Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week’s Excited about Eating is headed to Uptown Charlotte to visit Ri Ra Irish Pub. When we walked into this restaurant, it felt like we were walking into a pub in Ireland. Our server told us that the interior was transported from Ireland and restored into its existing condition.

Ri Ra Irish Pub

We started with the Potato Cake appetizer, pan seared potato and cheddar cakes served with savory sour cream and a balsamic reduction. The Potato Cake was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. On the downside, it was loaded with onions and only served lukewarm. Dora here, in blue. Good thing we didn’t stop there. 🙂

Potato Cake

I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie, made with minced lamb, gravy, peas, carrots, and leeks served with a mashed potato crust and a slice of brown bread. The term “shepherd’s pie” is used when the meat is lamb; the theory being that shepherd is connected to sheep and not cattle. This was an outstanding dish. The lamb and vegetables were perfectly cooked and full of favor with just the right amount of liquid, and the mashed potatoes were creamy with a nice crust. I’m always game for Shepherd’s Pie, and this was the first I’ve tasted with lamb. Thankfully, hubby shared with me or I might’ve resorted to stealing his fork. Soooo good! 

Shepherd’s Pie

My wife chose the Ri Ra Burger, topped with Ashe County cheddar, country ham, brown sugar onions and a Brioche bun. This burger was tall, juicy, and almost too big for the mouth. The caramelized brown sugar onions were sweet, and the garlic mayo added a unique taste. The “Chipper “ chips are actually thick cut fries. I snagged a few and enjoyed dipping them in the garlic mayo. This was a messy burger, but oh so yummalicious! And I probably drank a gallon of their iced tea.

Ri Ra Burger

I would rate this establishment 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food. If I included the less-than-thrilling appetizer, I’d lower my rating to 4 forks.

~Ernie Hiers, Food blogger at Fiction Faith & Foodies

Ri Ra the Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

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