Ever since W.J. McBride’s closed there hasn’t been a shepherd’s pie in this town worth a damn thing. I’ve been trying to find an “Irish pub” here that served a decent plate of it and as of last night I’m 0 for 2.
I’ve got things to do so I’m not going to elaborate very much, but what kind of freaking Irish place serves risotto?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking Irish pub, and the band was playing “Whiskey in the Jar” and such, and our bartender was cool. But my wife’s fish and chips came in a metal vase/basket, and the “pie” was basically a round “cake” of ground beef under a matching hockey-puck of what tasted like instant potatoes, all resting in a puddle of some kind of sauce.
Shepherd’s Pie is one of those meals that’s supposed to stick to your ribs, put hair on your chest, and make you gain 10lbs before it even gets to your table. This version, however, was more like something served by a French chef whose Irish boss is banging his wife. It’s almost as if the chef resents having it on the menu to such a degree that he felt the need to create a hostile parody of the dish in the same way that Satanists parody the Catholic church with their Black Mass.
I don’t consider myself to be a restaurant critic, and frankly don’t care for hoity-toity food-as-art. I’m still pissed about the $300 bill from Picasso’s in Vegas for some goddamn pigeon and a thimble of rice. But the appeal of Irish cuisine is that it’s basically celtic comfort food. And this dish was about as comfortable as a Jewish family at a Farrakhan rally.
Is there any “Irish” place in KC that can get it right?