FINN McCOOL’S IRISH PUB BLOG by INDIA
I’m not your typical vegetarian. Most of my tofu-loving friends made the decision to forego meat some time in elementary school. When they realized that that rack of lamb is a rack of baby lamb, or that their hotdog used to go “Oink”. My parents, however, raised me on a vegetarian diet from birth. So essentially, the decision was made for me. It is one I have chosen to uphold but it’s inspired an interesting attitude towards meat for me. A lifelong curiosity that some of my veggie friends would only describe as morbid!
Working at Finn McCool’s has only fueled my little obsession. Bacon. Good God, does anything smell better than sizzling Irish bacon?
Someone just ordered the Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Were I so inclined, I’d pop those juicy shellfish like candy.
How about the Shepherd’s Pie topped with buttery champ.
I like to live vicariously through my omnivorous co-workers at times. If Grant, one of our bartenders, orders the Corned Beef and Cabbage, I’ll perch on a bar stool and watch.
“How’s the beef?” I’ll ask, “It looks lean.”
“Uh, yeah, India. It is” he’ll reply, fork poised in mid air.
“So…so is this better than Tele’s Crispy Chicken? ‘Cause that chicken looks good. And with the gravy? Delicious, right?”
“I just want to eat my…”
“Put some Coleman’s mustard on that bite before you eat it. It really compliments the meat.”
This will go on until Grant’s meal has gone cold or it’s just too awkward to eat. Whatever comes first? Richelle, another bartender, thinks I like to keep her company during her dinner break. But really I’m just keeping an eye on her Connemara Seafood Stew and how it’s working with that garlic saffron sauce.
At the end of the day though, as delicious as animals may look when sautéed, roasted, deep fried or grilled, I love them too too much to eat them. And so, I am resigned to find my own culinary delights amongst the vegetable kingdom. Lucky for me though, Finn’s has an entire page of our oversized menu devoted solely to veggie cuisine. So often, vegetarians are forced to endure a meal where the meaty element has simply been removed. A big plate of limp bell pepper slices and sad carrots with a gaping hole where the chicken is supposed to be. But Geraldine and Hector have gone to great lengths to make sure that our vegetarian guests leave Finn’s as satisfied as their steak-loving friends.
It would be a feat for any chef to adapt Irish food into something acceptable for a vegetarian. We’re a meat-loving breed what with our beef stews and Shepherd’s pies. But Finn’s triumphs! One can enjoy a traditional Irish boxty: crisp, tasty vegetables sautéed in a creamy garlic or spicy curry sauce and wrapped in our homemade potato pancake. Cure your Sunday morning hangover with a Bloody Mary (minus the Worcestershire sauce; its fishy!) and a veggie Irish breakfast complete with Heinz Baked Beans and potato bread. Have a Cashel Blue Cheese salad, full of cranberries and yummy candied walnuts, for lunch.
Or just have a big plate of champ, our delicious mashed potatoes with green onions. It’s that good. And, of course, supplement your iron with a pint of Guinness!
We’ve even adapted some of our most popular dishes into something I can enjoy. The Blarney Bacon Skins are, by far, the customer favorite. And the veggie skins don’t disappoint. Instead of bacon, these little potato dreams are stuffed with avocado and chewy sun-dried tomatoes then smothered in Blarney cheese. Amazing.
Order anything off our menu that involves a Portobello mushroom. Portobellos are like the steak of the veggie world. Big, juicy and filling. Hector roasts them in balsamic vinegar nd grills them to perfection. The Portobello Salad is to die for but it’s the mushroom sandwich that rocks my world. A big mushroom cap topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions and spicy remoulade, served in a sesame seed bun. I like to attack mine with a steak knife. You know, just to pretend!
And if you have any room left after all that, go for one of our traditional Irish desserts. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike can unite over our bread pudding. Or our rhubarb crumble. Or the apple pie. Or, oh God, our amazing chocolate box packed with bubbly mousse and fresh strawberries. And don’t forget a creamy Irish coffee made with our brewed Organic Coffee to wash it all down!
So in conclusion, if you are a confirmed meat lover, come on down to Finn McCool’s Irish Pub and sample one of the dozens of unbelievable traditional Irish dishes we have on offer. If you are a vegetarian, you too, will be spoiled for choice. And, if you are a weird, secret-fantasy-meat-loving committed vegetarian like myself, well then this is the only restaurant for you.