This time of year, drinking establishments across the country festoon themselves with paper shamrocks and Irish tricolors in an attempt to lure in less discerning drinkers for St. Patrick’s Day. A true Irish-style pub, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily need to change anything to be able to provide a memorable March 17.
The Honest Pint is one of those pubs—Hibernian influences abound each and every day of the year. From the food menu to the drinks on offer, there’s no mistaking from whence the inspiration stems.
Thankfully, the interior lacks the kitschy visuals that often spring to mind when one thinks of an ‘Irish pub.” Wood grain accents abound, recalling its progenitors from across the pond, and exuding comfort. The space itself is shockingly large, and ensures that even though smoking is allowed, you won’t find yourself choked out of an appetite.
Speaking of, an appetite is something you should definitely bring to The Honest Pint. As in other areas, the menu draws heavily on traditionally Irish components, but combines them with a modern American sensibility to produce truly elevated pub fare. Examples include a colcannon-inspired cheese dip, an Irish sausage and potato soup, boxties stuffed with all manner of ingredients, and their “Herder Pie,” a take on the classic Shepherd’s, with leg of lamb and veg in a mustard and red wine stew, topped with smashed potatoes and Irish Cheddar.
Other items lean more towards the American influence. Smoked chicken wings are offered six ways, and one of their most popular offerings is the “Pomme Tots,” tater tots cooked in duck fat. (Yes, duck fat.) “Oink Cakes” are another choice I doubt you’ll find elsewhere: think crab cakes, then replace the crustacean with succulent smoked pork.
In the spirit of the season, I decided to stick with more traditional fare—in particular, the traditional Irish breakfast. What a spread! Two fried eggs, kielbasa, and rashers (back bacon—think a cross between bacon and ham) make for a healthy portion of protein. The sweetness of baked beans and fresh slices of tomato balance out the salty meats, and wine-soaked button mushrooms and soda bread complete this massive plate. I washed it all down with a creamy, nitrogen-pushed Smithwick’s—the slight bitter notes balanced the flavors of the meal even further.
If you’re planning on spending your St. Patrick’s Day out, about, and imbibing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than The Honest Pint. From Smithwick’s and Guinness on tap, to a dozen different Irish whiskeys behind the bar, if your tradition is to celebrate by drinking the Emerald Isle’s finest, they’ve got you covered. If you’re not all that concerned about the provenance of your drinks, there are loads of craft, import, and domestic beers from all over. Either way, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.
There are other reasons to put The Honest Pint on your St. Patrick’s Day itinerary besides their ample beverage menu. Live music is slated to start at 6 p.m., there will be loads of promotions and giveaways, and there will be a (free!) shuttle running to Hair of the Dog and The Terminal Brewhouse.
On the other hand, if carousing crowds aren’t your idea of ideal company, The Honest Pint will be doing the same thing come Sunday that it’s been doing each and every day since it opened. While the staff at other bars and chain restaurants are taking down the green streamers and plastic pots of gold, The Honest Pint will be serving delicious meals, the finest beers and whiskeys, and a sense of gratification that only a proper pub can deliver. (Not to mention they’ve got a wicked brunch menu with a Bloody Mary to match—just in case you need pampering after a long Saturday night.)
The Honest Pint
35 Patten Pkwy.
21+ at all times
Hours: 11 a.m. To 2 a.m. daily