Brendan's Irish Pub
There's an old Irish proverb that goes What butter & whiskey will not cure, there's no cure for. Good food and drink are the perfect remedies for everything. Where should you go? To Brendan's Irish Pub, that is, in Camarillo, Newbury Park and Agoura Hills. Proprietor Brendan Searls opened the one in Newbury Park in October; his Agoura Hills pub opened in March 2012. What a spacious and wonderfully laid back place it is to have a Guinness and chat with a group of friends or to go all out and have a scrumptious Irish meal like corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, shepherd's pie, Kenmare lamb shank or a nice filet. For those of you non=Irish folks, shepherd’s pie is ground beef simmered in Guinness gravy with sautéed peas, carrots and onions then topped with a mashed potato crust. Does it whet your appetite? Well, it should. It’s delectable!
I am of Irish heritage on my mother's side of the family, my grandparents both from County Mayo; Brendan told me he's from County Cork, and from the minute you start conversing with this affable gentleman, it is obvious that he is possessed with a wee bit of the devil. He loves to live life to the max, which means to drink and eat to the fullest, and so has designed his pubs to provide the most ultimate pleasures for every customer. Those who are not familiar with Irish cuisine may take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of menu choices for lovers of good old American grub like burgers-of every kind, salads, salmon, chicken pot pie, fries, onion rings, potato skins and chicken strips. And of course, for folks like I, who prefer to eat a la When in Rome, do as the Romans do, there are delicious Irish appetizers such as corned beef sliders, whiskey wings, blarney beef sliders, drunken mussels as well as potato leek and roasted tomato soups. Other Irish specialties not mentioned before include bangers and mash, fish and chips and steak and mushroom pie. The service is great and the prices surprisingly reasonable. I, of course, ordered a steak, the bone-in blackened ribeye at $28. There's also a filet mignon at $24 and a prime cut sirloin at a mere $18. I could not believe the low prices...and the portions are huge. My ribeye was oh so tender and juicy and covered the plate, served with mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables of broccoli, carrots and zucchini. I had to try the small portion of shepherd's pie, which is a favorite dish of mine on St. Patrick's Day. Big portion, high on flavor! My friend ordered the lamb shank at $20 and raved and raved. He also loved the drunken mussels in Gobshite Ale, and the mixed berry salad.
For dessert, Brendan offers a Sherry trifle, Irish brownie, seasonal fruit cobbler and their famous bread pudding studded with a whiskey glaze. I, chocoholic that I am, had the brownie smothered in vanilla ice cream and my friend, the bread pudding, which I did sample...and yes, it's to die for. I did indulge after dinner with an Irish coffee, another all-time favorite.
As well as Guinness,wine and beer of every kind, sangria, and plentiful mixed drinks, Brendan proudly displays over 200 liquors on shelves near the bar. The ceiling is an attractive and rare copper-colored metallic. We sat at a lovely table, but there are also spacious booths for your dining enjoyment. The restaurant is definitely big with plenty of leg room so you can sit back and enjoy a dynamite meal, lift a glass of your favorite libation and celebrate the Irish traditions. Brendan's Irish Pub is open for lunch and dinner, and I'll definitely be back. Faith n' begorrah!
|with owner Brendan Searls originally from Cork, Ireland and marketing director Tyler Rex|