A local fan favorite, Kildare’s Irish Pub is a small chain here in Northeast PA that serves up a little above average bar food, a great selection of beers on tap and some questionable entertainment on weekend nights.
Kildare’s is one of those places that it may be one of your first stops on a tour of Scranton because all of the advertising that is done to promote it, but it really isn’t more than just your big kid college bar. On weekdays, it is bit more of a reputable location with legitimate food options, good beer and some really good daily deals, but on a Saturday night all of that goes out the window in the name of making some bucks and bringing in the “over 21 crowd” (those quotes are there for a reason) for an all out sketchy dance party. However, on a Sunday, it is a great location to grab a table and watch some football on one of their many flat screen TVs.
One of the best features about Kildare’s is the amount of space that the establishment features. Not only does it have room for a dance floor with a small stage, but it also has an outdoor patio on the first level and then another outdoor deck on the second level which also has a smaller bar. On the indoor first floor, separate from the dance floor is more restaurant type seating with simple hardwood tables and chairs. The decor is simple but very typical of what you would expect from a Americanized Irish Pub.
The menu is actually quite exhaustive and although I think that there appetizers are priced a little bit too steeply (almost as much as other entrees on the menu), the food is always pretty good. They have numerous appetizers, soups, salads, “pubwiches”, burgers and then the most unique section on their menu is the “celtic cuisine”. Essentially, they pay homage to St. Patty’s Day…every day of the year. Pretty cool if you ask me. That section of the menu has items like Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Breakfast and even more inventive things like Guinness Poached Salmon. Although I have never ordered anything off the Celtic Cuisine section of the menu, I have been tempted and the Vegetable Boxty (Roasted Vegetables, Caramelized Onions with Provolone Cheese rolled in an Irish Potato Pancake topped with Basil Pesto) has definitely been calling my name.
On the first evening of Sunday Night Football for the season, my beloved Jets were playing host to the Dallas Cowboys and I thought that I would head over to Kildare’s to watch the game and eat dinner. Surprisingly, it was oddly empty for Sunday night football but I actually preferred that because I would have been slightly embarrassed if numerous people would have been witness to my emphatic cheering. For my meal, I ordered the Veggie cheesesteak which has sautéed vegetables with Melted Provolone, Roasted Red Peppers, Lettuce and Tomato on a Hoagie Roll and they also come with seasoned fries. Everything was tasty, seasoned well and good but it was also definitely a meal that I could have put together and made myself. I was happy because there was squash and mushrooms in the veggie cheesesteak which are key vegetables that sometime go missed in sandwiches like these.
All in all, I definitely do not mind Kildare’s as a spot for Monday Night Quizzo or a casual dinner and drink on a weekday evening; however, unless you are in the mood to feel like a freshmen in college, I would stay away on a Saturday night.