Most parents with kids-in-tow tend to steer clear of pubs on St. Patty's Day, even if they're all-ages establishments. Brilliantly, there are 364 days each year when Emerald City pubs aren't solely dedicated to the Emerald Isle. Now that March 17, 2013, is 352 days away, there's plenty of time to meander to the excellent, family-friendly Mulleady's Irish Pub in Magnolia.
Mulleady's dark wood tables and stone fireplace are brightened up by a large skylight in the middle of the room. Kids are allowed in the main dining area until 9 p.m., and on a recent Friday evening, the bar was lined with people and most tables were full. A few families were spread amongst the crowd, and the mellow setting seemed to soothe younger diners into a happy daze.
Or maybe it was the after-effect of the shepherd's pie, with cheesy whipped potatoes baked in a ramekin over lamb and root veg, plated with a pile of greens on the side. Deceptively small in appearance, the meaty dish plumps in the stomach. Same goes for the toad in the hole--a micro-meatfest served warm in an iron skillet. Braised pork and sausage are plopped onto bubbly Yorkshire Pudding and doused with pork gravy.
Expect gussied up, Northwest-inspired twists on the menu, like soda bread made from Washington-sourced red and emmer wheat flours and poutine with Beecher's flagship. Parents be warned--bring a snack side of snap pea crisps or edamame if you can. Most of the veggies on the menu (besides lettuce) are either sprinkled on top of a mound of tasty carbs or served as a side of universally kid-disapproved Brussels sprouts.
The barkeep mixes some interesting adult drinks, including a slew of love 'em or hate 'em "beer cocktails" like the Ginger Shandy, blending Maritime lager and kicky ginger beer. Or the perky Beer-Mosa, with fresh oj sweetening crisp, citrusy Hoegardeen.