Maloney’s Pub & Grill

117 Main Street, Matawan, NJ

 

 

Maloney’s Pub & Grill on Main Street in Matawan, NJ is a difficult pub to writeabout for me. I like the pub, I go there about once a month, but they make it pretty difficult.  I want to love the place. It looks right, it feels right, but the service and food need improvement and consistency.

The owners genuinely want to have a real Irish feel, but it’s a little hard when business is slow. Not too many of the clientele care about an Irish atmosphere and you don’t want to drive away the regulars. So I can understand their dilemma.

Next, the layout. Maloney’s, split into three sections, has a bar area with table seating, a section of booths and a table area. The L-shaped bar can seat around 20 people and there are about 8 tables. I really like the hurley sticks by the bar tables. They also have Guinness mirrors and posters of Irish pubs. It truly looks nice.

Maloney's Pub Bar

Eight six-person booths are located behind the bar tables. This area is great if you’re looking for a secluded are for a date or a family dinner where you don’t have to shout to the person next to you. Each booth has it’s own picture of Ireland or a framed poem.

The dining area has about 20 tables that seat 4 people. Framed Guinness posters are the big decorations here, along with a personal touch. The owner’s father-in-law served in the military and the flag from his funeral, along with a plaque serve as a nice centerpiece in the room, honoring his memory and everyone else serving or who has served our country.

The food is hit or miss. Sometimes you get a meal that you expect at a five star restaurant, and other times, not even close. I don’t

Maloney's Booth Seating

understand the inconsistency, but I wonder what kind of food I’m going to get when I order a hamburger. I went there when it first opened in 2009 and I had my typical bangers and mash and it was spectacular. That was the only time in two years that Maloney’s had it in stock. They even took most of their Irish dishes off the menu. The menu now is very I was there, they ran out of corned beef. The well-done burger I ordered instead was was burnt. I know, I ordered it well done, but there is a huge difference between well done and burnt. When I inquired about it, I was told “Well maybe you wanted it medium.”

Maloney’s strong point is their variety of beer. They offer 40 beers on tap and even more bottled. The problem is they claim to offer 250 beers, but that includes seasonal beers and

Bar Area Seating

beers that they only carry when they have it. Maloney’s still offers a wide variety of beer, but not as much as they advertise. The Guinness is o.k. Nothing great, but o.k. It’s not served in the 20oz tulip glass, or even the 16oz Guinness glass, just a regular American pint glass. Only one person there can get the pour right, otherwise you get half a glass of foam. So again, Maloney’s comes up iffy.

Kevin Guerin and Round the House Band play there once a month on a Sunday evening. That’s the only time I normally go and the place is near empty other than the group I go with.

All in all, it’s worth the risk, but if you get a meal not up to par, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Then again, it could come out extraordinary. Til next time.

Slainte,

EJ

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Mannion’s Irish Pub

Mannion's Entrance

 

 

 

Located in Sommerville, NJ, Mannion’s Irish Pub has captured the Irish spirit to create an awesome pub in northern Jersey. Mannion’s is separated into two rooms, the Bar, and a dining area. While not a big as the Blackthorn, Mannion’s reminds me of a pub you would find in the city. It’s only logical that a man from Galway, a city with great night life, would replicate a pub from his home town.

The outside resembles a storefront that you would see in McDonagh’s along their street wall. The tables outside are right on the sidewalk and a perfect place to sit as the sun sets. Luckily for me, I got the same view inside the dining room at a table against the window. Mannions does not have much table-style seating available in the restaurant area, but offer plenty of booths that seclude you from other guests, perfect for a

Mannion's Dining Room

romantic evening or a night out with the family. The lack of decorations in the dining area adds to the authenticity of the decor, because true Irish pubs don’t fill every inch of wall space they have. Pictures of Ireland displayed in between the wall lamps adequately decorate the room, but do not create a distraction.

The bar area is just a nice. The walls are a little more cluttered than the dining area, but it’s a bar, so it’s allowed to be more over the top. You con prop yourself up at the bar, sit along the counter opposite of the bar or in a seating area with five tables, great to get the bar atmosphere while enjoying a meal.

Mannion's Bar

The food was more than satisfactory.  The generous serving of fish and chips was more than I could finish, which should speak in volumes. Mannion’s serves some of the best fish and chips I’ve had this side of the Atlantic. You get three cuts of beer-battered fish, each about eight to nine inches long and thick too. They aren’t over-breaded to add to the thickness, you get your fair share of fish. The fish comes served on a mound of steak fries with a side of tartar sauce and lemon slices, a feast for $10.

 

The Willie Lynch Band plays at Mannion’s as well. I’m not too familiar with Mannion’s, but they do have a Clubhouse upstairs that’s more of an American bar where they offer karaoke once a week. From my short time there, I definitely recommend it for a meal.

Slainte,

EJ