In Westminster to attend the fantastic “Peepshow” sponsored at the downtown arts center and featuring sculptures, dioramas, posters and movies featuring the classic marshmallow Easter “Peeps” candy, we decided to eat at O’Lordans Irish Pub.
O’Lordans Irish Pub in Westminster occupies a wonderful old stone building that was built around 1865. After the building had stood empty for a number empty for too many years, David and Wendy Johansson (who own and operate Johansson’s Restaurant a short walk away) purchased the building and moved forward with their dream of creating an authentic Irish pub which they opened in 2005/October. The Johansson’s maintained as much of the original building as they could – the heavy wooden beams that you see as you enter the first floor pub are original as well as the 2nd floor wooden floors (along with their 150+ year old creaky sounds!). The “O’Lordans” name is taken from the name of Wendy Johansson’s grandfather who had worked as a stevedore and had a reputation for serving a special red ale to his friends after work.
The pub on the first floor is large and is full of character (more so than you can pick up from a photo). There is an outdoor patio behind the pub that can be a nice place to drink and eat when the weather cooperates! There’s also an upstairs outdoor dining area under awning that offers another opportunity to enjoy outdoor dining.
Upstairs, there are a couple of dining rooms (Noteworthy – there is an elevator if the stairs up to the 2nd floor prove too daunting) The dining rooms leave us feeling like we’ve been transported somewhere back in time and space. The menu is interesting and holds surprises – among a dozen appetizers ($8-$12), you may be surprised by an Irish Egg ($7 – “Seasoned ground lamb & pork wrapped around a hard boiled egg, breaded & deep fried and served with a Lakeshore Irish whiskey mustard”). In addition to Maryland Crab soup, you’ll find a “Leek & Potato” soup topped with bacon and scallions (both $4 a cup). There are half a dozen salads ($7-$12) plus a dozen sandwiches (most $8-$10) that come with fries and cole slaw. There are half a dozen “Irish Classics” ($12-$14) including “Bangers & Mashed”, Shepherd’s Pie and Beef & Guiness Stew. If all that isn’t enough, there are a dozen plus entrees ranging from $17-$25.
It was a tough call but John decided on a New York Strip Salad ($11), Tom opted for a Shrimp Salad Wrap ($10), Jim ordered a Blarney Burger ($10) and Paul daringly ordered the Irish Banger Dog ($8). When our server arrived with our meals, John spied a mound of huge fried onion rings and suspected his buddy Tom had pulled a quick one and somehow ordered a fried onion appetizer. No, no! Those incredible rings were sitting on top of John’s steak salad (half a dozen large slices of beef cooked medium rare as requested lurked between the onions and a bed of Romaine enhanced with portobello mushroom red pepper, tomato and cucumber with a herb vinaigrette. It made for one heck of a Thumbs-Up entree salad!
Tom’s Shrimp Salad wrap was big and stuffed with more shrimp that Tom has seen in some spiced shrimp appetizers he’s had lately. The big pile of lightly spiced, hot waffle fries were a big eye catcher. (John traded one of his fried onion rings and can testify to how good they were). Tom was well pleased with his choice (the wrap was so big that he ended up taking half of it home with him!) and he gave his shrimp salad wrap a “Thumbs Up!”
Jim’s burger was another eye-catcher with a really big grilled 1/2 pound burger topped with smokey blarney cheese and bacon and lettuce and red onion slices (and with roasted garlic mayonnaise.on the side) plus another pile of those delicious waffle fries. Somehow Jim managed to finish most of it off!
Perhaps the most eye catching and biggest surprise was Paul’s Banger Dog! His banger dog was nestled in chewy sub roll but topped with three mounds of piped mashed lurking above sauteed fennel and onions. Oh yeah, there was another pile of those spicy waffle fries!
After a meal like this, there was no room for dessert and that made passing up on an assortment of $5 desserts (including bread pudding, Bailey’s Irish Creme Rice Pudding and Irish Creme Cheesecake!) C’est domage! Perhaps the next time, eh?
FACTS: O’Lordans Irish Pub, Westminster; 14 Liberty Street, http://www.olordansirishpub.com ; Closed on Mondays – open for lunch and dinner Tuesday thru Sunday; on-street parking or in metered adjacent lots; Full bar with wide range of brews; Vegetarian options.