In the quiet corner of Astor and Knapp, tucked away among the many glorious nineteenth century architectural wonders of Yankee Hill sits the cozy Irish Inn and Pub County Clare. Upon entering Clare, it may look and feel as though you took a Jumbo straight to Ireland, but, rest assured, you are still at home in Milwaukee. Decorated a darling green with Irish greetings and décor to match, the environment is warm and extremely inviting.
As you might have expected, the menu encompasses all of those favorite Irish dishes that make you feel like you are vacationing in an Irish castle. The Irish Inn and Pub that it is, County Clare serves an array of Irish brews. Clare also has your typical soda pops, and also serves Alterra coffee. Unlike other restaurants, however, County Clare has Lilt Irish sodas. Lilt makes “fruit crush” flavors, like pineapple and grapefruit, which is a surprisingly fun citreous blend of the two fruits.
Now getting to the food, the “Starters” portion of the menu has decadent appetizers like splendid dumplings or crispy Rueben rolls. Clare’s menu offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and a main course. The sandwiches are your typical authentic Irish dishes, like the Rueben and corned beef. Sandwiches are served with your choice of fries, the potato of the day, or cottage cheese. As for the main courses, these classics include Irish stew, salmon, steak, and my personal favorite, Shepherd’s pie. This marvelous pie is filled with seasoned beef, carrots, onions, and peas, and then topped with homemade mashed potatoes, not from the famine. It is cooked until perfectly golden brown.
Friday is for fish fry (try saying that three times fast!). Splendid ale-battered cod is perfect for any Milwaukeean, and it is served with coleslaw and fries. Also, a special served only on Sundays is the Irish Breakfast. From eleven to three you can get “Irish bangers,” which are Galtee sausages, a rasher, which is Galtee Irish bacon, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, “Baby cakes,” Clonakiltee Irish Black and White pudding and a slice of bread. This breakfast is sure to fill you up, but make sure you leave room for dessert!
After you are finished with your meal, there is only one thing to do: get dessert! The Irish cheese cake is amazing if you like rich desserts. For a little lighter taste, you could try the Irish bread pudding, covered with a warm whiskey sauce and drizzled with caramel.
County Clare is a lovely getaway from the everyday, with great food and friendly faces. It is decently priced, usually $15 or less a plate unless you want a steak, which is only a little more expensive. If you are ready for some amazing Irish food, jump on either the Route 10 or 30 bus (map)and enjoy a great meal at County Clare! For more information, check out their website.