There is one restuarant in Nashville I make a point of eating at whenever I drive in, be it to visit family or on business. McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. I’m not sure how I discovered McNamara’s, but my wife and I quickly made it our go-to restuarant for family visits, and once our son was born, our special date night spot for those delightful weekends when we drive into town and drop our son off with my parents.
Before I say anything else, though, you need to know McNamara’s is closed on Monday’s. I hate that, as I have driven over there on more than one occasion while in middle Tennessee (not necessarily Nashville) on business, sometimes with coworkers, only to be reminded of the terribly sad reality that on Mondays there is no happiness to be found at McNamara’s.
I’m in Nashville for a few days visiting my parents, and I decided we could use a nice meal, so I sprung for dinner at McNamara’s because I’m a good son. I was pleasantly surprised to discover on walking in that there would be live music starting in 10 minutes and that there were tables available in the bar / music room. While I was mildly disappointed that the band was not Nosey Flynn, the house band with the owner as lead singer, the music of Colm Kirwan & Celtic Country was quite good.
I began my evening with a Magners, of course. I asked for a glass of ice to go along with it. Tasted great. So good, in fact, I had another.
For my meal, I ordered Bangers & Mash, with Corn Casserole as the additonal side. I love McNamara’s sausages. I know it would kill me quickly, but I think I could eat them for every meal for the rest of my life. The potatoes I could take or leave, but they work with the sausages. The corn casserole is quite good, although I’m not nearly as fond of it as is my wife.
What made the bangers & mash even better tonight was the fact that the gentleman who delivered our meal, who I believe was a co-owner and GM, brought me two kinds of sauces to try with them. This is a first, so I don’t know if the sauces are new or if my servers in the past just never thought about offering them. I didn’t care for the HP sauce, but the Colman’s English Mustard was very good and quite spicy.
The band kicked into high gear early on during our meal and they were a blast to listen to. The lead singer, Colm Kirwan, said he was from Ireland, the lady playing the fiddle was from Chicago, and I didn’t catch where the guitar/banjo player was from. They were a delight to listen to, and the audience really got into clapping along with the music, as is normally the case at McNamara’s. As you can may be able to make out in the forground of this picture, a young couple even brought their baby to the show. She had a good time.
I decided to wrap up my meal with the Bread Pudding. Bread Pudding competes with Cheesecake for the top spot on my favorite desserts list, and tonight it earned temporary supremacy. The pudding tonight was fresh, crisp in spots, soft in others, mixed liberally with fresh apples, and a nice big dollup of vanilla ice cream.
I cannot recommend McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant highly enough. While I always have a ready to be in Nashville when I eat there, on more than one occasion my wife and I have decided to drive in to spend an evening in Nashville after waffling on the idea for a while once we remember we’ll get to eat at McNamara’s. It’s good.