What: Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub
Where: 259 East State St., Larksville
Why we went: Why, the approach of St. Paddy’s Day, of course. We picked a number between 1 and 10, 10 being the number of local Irish pubs we could think of offhand, and Fiddler’s Green corresponded randomly.
Atmosphere: Bar. All tables are high-tops.
Style of food: All pub fare, all the time. Mostly American with Irish names or twists.
Standouts: Well, wings. No, they’re not Irish, but they do have some fun Gaelic names. Traditional wings are called Celtic wings (cute) and were fat and crispy with a well-poised, not-too-thin, not-too-thick sauce, of which we’d have liked a bit more. At 10 for $5.95, the price was right. A half-pound of Leprechaun Bites, also $5.95, represented the Irish version of the boneless bite. These were outstanding in a bath of “Drunken Irish Whiskey” sauce, perked up even further by the addition of garlic to create a “sauce of the week.” The runaway hit of the night.
Fish and chips ($9.25) were another tasty and classically Irish/English choice. Two huge portions of battered cod joined a teeming basket of hand-cut fries, long, thin and sufficiently brown. Our only nit to pick was an excess of oil. Nothing a napkin could not remedy. The fish itself was flaky and pearly white.
We had mixed opinions on the jalapeno poppers, which are homemade and therefore completely different from what most of us are used to. The pieces — four to an order here —are much smaller for one thing, and the filling is exposed, with no batter or breading to speak of. A healthier choice? No doubt. This writer’s issue was that the small flattened pepper pieces themselves, which held the cheese filling, tasted more like ordinary green peppers than jalapenos, lacking that signature, spicy kick. And the filling was light and creamy with a bit of an aftertaste, more akin to a cheese mix than a filling of pure cheese. My guest, however, was a fan from bite one, so that goes to show you how all things are indeed a matter of opinion. Kudos to the chef, in any case, for even having a homemade version of a popper. After all, anyone can dump a frozen premade creation into a deep-fryer and call it a day.
Finally, pizza was somewhat interesting here. A bar pie is six substantial rectangular cuts, while “Sicilian” is actually thinner and less bready, though still rectangular. I expected the reverse, but no matter. Both were fine choices.
Other menu options: Irish nachos would have been fun if we had more people to share. (Think homemade potato chips topped with all the good stuff.) Sandwiches all have Irish names. The Blarney Burger is ordinary in its makeup, though it does promise Angus beef, as well as lettuce, tomatoes and onion, delivering the effect of an Irish flag, presumably. Turkey and corned beef also come on rye bread with Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing in either the “Reuben O’Grady” or the “Rachel O’Grady.” Each comes with chips and a pickle. And speaking of pickles, they’re available breaded and fried here, with Ranch dressing, for $4.25. Cheesesteaks and chicken sandwiches, as well as chicken tenders, round out your menu options.
Beverages: Two thumbs up for Breaker Brewing Company’s Lunch Pail Ale on tap. Other choices are fairly typical, with more options on the bottles list.
Prices: Apps hover at the $4 price point, and meals don’t even reach $10. Priciest thing on the menu is a bucket of wings for $15. A good choice for the budget-conscious.
Overall: Fun enough place. Friendly and efficient service. Pleasant staff, pleasant patrons. Definitely a why not?