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O’Doherty’s Irish Grille

All American Burger

O’Doherty’s Irish Grille is a bar that understands how much atmosphere counts. It’s the kind of place that transports you to Ireland when you walk in, especially when there’s live Irish music, or some poor sod standing on the bar belting out a tune so they can add their dollar bill to the thousands covering the walls.

Besides the vibe and imported Irish beers, O’Doherty’s Irish Grille serves traditional pub fare alongside American classics. I’ve been to O’Doherty’s many times in the past, but I usually go for the traditional stuff. After all, I can get the American stuff anywhere, and when in Rome, right?

This time I walked in with a different purpose: To eat their All American Burger and see if the American food at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille stacks up to the Irish food, and to the competition.

The Burger

The menu says the All American Burger comes with “cheddar cheese and patriotism!” While I can’t speak to the patriotism, the burger did indeed come with cheddar cheese, as well as lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a lightly toasted bun. It also came with a pickle spear, and grilled onions are available upon request.

It looked wonderful, with a thick hand-formed patty completely covered in delightfully melted cheddar cheese. The bun wasn’t anything terribly special, and must have been stored in a cold place, because it was noticeably colder than room temperature. It had been grilled, but only barely.

The patty tasted great and had no pink. In fact, all of the ingredients together tasted really good and seemed to be quite fresh.

One thing did leave me a little flummoxed, though. The meat had a flavor I really liked at first, but by the end I was pretty tired of. Trouble is, I can’t figure out what that flavor was. It was kind of sweet, and may have been minced onions. Either way, I liked it, but felt like it was a bit overpowering by the end. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor of this burger!

The Fries

Alongside my All American Burger was a small pile of steak fries. I say small pile, but with steak fries, even a small pile is a lot of potato.

They had a nice hot temperature—in fact, I almost burned my mouth on the first bite! I was pleased to see they stayed hot through most of the meal.

They had hardly any grease, but they also weren’t terribly crisp, a problem from which many steak fries suffer.

I disliked the seasoning on the fries, which was inconsistently applied and often overpowering. I would really rather have just had salt.

The Price

The All American Burger at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille is just shy of $10 before tax.

Mine tasted great and filled me up, so I’d say it’s a good value. Add in the fun atmosphere, and you can’t go wrong.

The Restaurant

It was a slow day when I went in, but to be fair, it was at a weird time on a Tuesday, so I’m not surprised there weren’t more people in the restaurant.

I grabbed a seat and my order was promptly taken by a waitress who, although polite, didn’t seem to have any warmth in her. Not that I expected her to sit down and have a conversation, but she was distant and all business. I don’t think she smiled once, and barely made eye contact.

The bartender, on the other hand, was jovial, and shouted across the room to have a conversation with me. I found out later he’s Tim O’Doherty, the general manager. He was a really nice guy, and eventually stopped by my table to chat briefly. He was funny and, as I said, very nice. If the food hadn’t been good, I would probably go in again just to hang out and talk with him.

I mentioned the aesthetic before, and while sometimes things are bit on-the-nose, it feels like the U.K. pubs I’ve visited. When there’s live music, the place really hops, but even when the music is coming from the overhead speakers, it still fits the mood of the restaurant—even when the music is not Irish.

The walls are covered with posters and memorabilia, but it all takes a backseat to the (literally) thousands of dollars in one dollar bills tacked to nearly every conceivable surface that isn’t a table or chair. Come to think of it, I haven’t looked under and of the tables or chairs, so maybe there are some there too. Want to get a dollar bill with your name on it on the wall? It’s simple, you just have to stand on the bar and sing a song. Any song. Seriously, I’ve seen people sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat before.

Speaking of the tables and chairs, they were clean when I was there, but there was definitely a lack of attention to detail, especially in hard to reach places.

The bathroom was uncomfortable, not because it was dirty (actually, I think it was cleaner than I’ve ever seen it before, and nowhere near as rundown as it used to be), but because it’s so cramped. It makes me wonder what the women’s bathroom is like.

O’Doherty’s Irish Grille is a fun bar with good food and great beer. It’s the kind of place you want to go when you’re with a group of friends, but you’ll still fit right in even if you’re by yourself. Stop in, have a pint, have a bite, sing a song, and enjoy the friendly Irish atmosphere.

But God help you if you go in on St. Patrick’s Day.

O’Doherty’s Irish Grille
525 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 747-0322

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