Monday, September 27, 2010

MacFarlanes

OUT AND ABOUT

MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub
417 Ann St
Lake Charles LA
337-433-5999

Monday to Saturday 10:30 AM to 11.00 PM $3 to $11


This venue has been a long time coming, mainly because the owner was doing all the work himself. The owner of the Brick House Catering decided to carve an Irish Pub out of the east end of the old Kelly-Weber warehouse. He did an outstanding job. The space is a treat.

I was in on the first day. The food was not to my expectations. This can often happen first day (jitters, equipment malfunction, wrong food supplies, etc). However when I went back a week or so later they exceed my fondest wishes. I started with the Potato Cake appetizer. A similar dish might be called boxty in Ireland. Basically a mashed potato pancake with herbs and fried in bacon fat, remarkable light with a wonderful taste. Next came a huge (bring your appetite here) Soft Shell Crab Po Boy. Two whales (very large) flour coated and fried to perfection. They sat on honey wheat po boy bread with an in-house tarter sauce, tomatoes and lettuce. The sweet crispy crab played well against the sharp tartar sauce with the bread adding a nutty note. I went with the Colcannon side and loved my choice. Kale and potatoes cooked down to a mashed potato consistency with bacon. The kale brought much flavor to the potatoes,
The Hot Cinnamon Apple Pie proved spectacular. A cinnamon infused crust surrounding a truly magnificent apple filling, not too sweet not too tart.

Next time I went for the Blarney Stones. A mild Jalapeno half stuffed with sausage then wrapped in bacon and grilled, quite tasty with just the right kick. I then went old school with a Sheppard’s Pie, basically a delectable and delicious lamb stew hidden under herbal mashed potatoes. Be careful this comes out steaming hot. I love lamb and the meat in the stew was sweet and tender. My sides of Brown Sugar and Bacon Glazed Green Beans and Cole Slaw made as big an impression as the pie. If you have ever eaten at a Brick House function you would recognize these beans. The slaw with its combo of purple and green cabbage seemed just tossed with a light mayonnaise dressing. The Irish Chocolate Pot proved a unique and wonderful twist on crème brule. I was expecting chocolate pudding. What I received was light vanilla custard topped with a thin layer of dark chocolate sauce. This provided for a light dessert with full flavor.

I tried the Fried Pickle and Pepper and did not care for them, for me the crust was just not right. However the Celtic Breakfast more than satisfied. I have been to England several times and love the breakfast they call a Fry Up. This closely approximates if not exceeds it. You get two eggs your way, an English sausage called a banger, two pieces of in-house cured Irish Bacon (slices of pork tenderloin), black i.e. blood and white (made without blood but with the same grains), flavorful kicked up pork and beans, grilled tomatoes and potatoes, and slices of bread spread with drippings (grease) and toasted. Sound horrible to some but music to my ears. The puddings which are really sausages and the banger provide unique texture and spices. The Irish bacon is nothing like Canadian bacon. Sliced along the tenderloin and cured but not smoked. My only complaint was that the tomatoes were not grilled enough. The Drunken Irish Bread Pudding with it Irish whiskey cream sauce was a mountain of bread soaked with custard and cooked until melting in your mouth
Last foray was for the MacFarlane Burger, A tower of an eight ounce patty of beef, Irish bacon, Cajun sausage, cheese, fried egg, tomato and lettuce on a Jalapeño cheddar bun. The trick here is to squeeze it down and get a couple of bites of everything. The egg yolk bursts and provides a sorta of rich sauce for the rest. However it soon disintegrates and you have to attack it anyway you can. That can prove delicious as well as you combine different components of it to get a bite. The fresh cut French fries suffered from being limp, somewhat greasy and in this case over seasoned. I frequently encounter this when people try to do fresh cut.

The extraordinary thing about this venue is that the beer menu is longer than the food menu. Also they provide short descriptions of the type of beer they are selling. It is not just a long list that only a beer fanatic could choose from. They feature beers from all over the world, beer novice or beer expert dream. I highly recommend this departure from the standard Lake Charles establishment. The only thing I can say now is bring your thirst and your appetite.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that MacFarlanes crust on their fried food is a little off. It's a bit too salty. The rest of their food is fantastic. THANK YOU FOR OPENING A PLACE LIKE THIS IN LAKE CHARLES!

Bridget Delaney said...

MacFarlane's is GREAT by now!