Food Porn: WJ Morrissey’s Irish Pub

Now, I’ve been to WJ Morrisey’s before but that was before I began my journey into food blogging and sadly my first meal at this restaurant probably consisted of some sort of boring chicken sandwich.  That was years ago, and while I didnt remember the food to well, I did remember how much I loved the decor of the place.  It really does look like a (somewhat) authentic Irish pub and, though I have yet to experience this, probably a fantastic place to watch some soccer.  After going to Toronto last month and having an awesome meal at The Duke of Kent, I had an incredible urge to go back to WJ Morrisey’s and try out the “traditional fare” on the menu.

It hurts me to say this, but I really don’t like Guinness.  While I can enjoy a really good stout on occasion, I just don’t think it has a great taste.  But being in an Irish pub I knew that I couldn’t order just any regular beer, so I decided to go with a favorite of mine, Harp (yes I understand the North American version is brewed by Labatt).  What I loved about the Duke of Kent while we were in Toronto is that there was literally nothing boring on their tap menu and thus I was essentially forced into drinking something from England/Ireland/Scotland and I loved it.  I know in Buffalo you are pretty much required to put Bud Light and Labatt on your tap wall, but I would love something more exotic then Guinness and Harp….

Our previous visit to WJ’s involved a really disappointing and burnt to a crisp order of potato pancakes.  Thus we were tentative to try them again. However, we went for it anyway and it turned out to be a good move.  This time they were not burnt in the least and actually might have been the best part of the meal.  I can’t describe them much other than saying they were a very typical yet very deliciously seasoned and perfectly crisp potato pancake.  A very tasty but not filling appetizer that most people will be very happy with.

For our main entrees Alli ordered the Fish and Chips (~ $10) and I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie (~ $12, top picture).  We’ve had several fish fries on Buffalo Eats, and while the term “Fish and Chips” makes an eater assume they are getting something different, compared to Buffalo’s Fish Fry, this was pretty much the same thing.  WJ’s Fish wasn’t horrible but the actual batter was lacking and didn’t have that big crunch that I love.  In my opinion, the more batter the better; I want it basically to look like a gigantic Chicken Finger.  In all fairness, though, the fries were fantastic “pub fries”, thick but still having that crunchy outer shell.

My Shepherds Pie was delicious and I have to admit that it was just as good as my Toronto experience.  The beef wasn’t ground as much as it was sliced but that still worked for me.  It was loaded with peas, green beans and corn all covered in a fantastic brown gravy and covered with a thin shell of mashed potato.  I loved it and I ate every bit of it (while completely ignoring the salad that came on the side) and I caught Alli stealing a few bites here and there.

Overall I have to give WJ Morrisey’s one and a half thumbs up.  We were completely satisfied by the meal and while the beer list wasn’t a abundant as I hoped, I am looking forward to heading back when the World Cup begins to out their Bangers in Mash and Irish Stew.  Sitting directly next to HSBC Arena is a blessing and a curse, pre and post Sabres games I’m sure they are packed.  However, aside form Sabres games and the occasional Bandits game, I didn’t think people would really go downtown to that area.  I was wrong, however, and early on a random Friday night (with no Sabres on TV or playing next door), the place was pretty stocked.  If you have any urge to try out some Irish cuisine, I highly suggest that you go pick up a Restaurant.com certificate (they are good for drinks too!) and go check it out.

WJ Morrissey Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

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