St. Patrick’s Day at O’Connor’s

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, probably second only to Thanksgiving (for obvious reasons). As a kid, I celebrated with my parents at our friends Claire and Brendan’s restaurant, O’Connor’s, in Worcester. There were always multiple Irish bands, so it was fun even though I was too young to drink!

Now that I am of drinking age and living back in the Boston area, I thought it was only fitting to go back for their St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year. So, I put on my green “Irish I Were Drunk” t-shirt, and off we went for some delicious food and beer.

The bar was mobbed by the time we got there around 5. Luckily some drunk nice men gave us their seats at the bar as they were leaving. We took full advantage and parked ourselves there for the rest of the night.

I felt like I needed to have at least one pint of Guinness. Even though it was an expert pour, I’m still an IPA girl at heart. After the Guinness, I switched to an IPA from the Berkshire Brewing Company. Matt was feeling a little more Irish than me, so he went with some Smithwick’s.

Matt ordered some Boxty Cakes, which are potato pancakes flecked with scallions. They’re crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and are incredibly flavorful for being so simple. When I’m ordering an entree at O’Connor’s, one of my favorites is the chicken and broccoli in a mustard cream sauce served over the boxty cakes – it’s just as good as it sounds!

Instead of ordering entrees this time, my mom and I opted for a bunch of appetizers to pick on throughout the night. We started with Brendan’s Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza. While delicious at any time, this might be the world’s best drunk food. It begins with a layer of potato skins, and is topped with cheese, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, red pepper, and scallions.

It comes with a creamy dipping sauce. I’m not exactly sure what’s in it, but it’s a genius combination. I only hope my dark, blurry pictures do it justice.

We ordered the Buffalo Chicken Fingers a little while later. Their version has just the right amount of spice, the chicken is incredibly moist, and it’s all covered in plenty of sauce (I hate when restaurants skimp on the buffalo sauce!).

All of the bartenders and servers were dressed up for the occasion, and did a surprisingly great job of dealing with the crowds at the bar with smiles on their faces! Our’s nicely agreed to a picture.

Our final appetizer was “Lucey’s” Baked Corned Beef Shillelagh Sticks. These little rolls of puff pastry filled with corned beef hash are absolutely addicting. The buttery, crunchy pastry perfectly complements the savory, meaty filling. They’re also served with a creamy Colman’s mustard and honey sauce for dipping.

Here is my mom and me, fully taking advantage of the bling they were handing out at the bar. Thanks to Claire, Brendan, and everyone at O’Connor’s for a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day! They always know how to make everyone feel at home at their restaurant, no matter how busy it gets.

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