In order to pull off an American Irish Pub you need just a few things: A stereotypical Irish name(one that starts with a “O'” is best), plenty of Irish themed decor, a Ruben sandwich on the menu, and Guinness on tap(maybe Smithwicks as well if it’s a real fancy place). Blarney Stone Pub, located at 21st and Woodlawn, meets all of this criteria and thus is an acceptable place for those looking for a little Irish action.
Blarney Stone took over the space vacated by Larry Buds. The new owners have done a good job renovating what was a tired decor. While the layout remains the same with the open dining room, painted cement floors and the added Irishness make it a more enjoyable space. TVs large and gigantic are all over, so it’s still a viable option for all your sport viewing needs.
Blarney Stone sets itself apart from many other pubs around town with some creative food items. If you love corned beef, cabbage, and Ruben sandwich ingredients in any form you will like their menu. Just as a side note corned beef is actually not deemed a traditional Irish dish, but don’t walk into any American Irish pub and mention that.
For appetizer offerings they have Irish rolls, which consist of corned beef and cabbage in a fried wonton wrapper as well as Irish nachos which are topped with corned beef, cheese sauce and peppers. On the sandwich menu they have the Irish Homewrecker, that appears to be the union of a ruben sandwich and a hot dog. There is also a panini that features none other than corned beef and cabbage. You can only imagine what is coming on the pizza menu. Yes there is a Ruben sandwich in pizza form. For dinner entrees they have more traditional dishes such as shepard’s pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash(brats and mashed potatoes).
Not wanting to go too crazy on a weekday lunch visit, Steph and I decided to order their Pub Burger and a simple Ruben sandwich, because if they can’t do that right then there is no reason to try any of the other combinations of corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese, and 1000 island dressing. The burger was pretty disappointing, mostly because of the overcooked and dry patty. The skimpy amount of cheese did not help matters either. The the homemade potato chips were decent, but needed more seasoning. For the $10 price tag I expect a better attempt. Fortunately Blarney Stone was able to redeem itself with its version of the iconic Ruben. The fist thing I noticed about their sandwich was the thick cut corned beef. Typically restaurants serve thinly sliced beef that lacks flavor, but Blarney Stone’s version was tender and delicious. As for the rest of the Ruben components they were all up to my standards including nice thick-cut rye bread. The only thing I would have liked to see would have been another slice or two of cheese. The fries that accompanied the sandwich were of average quality.
I am willing to set aside Blarney Stone’s burger failure given that they appear to be on to something with their delicious corned beef. As far as sports bars go, Blarney Stone is a good option to enjoy a game and indulge in whatever corned beef laced dish you desire.