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Food Crush at McGuire’s Irish Pub

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17 and there is only one place in town to celebrate all things Irish and that place is McGuire’s Irish Pub. Call it the luck of the Irish, but Spring Break also falls this week for one of our good friends, and BBQ legend, Big Moe Cason. It was an honor to have him along for an Irish feast edition of Food Crush sponsored by Pensacola Eggfest.

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McGuire’s Irish Pub first opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood pub in a shopping center. In 1982 McGuire’s moved to its current location; Pensacola’s original 1927 Old Firehouse. Inside the pub you’ll find a turn-of-the-century, New York Irish Saloon themed 615-seat restaurant.

They are celebrated for their atmosphere boasting more than One Million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceilings and walls of the Pub. In 1996, a second location, McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin opened on beautiful Destin Harbor with the same great food and live Irish entertainment.

First things first when you arrive…beer! If you didn’t know, McGuire’s offers fine Ales, Porters and Stouts — all brewed on-premise in their traditional oak and copper brewery. McGuire’s is actually the oldest brewery in Pensacola! It’s not a real trip to McGuire’s if you’re not throwing back a few, so the afternoon was kicked off in the most traditional way possible— round of beers anyone?

Apart from their unforgettable decor and in-house brewery, is the traditional Irish pub fare. Every meal at McGuire’s must start with their 18¢ Senate Bean Soup. The soup boasts the same recipe that was served in the U.S. Senate for 18¢ in 1977. They have been selling this wonderful homemade soup at this price since 1977.

Once you’ve licked your bowl clean, (which trust us, you will) it’s time to move on to their impressive list of appetizers. Here’s our top three.

  • Irish Cockles and Mussels — Steamed clams and mussels in a white wine and garlic butter sauce with some chopped bacon “She wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow crying “Cockles and mussels alive, alive, oh”
  • Irish Boxtys — An old Irish favorite, “Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan; if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man”. Garlic mashed potatoes hand rolled in herbed bread crumbs and flash fried. Served with salsa, guacamole dip and a horse radish sour cream sauce. Do NOT sleep on these dipping sauces.
  • Reuben Eggrolls — Homemade Irish eggrolls with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Served with thousand island dressing for dipping. A McGuire’s original.

After the team warmed up, they moved on to the main event. Their top four picks included:

  • Corned Beef & Cabbage — An emerald isle serving of corned beef with our award-winning sauce from McGuire’s cook book, Kilarney potatoes and honey buttered carrots. The carrots are NOT to be pushed to the side, trust us on this.
  • Jameson Pork Chops — Big Moe Cason’s favorite of the day, so you know it’s good. Grilled French loin pork chops with an Irish whiskey glaze served with homemade grannysmith applesauce.
  • Irish Steak and Mushroom Pie — Choice tenderloin tips baked with wild mushrooms in a strong-flavored cabernet wine demi-glaze and topped with a homemade puff pastry crust, served with a garnish of roasted carrots.
  • Shepard’s Pie — A true Irish country meal. A casserole of ground steak with fresh vegetables topped with smashed Irish potatoes, cheddar cheese and baked to golden brown.

After taking down all that, the team was officially in a food coma state, imagine that? They will have to go back for the famous homemade bread pudding, but the guys did manage to wash it all down with another house brewed stout. Imagine that?

Apart from the food, the afternoon at McGuire’s was particularly perfect because of the hospitality. Big shoutout to Perry Hunter and Michelle at the Politician’s club for taking such great care of the team. Lastly, thank you to Big Moe Cason for spending the afternoon with the Local Pulse Food Crush team — you are welcome back anytime!

Make sure you check out our video review to get the team’s favorite dishes. Happy St. Paddy’s Day Pensacola!

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Elli Gentile is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but Pensacola has always had her heart. She is happiest whilst near the sea and a wanderlust at heart. Elli graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia (MIZZOU) in 2011 and finds joy in not only sharing the stories of others, but sharing her own stories of traveling, conquering cancer and her lust for life. Follow her fun on Instagram @elligentile.