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Dec 21, 2012 10:12 AM

JJ Foley's a good idea for our group?

9 people for dinner tomorrow night. Celebratory occasion, but not a group that wants fancy. 2 youngish kids, 1 toddler included, so a reservation is preferable to just showing up. Honorees like pubs, seafood, Italian. Highland Kitchen would have been ideal, but no reservations on Saturdays. Thought about ICOB and Il Casale, but not available per Open Table.

Closest to meeting my criteria on Open Table (to my eyes) was JJ Foley - I had remembered some positive words on the board here, though that may have been limited to the burger. Is the overall menu pretty good? OK vibe for a family including grandparents and grandkids?

Thanks in advance, hope everybody is enjoying the holiday season.

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  1. In the HK vein, I would say The Gallows would work.

    I have no experience eating at Foley's.

    1. Foley's is fine, but I wouldn't put it in the same league as HK or ICOB. I might try calling these places though. I doubt a lot of places want to book tables for 9 via Opentable. Sticking in the South End, what about Gaslight? I always think that's a good place to bring kids because it's so loud. The free parking is also a plus

      1. I love J.J. Foley's Cafe (the South End one), but it's essentially a century-old tavern with a menu of American bar favorites (wings, nachos, deep-fried snacks), burgers, sandwiches, some Irish-leaning fare (fish and chips, shepherd's pie), and a few quite modest, bistro-ish entrees.

        The restaurant side is family friendly, the original pub side more a "men's bar", with a rail and no stools. Nice prices, a fine old family running it, but it is far less ambitious in food terms than the alternatives you mention. Great as a local hangout, and it gets all kinds there, but it's not a dining destination.

        1. Coincidentally, we were just there this past Sunday for a late lunch (South End). It reminded us we need to go more often. On that blustery day, a better-than-expected Mexican chicken soup, crock of chili, and a goat cheese dip warmed us. A couple of glasses of pleasant malbec, football (watching the Ravens and Giants get clobbered is always a pleasure), and a just-attentive-enough bartender topped it off.

          Definitely not up to culinary snuff as the other restos you mention, but it's not trying to be, either. I can imagine young and old alike would feel right at home.