Friday, January 02, 2009

Restaurant Review - Hagan O'Reilly's Irish Pub, 16112 Marsh Rd, Winter Garden, FL

Hagan O'Reilly's Irish PubI guess Winter Garden must be emerging as some sort of urban hotspot now. There is the new Winter Garden Village and now, Winter Garden's very own Irish Pub - Hagan O'Reilly's, at the intersection of 545 and Stoneybrook West Parkway/Hartwood Marsh Rd. The space is beautifully and fSee the Ireland map on the ceilingully decorated with an intricately carved indoor wood bar, a large outdoor patio with it's own bar, a main dining area with a large map of Ireland painted on the ceiling, small rooms with their own themes such as Cassidy's Cottage with stonework and a fireplace hearth, and then stained glass windows all along the front. We sat in the main dining room which is bright with small 4-person wood tables and an alcove for live Irish entertainment. Although it is a pub, kids are invited to come until 10 pm and they even have a kids menu.

There are lots of drink options on the menu (naturally since it is a pub) including many Irish and English draft beers and bottled beers, plus American beers as well as combinations such as Half & Half, Gold & Tan, plus wines and whiskeys, and full bar, too! I chose an Irish Harp on draft one time and then a glass of riesling the next time I went.

Mulligan Beef BitsFor an appetizer, we got the beef bits ($9.95) which was tender pieces of beef stewed in an ale gravy with carmelized onions and served with two pieces of bread to sop up the flavorful sauce. Not sure the portion was worth the $10 price but it was very tasty. Boxty!Next time I tried the Boxty potato pancakes ($7.95)... yum! Three large potato pancakes mixed with bits of corned beef and topped with a savory, but not too spicy, horseradish cream sauce. It was definitely delicious and I've ordered it as my appetizer every time since then.

Speaking of bread, we received a bread basket with three types of bread - a pretzel bread, a sourdough dill, and a popover style that had a sweet outer crust. All Dingle Bay Salmonwere delish and were served with cold butter. When I just went again recently, though, they had changed to a brown bread loaf with honey butter instead of the rolls.

Kids menu was well done with picky eater options such as Stuffed Pork Chopbuttered pasta, chicken fingers, or grilled cheese (all $4.50), but also a Jr. Shephard's Pie ($5.95) and Jr. Fish & Chips ($4.95).

I got the Dingle Bay Salmon ($18.95) which was a wonderful dish with dill leaves and a light butter sauce on top of the perfectly cooked salmon and then Champ (mashed potatoes with green onions) and wilted spinach. Grandma got the Fish & Chips ($12.95), which was three large fish pieces and a Fish 'n' Chipsgenerous portion of chips (fries). Grandpa got Hagan's Grilled Stuffed Pork Chop ($15.95) which was stuffed with a very strong bleu cheese filling and came with seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes. I thought it was too strong but he Beef Stew with a lamb chopate every bite - he loves bleu cheese. On another visit, I got Egan's Irish Stew ($11.95) consisting of a hearty beef stew with vegetables and topped with a bonus - a small lamb chop!

LB ordered the buttered pasta (his favorite) and we had to ask for shredded parmesan cheese on the side. He did pretty well but I don't think he was used to the thinner angel hair, preferring Shepherd's Piespaghetti or larger pastas. BB ordered the Junior Shepherd's Pie, which was served in a small ramekin and topped with an artful dollop of mashed potatoes. I tried some of his and it was good, lots of seasoned ground beef with carrots and peas. I might have to get the adult size on an upcoming visit.

For dessert, we had the Nutty Irishman coffee ($6) with Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelica and chocolate sauce topped with freshly whipped cream. All of the Irish Coffees (and there are Nutty Irishmanabout 6 six of them) are $6 and come with various additives such as Irish Whiskey, or Bailey's Caramel, or Peppermint. On another visit, I got the Leprechaun's Coffee with Bushmill's whiskey and it was a little too much whiskey tasting for me. I'll stick with the Nutty Irishman. We got the Baily's Pot O'Cream dessert ($5.95)which said it was a custard Ashleigh's Chocolate Cake - a must for chocolate lovers!with the "scent" of Bailey's Irish Cream. It must have been a very light scent because it just tasted like vanilla pudding and that's it. Kind of like a vanilla creme brulee but without the carmelized sugar on top. Better dessert choices, that I had on subsequent visits are Uncle Patrick's Bread Pudding ($5.95) with a whiskey caramel sauce -- can still taste the overall bread taste without the whole piece being a big mush, which I like. And Princess Ashleigh's chocolate cake ($5.95) is just incredible, especially if you are a chocoholic. In fact, the menu doesn't do it justice, calling it just a chocolate layer cake. It is not. It is more like a fudge-based hunk of pure rich chocolate served with fresh whipped cream. I'll definitely be getting that one again. I got the kids the scoop of ice cream ($1.95) which was a large scoop with, again, the fresh whipped cream. LB liked his vanilla but mostly ate the whipped cream while BB ate his chocolate ice cream.
Live Irish folk music
There is live music every night except on Sundays and Mondays. There is a bar area inside and a separate bar outside that has live music on two nights of the week. The inside live music is Irish folk music, at least it was the four times I've been there. It was also a different musician each time -- I didn't know there were that many Irish singers in Central Florida!

When you finally step outside of Hagan O'Reilly's, you really don't feel like you are in Winter Garden anymore, but feel like you just travelled across an ocean and had a nice Irish meal and great entertainment.

Find out more here: Hagan O'Reilly's


Harold (SMM) said...

That was a great review. I now want to try it out because I want that stepped out of Florida across the ocean experience.

I definitely want to try out the beef bits.

Irishpixie said...

Hagan O'Reilly's Irish Pub is one of the best pubs this side of the pond.

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