Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jovial Roving

The Wild Rover
21 Kosciuszko Street
Manchester, NH

Hours: Mon. 4 PM-1AM, Tues.-Fri. 11:30 AM-1 AM, Sat.-Sun.: Noon-1 AM
Alcohol: Extensive Beer List
Food: Irish Pub Food

New Englanders, especially Bostonians, take their Irish pubs seriously.

After all, pretty much everyone in Boston who's not a student from Pakistan is named Murph or Sully, and they like getting hammered at a place where everyone knows their name.

So imagine my shock that New England Cable News named what my friend Woody calls, "the Irish pub on the Polish street in the French city" as the best Irish pub in New England.

Or that the Boston Globe named it one of the ten best Irish pubs in New England.

Since their dining room isn't really set up for sports, they run a happy hour on weekends from 12-6, with half-priced apps and a dollar off beer.

Some friends of mine meet there on Saturday afternoons when they're in town, and I went to visit with them and kick back a couple beers recently.

Like any Irish pub, they push the Guinness hard, including a display at every table with all their "Guinness and. . ." combinations, such as the "Snake Bite," which is Guinness and cider, or the "Black and Blue," which is Guinness and Blue Moon.

Needless to say, many stick to the Guinness and Guinness, which is known as "Guinness."

The joint has two sides: the restaurant and the bar , and there's a lot more sports memorabilia in the bar (including the obligatory signed Cam Neely jersey).

Since I was over in the restaurant, my table was right by a display on the firefighters' union's fife and drum corps.

Being that it was happy hour, I was ordering off the appetizer menu (the App Store, if you will), and I opted for the steak quesadilla special ordered with mushrooms in lieu of peppers, jalapenos and onions.

For $4, it was one of the better food deals I've had in a while.

It was not only cheap but also very tasty and big enough that I wasn't left wanting more, and they don't skimp on the meat like a lot of places.

Best of all, the waitress was not only attractive, but she also remembered that I like extra sour cream, even though I forgot to ask and I hadn't been there in a couple months.

I was impressed.

Other times I've been, I've enjoyed the Irish potato skins, which are basically cheesy pub fries with bacon and broccoli on it. Somehow the broccoli manages to actually add something to the bacon, cheese and potato.

The menu's otherwise pretty simple and basic, but it's done well.

All in all, it's not bad to stumble out of a place having had two beers and a good full meal for $14, including a good tip, and I managed to do just that here.

I'm sure Murph and Sully would approve, even if it's at least an hour from Southie.

Rating: Bought the Shirt


  1. Sounds like a great pub- I'll have to check it out next time I'm up there... but that Top 10 list has got it all wrong- they left off THE BEST Irish Pub... Doyles in Jamaica Plain... next time you're up that way- check it out and review it for us :D