112 E. 4th St.
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 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.
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.