Thursday, January 8, 2009

Molly Malone's Irish Ale House

Molly Malone's Irish Ale House
112 E. 4th St.
Covington, KY

It isn’t often that we get to watch our favorite English football team play on television – precious airtime is usually reserved for big guns like Man U., Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool – so whenever our team is televised it is cause for celebration…usually followed by abject misery at watching them blow another game to sink further down the relegation table.

The best place in town to watch English football is Molly Malone’s in Covington. They’ve got over half a dozen big screens airing everything that Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta have to offer, and they proudly open their doors early on Saturdays to coincide with live kick-offs that are five time zones away. A 3 p.m. kick-off in England means we need to be at the pub by 10 a.m., although we prefer to be there a little early to catch the pre-game banter while our pint is being poured.

Yes, beer at 10 a.m. is perfectly acceptable if there is a footie match on the telly, and to help stave off the munchies the pub offers a small but adequate brunch menu until 2 p.m. on the weekends. Most of the options are geared toward the carnivore but there are a couple of vegetarian-friendly selections available, if one isn’t too picky about beer pairings. There’s Oatmeal Brule (Irish oats topped with carmelized sugar and granola), Stuffed French Toast (challah bread stuffed with fruit and topped with powdered sugar and vanilla cream), pancakes, and fruit & granola. They also have a few vegetarian side dishes, including very tasty O’Bryan Potatoes (a take on Potatoes O’Brien), which are pan fried with onions, bell peppers and herbs.

Even though the thought of a pint of Carlsberg with French Toast sounds a bit stomach-churning, I wanted to make sure that whatever I ate would cushion the blow of a beer so early in the day, so French Toast it was, with an extra portion of potatoes thrown in for good measure.

The "Stuffed" French Toast with a side of O'Bryan Potatoes

The French Toast was ok – the “stuffed with fruit” description on the menu was a somewhat misleading: it was basically a few slices of fried cinnamon apple between two slices of French Toast, sandwich style. It was a very dry affair. The small dollop of cream added dimension, but what the dish really needed was a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

For those not interested in brunch, after 2 p.m. the regular menu is in situ, and there are several good vegetarian options on hand. There’s a veggie burger, a roasted vegetable club on a hoagie roll, a couple of salads, and their home-made Leek & Potato Soup. The latter is a specialty and is quite hearty with huge chunks of potato, but vegetarians will need to request it sans bacon bits.

Leek & Potato Soup

Side Salad

The big draw at the pub is their excellent selection of beer and cider, which includes Stella, Guinness, Harp, Boddingtons, Murphy’s, Pilsner Urquell, Newcastle Brown, BBC Nut Brown and BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout and Hard Core Cider; and Irish whiskey, Scotch and Kentucky small batch bourbons.
Molly Malone's of Covington on Urbanspoon


Mark Celsor said...

Thanks for the write up. It's such a great old building. I used to like to go there years ago before I moved to California, but I came back a vegetarian and I was a little scared to head down there, but it sounds like there are a few things to eat there and I won't have to do the "all beer and chips" meal that I had to get at Montgomery Inn.

Veggie Option said...

Glad the review could be of benefit, Mark. One thing I forgot to mention is that the pub allows smoking. It's usually not too bad early in the day but can get stuffy as the day goes on, even with ceiling fans.

Funny you should mention Montgomery Inn. Years ago a guy I was going out with (who KNEW I am vegetarian) took me there for my birthday - he wouldn't tell me where we were going - said it was a "surprise." It certainly was. While he feasted away on ribs I had to make do with a side salad. NTS that relationship ended.

Mark Celsor said...

Whoa that's pretty rough. People get kicks out of that stuff. My coworkers took me a Hoffbrau in Berekley that sold whole turkey carcasses (for soup) on my birthday. You just have to roll with it and occasionally trick them into enjoying soyrizo! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for review, we got a new Brunch menu out today, and I hope you find it a little more Veggie friendly.
Veggie omelet, Veggie burger, Bagels and a bigger a la carte selection. You can always order some of our popular dishes, minus the meat, burrito, eggs bennedict or the butty.
Catch you for a Carlsberg one of these mornings, hope ye don't get relegated this season.

Veggie Option said...

Thanks for the info - I'll stop by sometime and give it another try.