How to Choose Your Menu
How to Choose Your Menu
When you are working on creating the format for your Irish pub, keep in mind your menu. You will not only need to take into account what people expect from an Irish pub, but also will need to add some flair to make sure your menu is unique.
Beer and Spirits
Beer at any pub, let alone an Irish pub, is especially crucial. But what is best at an Irish pub? Irish beer. Here is a brief list of Irish alcohol you should expect to serve at your Irish pub.
- Guinness: No Irish pub would be complete without Guinness. Arthur’s black stout is a staple in all that encompasses what it means to be Irish. Guinness has to be served and stored at the correct temperature to maintain its fickle flavor. Guinness also requires an extremely slow pour (119.5 seconds to be exact).
- Jameson: Jameson Irish Whiskey is the global standard for Irish whiskey, and in many cases whiskey in general. With a mixture of malted and unmalted barley, all from a fifty-mile radius around Cork. Aged whiskey is obviously far more expensive than freshly distilled whiskey.
- Baileys: A favorite of ladies and mixed drinks, Bailey’s Irish Cream is also an Irish pub standard. More of a dessert liquor, you’ll also find that this can be implemented within your recipes and served over ice cream.
As is the same with beer and liquor, there is a typical menu that will be anticipated by Irish pub patrons. Here are a few items that you should plan on having on your menu.
- Shepherd’s Pie: Traditionally lamb, but ground beef could also substitute, served with carrots, onions, peas, and topped with mashed potatoes, you cannot get more Irish than shepherd’s pie.
- Fish and Chips: While this is also an English staple, it will be found in most Irish pubs as well. Deep-fried white fish, like a cod, served with French fries, tartar sauce, and malt vinegar, this is one dish you don’t want to miss.
- Bangers and Mash: The title may be subject to humor, but the flavor is definitely present. Pork sausage served with mashed potatoes, this will fill up your patrons bellies and hopefully help dilute their indulgence in Guinness.
- Irish Lamb Stew: This dish is typically made with braised lamb, Guinness base, potatoes, onions, and carrots. This is a hearty dish and will be essential on the cool nights of winter.
- Bread Pudding: What menu would be complete without dessert? This is a traditional dish for many countries around the world, including Ireland. Typically bread made with custard and raisins, this is not one to forget.
How to Make Your Menu Original
Once you have the Irish staples covered, you may wonder how to make your menu more unique than another Irish pub. I have a few tips regarding that as well.
- Shop Local: Buying local ingredients will ensure that your flavors are fresh and trustworthy. And it is always a hit with the customers to know where their food is really coming from. If you have any local butchers, see if you can get your meat from them.
- Keep it Simple: While some other pubs have jumped on the trends of the moment, including gluten-free or special grains, honing your menu down to a few items, not too many, and keeping it truly traditional will keep the customers coming.
- Don’t Be Afraid to think outside the Box: In conjunction with the traditional recipes, it is perfectly ok to give your restaurant something unique. Maybe your shepherd’s pie is whiskey braised? Maybe every fish and chips comes with a Guinness? It is still your own pub and you will need to give it something that makes it your own.
Like millions of Americans, I am from a proud Irish heritage. My family came over to the United States in the nineteenth century. After a couple of generations of struggle, my great-grandparents were able to pull themselves up and become successful entrepreneurs