Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Favorite Local Watering Hole

I'm taking a break from my recent  upscale dining experiences (so out of the ordinary, by the way) to write about the grand time I had last night with my fabulous group of friends.  A little background for you: There are 10-12 of us who get together every week for Game Night.  We rotate houses, play a game, and whomever is hosting provides dinner.  Well, last night, our hosts were meant to be the same couple who had hosted the Super Bowl party on Sunday.  That was a huge affair, so we decided that rather than make them host two events in a row, we'd go out to Delaney's Music Pub. 

This was perfect for us, since Monday is Buy One, Get One Entree night at Delaney's.  Plus they have a pretty decent beer selection, both on tap and bottled.  We've also been going to Delaney's for a very long time (read: years and years), and so we know most of the staff.  We also tend to miss new things on the menu, because we are all so set in our ways that we know what we plan to order before we even walk in.  Last night, however, I learned that there's a BBQ sandwich on the menu.  Who knew?

When people from out of town ask me where they should go in Columbia, I first ask what it is they are looking for.  If they say that they want a good little Irish place, I always recommend Delaney's.  If you're looking for upscale bar food or a more family friendly atmosphere (after about 7 p.m.), go somewhere else.  If you're looking for a causal place to have a few drinks and food with your friends, go to Delaney's.

Most nights they feature live music, including a local singer/songwriter night on Tuesdays.  Wednesdays are the extremely popular $2 pint night.  Yes, that's correct.  Almost all of the beers on tap are $2, all day on Wednesdays.  As you might guess, Pint Night is pretty popular among the local college kids (and the no-longer-in-college kids who like good beer).  Live music on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and trivia on Sundays. 

I love going to Delaney's for happy hour during the spring, summer, and early fall, because they have outdoor seating.  Friends of mine have been known to bring their dogs and just sit outside with a pint and people watch.

Now onto the food.  Let's start with the appetizers.  My recommendations: Spinach dip (and make sure you get the bacon added) served with an edible bowl of multi-colored tortilla chips; Cheese fries (for a nice spin, add the chili - we tried that last night for the first time); Santa Fe dip (this one was also new for us last night, and I really liked it).  To be honest, it's pretty easy to make a meal out of any one of the appetizers.  Pair any of them with a cold beer, and you're good to go.  Delaney's also has a daily soup and chili.  The chili is pretty good (and I'm not a huge fan because beans weird me out), and I've never had a bad soup.  I would recommend getting the chicken bog if they have it that day.

Entrees: I usually get one of two things: Grilled cheese with bacon or Patty Melt with mushrooms & bacon.  Both are served with seasoned fries, but if you're not feeling fries, I would recommend the garlic mashys.  On the rare occasion that I order something else, it's usually the three medallions sandwich, french dip (with mushrooms), or the Irish whiskey steak sandwich.  I've also been dying to try the bangers & mash special for about 6 months, but I never seem to be there on a night that they have it. 

Bottom line?  Delaney's is a great place to go to hang out with your friends.  It's a great place for large groups - a couple of friends actually had their wedding rehearsal dinner at Delaney's - or just to meet a pal for happy hour.  The food is good, the staff are friendly, and the beer is always cold. 

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