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Category: Bar

Murphy Gonzalez

Murphy Gonzalez Pub & Cocina

This is what happens when an Irish pub and Mexican restaurant meet and have a baby. Near NYU.

What We Had

My DH had the Burger with Bacon & Swiss on an English Muffin – Overcooked but still juicy and flavorful with really good bacon. Decent fries that were a potato not long ago.

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I had the Steak & Eggs – Overcooked but flavorful and tender. Eggs were overcooked as well, but still tasty. Potato side was decent; surprise fruit side was great.

Decor

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More Irish pub than Mexican restaurant. Sports on the flat screens, open and spacious dining area.

Service

Friendly service – appropriately attentive for Sunday brunch.

Overall Impressions

An interesting mix prepared with enough skill that its all not just drunk food.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for good standard food with enough promise that we may come back for Mexican fare.

The Brazen Fox

Pub in White Plains

What We Had

I had the steak & eggs off the brunch menu with a mimosa – My steak (NY strip) was well-seasoned and perfectly rare with over-medium eggs. Good potatoes.

My DH had the shepherd’s pie off the lunch menu – The dish had a really interesting spice blend – something wholly American; kind of like taco seasoning. A nice little change in a dish that’s quickly become my DH’s go-to.

DH would like it noted that he was still hungry after polishing off his pie, a glass of Killians, a chunk of my potatoes & a toast half.

Decor

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Dark woods & burgundy leather – warm amber & cream lighting. Open, large and friendly looking. A fair amount of TVs, but not chock-a-block.

Service

Not the best service, but not horrible – weekend brunch slow.

Overall Impressions

This place has an exciting looking happy hour drinks menu and great beer selection. You also can’t go wrong with sriracha on the table.

Rating

3.5 out of 5 for good food & an impressive drink menu, but lackluster service.

Fox & Fiddle Kitchen & Bar

Pub grub in the Upper Upper East Side.

What We Had

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I had the Angus NY sirloin steak with 2 fried eggs and home fries. Perfectly cooked steak – the eggs were, however, cooked to death with no seasoning. I was happy with dish overall, but my DH’s pie was the winner.

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My DH had the Shepherds Pie – beef carrots onions peas and Parmesan crusted mashed potato with gravy. This was a stellar pie – good mix of veg to beef, really good taste, wholly satisfying.

Decor

Cute old school pub feel with dark woods, lots of mirrors, and black & white flooring.

Good music – Nirvana, greatest hits from the late 90s/early 00s.

Service

Decent service for a Saturday afternoon from our Irish-accented waitress.

Overall Impressions

A good find. Definitely worth checking out again if in the neighborhood.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for better than expected quality in a relaxed atmosphere

The Atlantic Chip Shop

UK style pub and chip shop made famous for their willingness to fry anything you bring them. Located in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

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I had the Wild Mushroom Shepherds Pie – Choc full of mushrooms, not too heavy on internal sauce, really creamy mashed potatoes on top, perfectly al dente peas on the side. I’ve been dreaming about this pie ever since first tasting it, and have come back to get it since; it’s that good. Comfort & joy & mushrooms in one.

My DH had the Beef Shepherds Pie – Much like the other pie, this one was dead simple as well and equally as good.

Decor

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Riotous jumble of Brit-centric decor featuring movie posters, the ubiquitous Union Jack, daleks, and other Brit ephemera. Varied ‘UK’s Greatest Hits’ menu over the speakers & football on the tube over the bar.

Service

Standard

Overall Impressions

I forsee this place becoming a regular haunt.

Rating

Solid 4.5 for great food in a fun atmosphere – no complaints, and this might become our go-to meal this winter

Waterfront Ale House

Waterfront Ale House

Dive-ish bar & grill in Cobble Hill. Known for good liquor & free popcorn.

What We Had

I had the Pulled Smoked Chicken in Mustard Sauce Sandwich with coleslaw – The chicken was nice and juicy, with a pleasant sweet and sour tang from the mustard sauce. It was also pulled well, with a good mix of large to small chunks and no fat or gristle. The coleslaw was also a nice surprise – mustardy, refreshing and crisp.

My DH had the French Dip Sandwich with fries – This was a great sandwich; good meat cooked well, with robust flavor and really good fries.

