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The comfort of food

The boys visit DuPont’s home for Irish-inspired American goodness, McNamara’s Pub and Eatery

MCNAMARA’S PUB AND EATERY: If you prefer to drink your meals, they’ve still got you covered. Photo by J.M. Simpson

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McNamara’s Pub and Eatery

Where: 1595 Wilmington Dr., DuPont, 253.964.9200
Hours: 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Cuisine: Irish favorites and classic American comfort foods — ribs, burgers, seafood, sandwiches, salads. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Scene: Casual, kid and family-friendly, separate full-service bar
Drinkies: Cocktails, beer, wine, specialty drinks, standard non-alcoholic beverages
Prices: $3.95-$19.95
ANNOUNCER: With the exception of Asado and Masa, the Farrell family might be the only restaurateurs who could successfully pull off opening establishments across the street from each other and not have the endeavor become a huge disaster. Lizz Farrell, daughter of patriarch and 30-year gastro/dining enthusiast John Farrell, has her finger on the pulse at McNamara’s Pub and Eatery, an Irish-inspired American comfort food dining spot. These are the same folks who brought Italian American Farrelli’s Pizza establishments to five locations in the Puget Sound. McNamara’s in DuPont is their first public venture down the road of Irish fare.

JAKE: I felt like we were arriving at a jumpin’ party as we walked in. Staff seemed genuinely happy. Several large groups spread across the dining room. We took a booth and began menu perusal. Holy cow, I swear I felt my arteries thickening at all of the fried appetizers. Tot-chos, a plate of heart attack with fried tater tots versus tortilla chips, were smothered in cheddar-colored cheese sauce with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños and sour cream with green onion mounded on top.

JASON: Man, that fake liquid cheese is so good. I’d eat it on just about everything if I could get away with it.  And “tot-chos” is just brilliant!

JAKE: How does your yoga master feel about you loving fake cheese? Oh wait, that’s one of your dirty little secrets, isn’t it?

JASON: I think Kip Winger wrote that song “Seventeen” about our cute blonde server. She was fast and seemed to know exactly what I’d want. We had a connection.

JAKE: She brought you Diet Coke refills, A-face. That’s hardly making a connection; that’s her working a tip.

JASON: As the plate holding my meat loaf touched down, a huge smile spread across my face. Meat, meat, meat. I love me some meat. Log, steak, fillet, loaf, cutlet — who cares?  This loaf was mediocre though. I made a sad face till I drug it through the brown gravy and shazam! We were back in business. The traditional Irish side dish of colcannon was a rich, creamy blend of mashed potatoes and kale. Couple that with forkful of loaf and it felt like a big warm hug in my belly. Roasted carrot and parsnips were tender without being mushy. Salt content of those and colcannon was perfect for me.

JAKE: I always forget parsnips even exist let alone can be tasty. I thought I detected nuttiness and liked it. Usually horseradish accompanies prime rib, but McNamara’s proves it complements wild Northwest salmon, too. Odd paring, yes; yet, as a crumb topping it works. The salmon was nicely moist, and I only ate the tartar sauce because I like tartar. The fish certainly didn’t need it. I opted for rice pilaf as my starch. Tender and also moist, the rice pilaf is made in-house, which is always a plus and, in this case, luckily not disappointing.

JASON: Ah, dessert. Often I wonder if I eat dinner just to get to dessert without the dreaded Catholic guilt. That said, my sad face returned. The molten chocolate cake was terribly disappointing. Our server had truthfully told us it wasn’t spectacular, earning just a “good” and a shrug from her otherwise enthusiastic self. Expectations ran high, as always, until it arrived resembling a large hostess cake flanked by double puffs of whipped cream. Barely warm, the molten chocolate part was still mostly a solid chunk sitting on top of a dry cake with cold center. I’m guessing this is not the way it’s supposed to be presented. Thumbs down.

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