$29 and Under: Parting Glass accompanies Irish music with good food

You probably know of The Parting Glass, the Irish pub and restaurant on Lake Avenue that’s been run

The Parting Glass

WHERE: The Parting Glass, 40-42 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs. 583-1916 or www.partingglasspub.com

WHEN: Open 7 days, at 10 a.m. for Irish breakfast. The kitchen stays open after midnight

HOW MUCH: $28.33, before tip.

MORE INFO: Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Children’s menu available. Parking lot in rear of restaurant. Reservations accepted.

You probably know of The Parting Glass, the Irish pub and restaurant on Lake Avenue that’s been run by the same family since 1981. You may know it for the live traditional Irish and American folk music they present, or as a spot for a cold beverage.

My pal JoAnn and I stopped by for lunch one day to see about the food.

On a warm summer afternoon, the dining room at The Parting Glass was cool and comfortable, the wood paneling all around and on the ceiling gives the restaurant the feeling of an authentic Irish pub. I imagine that makes it cozy in the winter, too.

Lest you forget where you are, lively Irish music reminds you. JoAnn and I sat ourselves in a roomy wooden booth and in a short time a server brought us menus and took our drink order.

“People come here for the burgers,” said JoAnn, who has stopped by here before for a bite after work. So I ordered a burger. They start at $8.99 for a half pound of meat, including fries, and for just a bit more, you can add toppings and upgrade the fries. I upgraded to onion rings for another 50 cents.

Skipping the diet

Since we were at an Irish pub and had to sample menu items including Irish fries and chicken wings, the diets went out the window. Yes, I am a hypocrite, but I’ll be back on it again very soon. The Parting Glass offers healthy fare like salads and veggie wraps, by the way. We ignored them.

The fish and chips are extremely popular, according to Susan Thomas, one of the owners, as are the Reuben sandwich and Thursday night corned beef and cabbage. JoAnn opted for the fish and chips ($9.99.)

We were eagerly anticipating our fried food feast, so we were happy to see our friendly and well-trained server returning promptly.

JoAnn started with a small tossed salad ($3.99) with blue cheese dressing, and it was a picture: fresh mixed greens, bright red tomatoes, just enough cucumber, red onion and carrot shreds. It was perfectly fresh and perfectly beautiful. JoAnn liked the blue cheese dressing, which came in a small plastic cup on the side, and according to her, perfectly delicious.

My burger came cooked just as I asked, although they forgot to toast the roll. The lettuce and slice of tomato were as good as the rest of the vegetables we’d seen, but I headed straight for the onion rings. They were piping hot, battered thin slices of rings, which look so nice when they’re piled up. Nicely browned and very good, I thought, as did JoAnn, who agreed to trade rings for fries.

The Parting Glass has a respectable burger on a sturdy roll, but it wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever had. It was good, just right for a burger at an Irish pub. I’d planned to eat half, but ended up finishing it. JoAnn, who has enjoyed a Parting Glass burger, compared it to a national chain. “I’d rather have a burger here,” she concluded.

Fish and chips

The fish and chips order is a plank of deep-fried flaky white fish atop a plastic basket filled with waffle fries, a beautiful sight. JoAnn slipped the fish onto a plate and it was so tender it started to break apart. She headed for the golden brown fries first. “These are very good,” she said, putting some on my plate and taking another onion ring. The fries were very crunchy and I liked them too, with lots of ketchup.

JoAnn didn’t care for the flavor of the batter on the fish, but that’s a matter of personal preference. It looked crisp and was a deep brown color, cooked just right. The fish was delicate, white and flaky.

At about this time we were starting to feel full, so we skipped dessert. The tab for the meal came to $28.33, with a beverage, before tip. So if you go to The Parting Glass for the entertainment, it’s nice to know that you can also get a good meal and dependable service.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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