Much to my continued delight, this place specializes in condiments, with at least three special house brands lined up along the myriad bottles of mustards, BBQ sauces and hot sauces.

To Drink

Magic Hat Elder Betty
Coney Island Blockhead

Décor

Minimal with an interesting lighted cityscape over the bar.

Service

Not the worst ever – it’s a bar and grill; adjust your expectations accordingly.

Overall Impressions

This is a quaint little neighborhood watering hole – great for drinks, mingling, and a bite.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for food that was better than expected.

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12th St. Bar & Grill

Laid back Park Slope eatery serving American fare.

What We Had

*None of the food pictures turned out – a storm was rolling in and cut the available light.

I had the hanger steak w frites and seasonal veg, with a blue cheese moray sauce. The steak itself was good, if just a touch dry & underseasoned without the (very tasty) sauce. Hit the spot though.

The seasonal veg was a dish of garlicky spinach that had a great taste but was too oily.

The fries were decent, but I was in no real danger of devouring the plate.

My DH had the espresso rubbed strip steak with truffle mac & roasted button mushrooms.

His steak was great – juicy, flavorful, everything you would want.

The mac was basically bechamel sauce with truffle oil… we couldn’t taste the cheese much at all.

The mushrooms were great. I’m a sucker for sautéed mushrooms, and these did not disappoint. It is times like this when I am glad he doesn’t like them.

I also had the limoncello cocktail w prosecco and did not like it, but I’m very picky.

Décor

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Nice – nice large paintings on the wall, soft lighting, and good natural light.

Service

Not bad.

Overall Impressions

A nice little neighborhood joint if you are craving a steak.

Rating

3.5 out of 5 for being a decent steak option. I have to take points off for my steak’s seasoning & the missing cheese, but overall – if it’s a choice between a chain like Outback and this place, this place makes a decent local business option.

Lucy’s Cantina Royale

One part cool architecture (if you like sleek & modern), one part cantina bar bordering Madison Square Garden near Penn Station.

What We Had

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My DH had the Roast Pork Burrito with garlic-cilantro marinade, refried beans, mexican rice, lettuce, pico, jack cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. The meat was nicely seasoned and tender and the dish had a nice balance.

Not his all time favorite (Moe’s), but a decent substitute. His burrito also came with a really nice salsa verde. It wasn’t the green crack Moe’s serves, but it was good enough to stave off the proverbial shakes.

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I had the Skirt Steak Tacos with chipotle-tomato marinade, pico and lettuce. My meat was also seasoned nicely and my tacos were good. Refreshingly cheese-free, as well.

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We split an order of Paper Bag Tortilla Chips with Tequila-laced Salsa (our dishes did not come with chips). The tortillas had salt! And they weren’t greasy!

The salsa was really nice – smoky, spicy, bright, really deep — the tequila was very understated and blended well enough that my tequila-adverse self didn’t ick out.

I also had Tropical Tea! I was so excited the tea came out tropical-flavored. I adore this type of tea and had resigned myself to having left it behind in South Florida after the move.

Décor

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The downstairs eating area is bright and beachy with a fresh Baja vibe.

Be forewarned: if you are planning on imbibing some of this bars’ selection of tequila; the bathroom is down 3 narrow flights of stairs you share with kitchen staff. It’s doable, but might be dicey if drunk in heels.

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Service

Not the best, but not totally horrible. I would imagine it might be next to non-existent at night, but that is purely speculation. Our particular server wasn’t the most attentive I’ve ever seen during a lunch service.

Overall Impressions

We were first attracted by the rooftop bar – it is really eyecatching and looks like a nice place to lounge in the shade on a sunny afternoon. Apparently they have ‘top of the hour’ tequila shots & fishbowls up there, and it’s open year-round. I have a strong feeling my opinion of this place would change dramatically after 4 pm.

Rating

A cautious 4 out of 5 on food alone with a strong possibility of unbridled douchebaggery at happy hour and beyond.

EDIT: We revisited recently (May 2013), and the food is not at all what it once was. The salsa was ok but ketchupy, the tacos were bland, and the burritos were tasteless. The service has also gotten worse. 2.75. Still edible, but not anything special.