Canton’s Claddagh Pub

by Richard Santos
     Claddagh Pub, at 2918 O’Donnell Street in Canton, is quickly becoming a favorite of residents and late-night pub crawlers.
     The place doesn’t appear fancy from the outside, but it’s got an upbeat atmosphere inside. On a Thursday night, the place was busy at the well-stocked bar and in the dining area beyond. The Irish-themed decor was fun, with an Irish flag, a large rugby mural, and signs promoting Irish liquors. Our tablecloth was even decorated with shamrocks.
     Our friendly waiter recited many specials. Among these was Borscht, the cold Russian beet soup. This is not what you’d expect at an Irish pub, but it was impressive nonetheless. My friend ordered the Angus beef prime rib sandwich. I chose the house salad and crab cake platter.
     The fresh mesclun salad was great, with a raspberry-tinged house dressing that refreshed, but did not overwhelm with its herbs. My friend’s beef sandwich was infused with the rich flavor that all steak chefs strive for. My crab cakes would have made any Marylander happy. They were generous in size and broiled perfectly. The garlic mashed potatoes that accompanied them were delectable as well.
     We were seated at around 9 p.m. and about an hour later we were presented with a bill for $49.58 (including drinks but without gratuity). We reminded ourselves that the crab cakes were “market price,” which usually means “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.” Considering the food, service, and overall dining experience, we were satisfied. We’ll have to save those crabcakes for a special occasion, though.
     Claddagh Pub’s casual atmosphere belies its level of dining experience. The food, you might say, is spontaneously fancy. The convivial atmosphere and great food and service make Claddagh Pub an important stop for anyone checking out the Canton area.

     RANKINGS-- Out of 5 FORKS
     Atmosphere-- 4.5 FORKS
     Service-- 4.0 FORKS
     Food-- 4.0 FORKS
     Affordability-- 2.5 FORKS
     Overall-- 3.75 FORKS
     Restaurant: Claddagh’s Pub
     Theme: Irish Pub
     Mood: Casual
     Potential For Romance: Moderate
     Friendly Outing Potential: Excellent
     Food Highlight: Angus Beef
     Food Served Until: 11 PM
     Wednesdays: “Get Irish”
     $2 Irish Whiskey
     $2 Irish Coffee
     $2 Irish Draught
     Saturdays: $2.95 Burgers
     11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily; food served until 11 p.m.;
      bar closes 2 a.m.

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This story was published on Nov. 4, 1998.