Meghan MacMurphy’s

Categories: All American, Casual, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 10, 2010

This place is PACKED most nights during good weather.  Why?  It’s an Irish-themed bar with outdoor patio service!  On Rt 57 (aka Oswego Rd) in Liverpool, across from the Kmart, this location has been several restaurants over the years.  I remember the first time I ate at a restaurant here, the waitresses were on skates.

But I digress. . .

While Meghan MacMurphy’s is primarily a bar, they also serve food.   I was heading back from visiting a client around 1:30 and thought I’d stop in for a bite.  A few small businesses share the main lot, but there were only a couple cars when I dropped by.  I don’t know how the other businesses are doing, but there was only one customer when I arrived, and he was at the bar tipping a few back.

I was greeted by a waiter as I stepped in.  He offered to seat me at the bar, but I opted for a booth in the back instead.  I was promptly furnished with unsweetend iced tea and a menu.  I had a chance to look around the main dining area, which is about 3/4 the size of the main bar area.  They have a ton of very colorful photographs, ostensibly of the “auld sod.”  Then he was back, and I placed my order.

About 10 years ago, I got a bug up my butt about soup – I love it, and order it just about whenever it’s available.  I’m a fiend for French onion, and I’d heard about theirs.  I ordered a crock, along with a “buffalo bender wrap.”  Delivery of the soup wasn’t instantaneous, nor did I expect it to be.  But it wasn’t much more than five minutes, and the crock was delivered.

Outside of a very snazzy restaurant in NYC in the ’80s, this is by far the best French onion soup I’ve ever had.  Most places ruin it with salt.  I’m not sure if the cooks have been tasting too many different dishes, or they’re too cheap to use quality ingredients, or what.  But this was fantastic.  The main stock flavors were wine an caramelized onion.  The bread and cheese were only there to hold up a pile of fried onions (think French’s Onion Sticks, only round and much, much better).  I couldn’t resist, and mixed everything together.

It tasted great.  It smelled wonderful.  Heck, even the mouthfeel was excellent!  The balance of liquid to onion/bread/cheese was almost like a lightly crunchy pudding.  The soup onions fell apart in my mouth, while the fried ones still snapped lightly after being mixed into the broth.  It took me a good 15 minutes to eat it – I was still working on it when my wrap arrived.  If you read no further – go for the French onion soup.

The wrap arrived as advertised.  The wrap itself was “Southwest” flavored, supposedly.  It certainly looked red and spicy.  I tried a bite of just the wrap – maybe my palate was overwhelmed by the soup, but I didn’t detect much of a flavor to it.

Inside was a mix of packaged chicken fingers tossed in hot sauce, Romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes and creamy (on the verge of runny, really) bleu cheese dressing.  It was cross-sectioned into two pieces, each of which filled my large hand quite nicely.  If I’d ordered just the wrap, I doubt if I’d have left hungry.  It also came with fries – I try not to eat them because I really don’t need to add even more salt and grease to my diet.  I had a few, and they were adequate.

The only negative was the frozen-batter aftertaste from the tenders.  But it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t eat it – I just noticed it after swallowing each bite.  The bleu almost made the insides too runny, but there were enough chunks of the cheese to make up for it.

By the time I was ready to leave, several more parties had arrived.  Eavesdropping, they seemed to be getting the same polite, efficient service I’d had.  If I can say anything negative about the waiter, it was that he obviously wanted to spend more time with the hot, young barmaid than he did with us out on the floor, and I certainly don’t blame him.  She was attractive and chatty, and the rest of us were hungry (or thirsty) and older.  Ahh, youth!

Lunch was a whopping $12.10 – certainly within reason for such a large and excellent crock of French onion.   I left another couple bucks as a tip, and waddled out.

About the only place I can tolerate crowds while dining is in NYC, so I doubt I’ll go back at night any time soon.  But I’d certainly be willing to try a burger or sandwich for lunch there again.  Along with another crock of French onion, of course.


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