New Potatoes, New Neighbors: Saints’ Spin on Irish Pub Fare
Write drunk, edit…tomorrow. If you prefer to post up at a neighborhood bar until the staff is mopping the floor with its sleep-deprived tears, look no further. (You probably can’t see straight at this point anyway.)
If the Mule is the restaurant that happens to be a great bar, then Saints is the bar that happens to be a great restaurant.
Saints is an Oklahoma City bar that I’m proud of. If you need to show an out-of-towner around, and you’ve exhausted the (4 or 5) tourist attractions, turn your sights to Saints. All of the cocktails are great – house-made ginger beer with your gin, perhaps? You can order something foofy without getting an exaggerated eye-roll or an embarrassing paper umbrella. And all of you no-clear-liquor-for-me die hards will be happy to see a respectable whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and brew selection. There’s decent wine, too. Also, good food when the kitchen’s open. See: meat and potatoes. See: potato famine.
If you are at Saints before 9 pm, you should eat something – half because you’ll need something to soak up the scotch, half because the food is delicious.
Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or eat meat like a proper Irishman eats fists, you’ll have plenty of options on the hearty menu. The Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes have been called by some the best salmon dish, ever. The aptly named Meat and Potatoes and O’Patty Loaf Sandwich will both keep you from starvation for a solid week. The Clover veggie burger gets a lot of love, as does the duck breast and shepherd’s pie. Okay – the whole menu gets a lot of love. And the chocolate molten Guinness cake is way better than kissin’ on the Blarney Stone.
Use your elbows to position yourself for ordering at the bar, or sit back and exercise that Irish-Catholic patience and wait for the bartenders to come take your order. If you’re having trouble picking out a libation, don’t fret – the booze is the real star of Saints. Choose from their consistently excellent seasonal menu, order a classy cocktail (hint: ask for a Gypsy), or trust the knowledgeable bartenders to pour you something respectable and strong.
You can play darts or shuffleboard, enjoy the live music on weekdays, or join your countrymen out on the patio…which turns into a bit of a zoo as the night progresses. (You are the exhibit.) If I had a dollar for every time the night ended with 5 new friends, a round of unidentifiable but delicious shots, and a few phone numbers scribbled on crumpled up receipts….I’d have enough money to pay maybe one of my nightly tabs from Saints. (I’m a whiskey and wine kind of girl, you see, and these things add up.)
Word to the wise: don’t order a drink at last call unless you’re conducting a sort of pop quiz on your liver. The bartenders go from friendly to hard-ass and kick you out about 10 minutes later. These people are trying to close. up. shop. You can’t blame them – emptying a busy bar is like herding drunken sheep.
You’ll take the high road, I’ll take the low road, and we’ll probably get back to Saints at the same time tomorrow.
In the run up to #confluencecon on Saturday, Oct. 26th, I’ll be profiling all of the potential Plaza District eateries where we might go after the conference. You can find my poll and a list of all of the restaurants/bars I’ve profiled so far here.