Sure and begora! What a fine and crispy fried chicken you'll be findin' at Pat's Bar and Grill.
Pat's has been a Dogtown institution for decades. Patrick Connolly, originally of Ireland's County Galway, opened his bar in 1942. After Connolly's death, his bartender, Tom McDermott, owned the place for many years. Connolly's daughter and her husband, Paul, took the helm in the early 1980s, and longtime bartender Joe Finn became the proprietor in 2000. Today Joe and his wife, Tyann, are the keepers of Pat's tried-and-true traditions.
Pat's modest building is located on Oakland Avenue at Tamm Avenue, across the street from Turtle Park. Inside you'll find lots of dark wood, the requisite touches of green and the homey feel of a well-established pub.
Neighborhood regulars frequent Pat's, but office workers who are on their lunch hours and folks who are on their way to or from nearby Forest Park are just as likely to be found in the aging booths or at the bar. Multiple TVs keep sports fans entertained and, true to the neighborhood's Irish roots, pints of Guinness flow freely.
While the menu offers variety, including salads, sandwiches and grilled items, Pat's fried foods have been the main draw for years. Fried chicken livers, shrimp, whole catfish, cod and even brains are available. But loyal fans are most likely to order one of Pat's fried chicken dinners (there are several versions and sizes).
We visited on a Sunday evening and ordered the specialty one-half fried chicken ($6.95). The breast, thigh, drumstick and wing were large - not the puny sorts sometimes served elsewhere, and more than enough for all but the heartiest appetites. The golden brown coating was especially crispy, and the moist chicken tasted great. Truly cooked to order, the chicken was served piping hot from the frying pan. We also ventured, somewhat reluctantly, beyond the confines of the fried chicken dinner choices. The broiled cod ($7.50) was appropriately flaky and had a mild and pleasant flavor, although the portion was relatively small.
Entrees come with a choice of potato and a choice of soup, salad or cole slaw. House made potato chips (these or onion rings add 95 cents to the dinner price) were hot, crisp and not at all greasy. House-made mashed potatoes were the real thing and were served with a tasty pool of brown gravy.
Unfortunately, the vinegar-based slaw was a little ordinary, and the unseasoned and nearly tasteless green beans were canned or frozen.
Pretending our fried-food quotas had not already been met, we shared Pat's unique and slightly shocking dessert, deep-fried cheesecake ($3.95). Our sinful sweet featured banana cheesecake wrapped in pastry, deep-fried and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. The dessert looked a little like a jelly roll and tasted like a fresh cinnamon doughnut with a cool, creamy cheesecake center.
It's worth noting that Pat's offers a great opportunity for savings when you're dining with kids. With Pat's special dine-in-only deal, a child (12 or under) can eat for free from the special kids' menu when accompanied by an adult who orders an entree or sandwich (the offer is limited to one child per adult). You'll also find a reasonably-priced Sunday brunch at the popular tavern.
Pat's Bar and Grill is a good choice for the simple comforts of unpretentious, inexpensive bar food. And if you like home-style fried chicken, a visit to Pat's is a must. Lads and lasses, you'll be joinin' a tradition 60 years in the makin'.
IF YOU GO:
What: Pat's Bar and Grill
Where: 6400 Oakland Avenue at Tamm Avenue (across from Turtle Park in Dogtown)
Hours: Kitchen - 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday. Baruntil 1:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday; until Midnight, Sunday. Sunday brunch: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wheelchair access: Yes
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