended.

Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern
5488 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30338
(770) 394-4164

Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern on Urbanspoon

The Firkin and Gryphon is a new pub in town with an English/Irish theme. I say theme because F&G is about as authentic as Outback. Outside of Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash, the whole menu could be exported to, well, Applebees or O’Charlie’s and no one would know the difference. That said, the food quality is high once it reaches your plate. F&G is rich in servers, and both servers and  the manager come out and ask how you are doing. I  had a chicken club  that day and it was delicious, the chicken grilled, juicy, rich in flavor and the ham and other meats giving the sandwich a huge flavor bang for the buck.

If not mentioned earlier, F&G is a chain restaurant, part of the Firkin Pubs group, and hence a sister restaurant to Firkin and Lindburgh. This is a chain to keep on your “friend wants food, not too fancy” short list.

Any downsides? The steamed vegetables came out a little plain. That was cured with some salt and pepper. They have specials, and the boards with specials on them are everywhere, but not out front. The items on their specials menu look more adventurous than the stock menu. Check for it when you enter.

Firkin and Gryphon
4764 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30338
(770) 350-5977

Firkin and Gryphon on Urbanspoon

The Ship and Anchor is a Dunwoody Restaurant Group restaurant, which means it’s going to be an English-Irish themed restaurant with a menu it holds in common with other Dunwoody Restaurant Group places. You’ll have a small but good selection of beers, good mixed drinks, usually very good staff. Seating will be roomy and comfortable. What could this restaurant have that the others do not?

In this case, a snaky ‘S’ shaped bar, a couple pool tables, a couple stuffed chairs. It’s laid out a bit differently and it’s along Sandy Springs, on the corner of Hammond and Roswell Road. For some the proximity to Whole Foods may make a difference.

In my case it was there, and I’m very partial to their Mediterranean salad, a mix of greens and lamb. Staff was excellent.  I enjoyed the visit a lot.

Verdict: One of a small chain of restaurants featuring good beers, good food, excellent staff. Highly recommended.

The Ship and Anchor Pub
5975 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 256-3550

Ship and Anchor Pub on Urbanspoon

Meehan’s Public House is a small chain of 3 restaurants, owned by the 101 Concepts group. There is one in Sandy Springs, Vinings, and one downtown. This  day I went to the one in Sandy Springs, though at the time it wasn’t a first choice. I was, nonetheless, glad to have this pub as a second choice.

The menu is fairly plain pub food with a nod to English/Irish dishes. You’ll find things like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash here. They have good large buffalo wings, and they have plenty of options in their burgers. They have a bison burger, for one, and the day I arrived they had a lamb burger special. I ordered a salad and the lamb.

The salad came over well. Bit of walnuts added good fats, and the vinaigrette was welcome as well. The lamb burger looked plain, but with a rich lamb taste and a healthy bit of goat cheese between the bread, delivered big time on flavor. I asked for a knife and a doggie bag, as this one was a bit much for me at lunch. Bun size alone would have me cutting this burger in half.

Counting taps, there were something like 15 in this pub. Ales, ciders, and good beers seemed to pattern the drink mix. The interior was rich in wood and large flat screens. Almost all the screen action was on fútbol, or what Americans call soccer. It seemed appropriate for what is an Irish themed bar. Service, all told, was excellent, despite the small crowd the day and time I arrived (very late lunch).

Verdict: Nice neighborhood bar with an Irish theme. Food looks plain, delivers on flavor. Recommended.

Meehan’s Public House
227 Sandy Springs Place
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 843-8059

Meehan's Public House on Urbanspoon

2810 Paces Ferry Road Northwest
Vinings, GA 30339
(770) 433-1920

Meehan's on Urbanspoon

180 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 214-9821

Meehan's Public House - Downtown on Urbanspoon

I’m just up and a lady named “Aida” on the Food Channel is making a new reduction for steaks. Let’s see.. onions and a bottle of pale ale, a tablespoon or two of mustard (any will do, but she’s using a dijon style with cracked mustard seeds in it) and then she takes the reduction off heat and adds 2 tablespoons of butter. Then she pours any excess drainage off her steaks back into the sauce. It’s hard to go wrong with beer, onions, and butter.

I stopped in the Royal Oak Pub and they are sponsoring a 5k run for charity. More so, the entire Dunwoody Restaurant Group is the sponsor. I snapped a photo of their poster of the event.

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This is Royal Oak’s Tostada salad, nice n’ spicy. It’s not quite as big a favorite as their Mediterranean or Hong Kong Steak salads, but it’s a more than decent plate of food. You can’t see the squares of chicken for the tomatoes and lettuce but it’s there, heavy with cheese.

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In other unrelated news, the steady and cool rain has led my boonie pepper plants to grow a lot of green appendages, shaped like an upside down ‘U’, that I suspect are nascent flowers. I won’t know until later, though. Some plants have plenty of them.

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The weather is getting cold, though, and I’m fighting the onset of frost versus the birth and growth of a pepper crop.

Last but not least, Mellow Mushrooms have some of the most interesting shapes. This one is in Sandy Springs.

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This is going to be a short photographic survey of places to eat in Norcross, and not an exhaustive survey either.  The focus is Mojito’s, and we’ll show some images of some other interesting places to eat in Norcross along Jones Street.

The first image is Paizano’s. It’s a pretty restaurant, both inside and outside, and I’ve eaten there perhaps three to four times. My impression of their dishes goes from pretty good to really good.  Their antipasto salad is excellent. Service ranges from decent to good.

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Paizanos on Urbanspoon

The next image is that of Zapata, which we have reviewed before.

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The third is the Iron Horse Tavern. In terms of their food, they are essentially the same as the Royal Oak Pub, which I have reviewed in the past. I recall having Harp and the lamb tikka (very good) at Iron Horse.  Their service is good, and they may have a bit more space than Royal Oak.

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Iron Horse Tavern on Urbanspoon

The Norcross Station Cafe is a landmark in the area, being a converted railroad stop.

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Mojito’s is really what we were aiming for. I think this restaurant is beautiful myself.

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We ordered their beef empanadas. The habanero sauce that comes with this dish is really really good.

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These are Mojito’s sweet plantains. They are a little crisper than most, and my wife really likes that crunch.

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Cuban sandwich with black beans. The beans are richly flavored.

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Media Noche with yellow rice. Both the Cuban and Media Noche are full flavored sandwiches and highly recommended.

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A grilled Chicken sandwich with a side of congri. Not as good as the Cuban, but grilled flavor is clear in the sandwich.

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Yes, a bit heavy for lunch, but my wife was craving beef empanadas and this was as close a place as we knew to get them. If you know of places closer to Snellville, tell us about them.

Notes: You can get to downtown Norcross quickly if you use the access road that parallels I-85 on the west, Brook Hollow Parkway. Take Ronald Reagan to Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill to I-85 S. Exit I-85 S at Indian Trail and at the intersection, head straight, do not turn left or right. Stay on the Parkway until you reach Mitchell Road. Turn right on Mitchell and take the road until you can go no further. At this point you are in Norcross facing the fire station and are three turns from Peachtree Street (left, right, left).

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