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Does "Pub" just never = good food ?

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Sunday afternoons....especially football season... I just love to go to a pub, have some nice atmosphere, drinks and some decent food. My circle, friends and family all love a good pub, so I don't think I'm looking for the "Non-existent". I've often lamented on how I could do it so much better... nice beers, a few drinks and some home cooked meals. You just don't need to be all things to all people with a pub. A burger for instance.. why can't they make their own, so that pub burgers are not hard packed, frozen hockey pucks?
Soft pat your own.. a little salt and pepper... and that's heaven. Or shepards pie.. its so darn simple, but don't use frozen, premade taters.. or a turkey sandwich ... Wassup with deli turkey ??? Just roast a couple turkeys and you've got some all purpose meals. A turkey sandwich, turkey dinner, turkey potpie, turkey croquettes.... . And decent fish & Chips....And just some nice fresh fries... I wedge a tater at home, blanch it..season it, rub with oil and bam..in the oven at 450....they're great. And dessert...bread pudding or a good homemade brownie with ice cream. I just don't get why there are no decent pubs with a small home-cooking menu and a cozy good atmosphere. It seems simple... small menu....good home-cooked food. There...I've ranted. Now I'm going to a pub for some drinks and "frozen" preformed, styrofoarm-looking food before the Pat's game.....sigh !

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  1. There are a few pub-type spots that do good pub grub locally. I'd suggest O'Sullivan's in Somerville (for burgers), Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village, River Gods or Miracle of Science in Cambridge, or Audubon Circle in Boston near Kenmore Square. Unfortunately, I don't think most of them have a TV to watch the Sox or Pats.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bachslunch

      Also in Cambridge:

      The Druid (Inman) - my favorite pub burger in town, the ground beef is of excellent quality, made even better with the addition of fresh herbs. Great, fairly thick-cut fries too. I've never tried any of the other dishes, but they've looked really appealing as they've passed by.

      Christopher's (Porter) - a little large and a little fancy to qualify as a pub, but the beer selection is great, and the hamburgers are made with Coleman hormone-free beef. Their hamburger rolls are a notable low point (un-toasted and bland), and the wedge fries are hit or miss, but great when fresh.

      Both places have [not particularly gigantic] TVs and tend to show Sox and Pats games.

    2. I hear you man. I had a nice Shepard's pie @ JJ Foley's in the South End recently. Bartending is "old-school"(they say hi, introduce themselves and care) which I like a lot. It sounds like it will fit the bill for you. Other thoughts are Coda and Anchovies. Both have TV's and decent food. We'd need to check on Sunday hours before heading there to watch a game. Go Patriots.

      1 Reply
      1. re: XBG07

        I second the thumbs-up on the Shepard's Pie at Foley's. It's great.

      2. Everything you've mentioned takes labor, not necessarily skilled but for a restaurant to be successful they have to be consistent to get repeat business. That could mean consistently excellent or consistently mediocre.Labor is hard to find, good labor nearly impossible to keep. It's much easier to have Sysco be the head chef.

        1. There are a number of pubs out there with good food. CF Donovan's in Dorchester, Cronin's in Quincy, the New Brown Jug in Chelsea, O'Sullivan's in Somerville, Waterfront Cafe in the North End, just to name a few. And all of those places have TVs with Sox and Pats games on.

          1. Publick House in Brookline has a huge selection of beers and fantastic food. I believe they have tv in the bar (there was lots of cheering when I was in the other day, so that's what I assumed it was).

            1. Donahue's, Coolidge Sq., Watertown: http://www.donohuesbar.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: Taralli

                I agree. The food at Donohue's is a step up from your basic pub grub. Good wings, decent burritos, Very good nachos. The place gets packed, though, when there is a big game on.

              2. I agree that Mat Murphy, the Publick House, Miracle of Science, and Audubon Circle all have much better than average food for a bar/pub. I also like the Plough and Stars, the Burren, and even Bukowski's and the Lower Depths (which I've learned are owned by the same people). I can't say if these are good for sports as I'm not a sports fan, Plough and Stars might be best for this, I think the others have either small or no TVs.

                1. The Plough and Stars in Cambridge does very good food. You'd need to call to ensure the tv would be tuned in to American style football, not footie, but you wouldn't see a sysco fry there.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yumyum

                    Nothing beats the Newbridge - Its in Chelsea but near the Revere Line. Great steak tips, salads, ribs, its all good and made right.

                  2. The Thirsty Scholar in Cambridge has great sunday brunch and great Irish pub food. I'll agree that the Druid in Inman is also great.

                    1. I'll also suggest the Quiet Man Pub in S Boston for steak tips and other grilled goodies.

                      1. Also add The Squealing Pig (Brigham Circle). I've only been once, but I enjoyed it and it gets mostly positive reviews here. Pressed sandwiches and pizzas.