Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Cornelius, NC and to Harp & Crown Pub Kitchen. This warm and comfortable pub features Irish favorites such as Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, and Bangers & Mash.

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Rather unassuming from the front, but just wait!

Dora here. This front entrance does not give you a clue as to what to expect. Wait until you see the patio. Soooooo wish it hadn’t been raining. I would’ve loved to sit outside here. I counted three fireplaces!!

excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, fiction faith & foodies, harp & crown

So wish it hadn’t been raining. I would’ve loved to sit outside. I counted 3 fireplaces!

The interior was nice and cozy. And packed for 11 AM on a Sunday!

excited about eating, fiction faith & foodies, ernie & dora hiers, harp & crown

The inside was nice and cozy. And packed for 11 AM on a Sunday.

For my brunch, I chose the Shrimps & Grits, a combo of Charleston style grits, shrimp, bacon, and chorizo sausage.

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Shrimp and Grits, outstanding!

This dish was outstanding! Creamy grits, tender shrimp that melted in your mouth, ample sauce, and the sausage packed just the right amount of heat.

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Are you drooling yet? Shrimp & grits, outstanding!

Dora here. Ya’ll know by now that I’m a huge fan of Shepherd’s Pie. If it’s on the menu, that’s what I’m picking. And since I’d seen an intriguing picture on Yelp, I already knew what I was ordering. Shepherd’s Pie. 🙂

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For those of you who haven’t tried Shepherd’s Pie, it’s basically a layer of mashed potatoes smothering a blend of meat and veggies. In this case, hamburger and peas.

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Shepherd’s Pie, what’s underneath that top layer of mashed potatoes

This particular version was not as thick as other variations, and, for me, it lacked a bit in the flavor department, nothing deep or complex in those layers. But that’s all good. Sometimes, like on this rainy day, you just want a dish to warm you up, comfort food, and Shepherd’s Pie is always a good choice. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What’s your favorite Irish dish?

We rate this pub 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

The Harp and Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Cornelius, NC and to Galway Hooker, an Irish Pub named for Galway Bay in Ireland.

20160417_120112Dora here. Actually, the entire pub was deconstructed and shipped from Ireland. Cool, huh? And it fits so well in this mixed use neighborhood. 

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We visited on a Sunday for brunch. By the time we left, most of the tables outside were full. A beautiful day for outdoor dining!

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For my lunch I chose the Bangers & Mash: grilled banger sausage, buttermilk mashed potatoes, brown gravy, crispy onion strings and a side of jalapeno mac and cheese. The bangers were firm and meaty. The mashed potatoes were fresh with skins mixed in, and the brown gravy was hearty and warm. The highlight of this dish was the jalapeno mac and cheese, creamy and delicious with a perfect heat level.

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Bangers & Mash with a side of Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

Dora here. Perfect heat level? Coughing…the mac and cheese was in-your-face, clean-out-your-head HOT! Honestly, I should’ve waited to try the mac because it skewed my taste buds for everything else. Wiping sweat from my face…

Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food to me. 20160417_114045

Some of you might be wondering what’s underneath that yummy looking fluff of mashed potatoes. 

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Quite a generous portion of hamburger, peas, carrots onion and brown gravy smothered in creamy mashed potatoes. I devoured all the potatoes but couldn’t finish the stuffing. Good and filling, but not jazzed with flavor like I expect from an Irish pub.

What’s your favorite Irish dish?

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

Galway Hooker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to the Plaza-Midwood area of Charlotte and to The Workman’s Friend, an Irish pub offering a variety of pub fare with a Southern influence. 

Dora here. Plaza Midwood came through for us again! Originally, we’d picked out a restaurant in downtown Charlotte, but Panther fans snagged all the on-street parking. Plaza Midwood is a fabulous alternative to eating in downtown proper, and I appreciated the ample parking in the back of The Workman’s Friend. 🙂

For an appetizer, we chose the Bag of Chips, hand cut fries with salt and malt vinegar aioli. Not chips in the American sense, nor the typical thick and potato-y pub chips. They were almost a blend of the two, crispy on the outside and firm on the inside. I ate mine with extra malt vinegar. Perfect!

Bag of Chips

Dora here. You should have seen Ernie’s face when the server set the chips down on the table. I knew he expected homemade American chips. lol.

The Irish Breakfast was the brunch special of the day. Eggs, a Banger (sausage), Black and White Pudding (also sausage), Irish Bacon, Baked Beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and sourdough toast. Black pudding is sausage made from blood, meat, fat, oatmeal, and bread or potato fillers. White pudding (the same minus the blood), and Irish bacon is from the back of the pig instead of the belly and is like ham. The highlights of this great dish were the three different types of sausage and the sourdough bread. 

Irish Breakfast – a Brunch Special

Dora here. I’m a big fan of Irish pubs. Well, pubs of all kinds, actually. I’d heard about Black and White pudding but never tried it until now. (See those two round patties next to the baked beans. And how did they ever come up with that name??). Considering the ingredients and the name, I was surprised at how tasty they were.

The Sausage Roll, a blend of ground sausage and mustard and sour cream inside a puff pastry, fit my mood. Something light, not too heavy, and I enjoyed the mild sausage flavor. 

Sausage Roll ~ An appetizer

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What about you? Do you enjoy pubs? What’s your favorite pub food?

The Workman's Friend Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato