Pennsylvania’s Americana Region may be known for its PA Dutch heritage and delicacies, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of Irish food choices in the area. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we compiled a list of traditional Irish and European fare that you can expect to find at authentic Irish pubs in Berks County.
While some may argue that scotch eggs originated in Scotland, there are many contradicting speculations as to where this dish actually started. Regardless of its origins, if you were to travel to Ireland, you would undoubtedly find the hard-cooked egg encased in ground sausage, then deep- fried, featured on the menu of many Irish pubs.
Leek and Potato Soup
Nothing warms you up like a bowl of soup on a cold March day, and in keeping with our Irish food theme, make that Leek and Potato soup. The traditional recipe sounds simple enough. It calls for potatoes and leeks, of course, onions, butter, seasonings, chicken stock, and peas — but when the ingredients are combined, the outcome is delicious! Irish stew may be more popular, but leek and potato soup should not be underrated!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
What would St. Patrick’s Day be without Corned Beef and Cabbage? It’s a fact, folks everywhere, with or without Irish roots, will sit down to a meal of the hearty combination on St. Patrick’s feast day. There’s no need to prepare corn beef and cabbage yourself. Irish pubs and restaurants across Berks County are sure to be serving this traditional dish. You might want to order a green beer or two to go with the salt-cured beef brisket and cabbage pairing.
Fish N’ Chips
When you think of authentic Irish food, you might think of Fish N’ Chips. Fresh cod fillets battered and fried, served with fries is a staple in Ireland and the UK. The crisp and flaky dish paired with tartar sauce is sure to please any palate.
To many, the ultimate Irish comfort food is Shepherd's Pie — savory ground lamb, onion, carrots, and peas seasoned with rosemary and thyme, then covered with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and baked to a golden perfection. We apologize if we just made your mouth water, but you can satisfy your taste buds when you order this dish at one of the local Irish pubs.
Bangers and Mash
If you’re not a fan of shepherd’s pie, you can get your fill of mashed potatoes by ordering bangers and mash instead. The entree consists of Irish bangers, or sausages, atop a bed of mashed potatoes or colcannon, which is mashed potatoes made with cabbage. It is usually served covered with gravy; a meal so delicious, you shouldn’t expect to be taking home leftovers.
Guinness Beer & Irish Coffee
A guide to St. Patrick’s Day meals in Berks County would fall short without a list of Irish libations. order as well and a glass of Guiness is a no brainer. The dark stout was the creation of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland in 1759 and will pair nicely with the dishes mentioned above. Then finish your meal off the Irish way — with a cup of Irish coffee - a combination of strong coffee, Irish whiskey and cream. Of course, you could forget the coffee and cream and sip and savor the flavor of a smooth Irish whiskey. If you do choose to order an alcoholic beverage, please do not drink and drive. Celebrate safely!
Get a Taste of Ireland
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, you’re in luck! There are so many places to celebrate the Irish holiday in Berks County. So wear your green and head out for a fun night filled with Celtic music and tasty food and drinks choices. Slainte!