Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Senor O'Malley's - The Irish Pub Taco Shack

It's baseball season now, which means this Hungry Lady has one more thing she needs to attempt to fit into her absurdly busy schedule.  As a season ticket holder, I make it to just about every home game (except those that conflict with my classes...like the Florida / Carolina series.  Not happy about that).  Since Saturday games usually end right around dinner time, they're really the perfect lead in to trying a new place with the friends who share a group of tickets.

About a week ago, A, L, and I happily watched our Gamecocks beat Clemson in yet another sporting event.  Afterwards, we wanted to celebrate, so we headed to Five Points for some dinner and drinks.  Usually our go-to spot is Delaney's, but this time around we decided to try something new.  So we went to Senor O'Malley's, the Irish Pub Taco Shack.  

Wait.  What?  Yes, Columbia has it's first Irish / Mexican fusion restaurant.  At least that's what I was hoping for.  I had glorious visions of shepherd's pie served in a taco shell.  That wasn't so much what I got.  Instead, Senor O'Malley's offers traditional pub fare - burgers, sandwiches, fish & chips, shepherd's pie, etc. - and an assortment of tacos.  Still not a bad combination, seemingly designed for those people who can't decide what it is they want to eat.  Or really for those who may have partaken in a bit too much of an illegal substance.  Either way, it's an interesting concept, and in an area of town really devoted to college students (and those of us who, despite being out of college for several years, are still too broke to afford to go out in the Vista on a regular basis), it will likely do well.

At any rate.  The three of us wandered in to a pretty empty restaurant.  Not surprising, given that it was the first weekend of USC's spring break.  We sat down and took a look at the menu.  But first, given that one of us was not having the best day (hint: it wasn't me), A and L decided tequila shots were in order.  I declined.  The Hungry Lady is not a tequila fan.  She can occasionally be convinced that a margarita is a good idea, but tequila shots are most definitely never an option.  When the shots were brought to the table, we had as much of an Irish / Mexican fusion as were going to get: Jose Cuervo served in Jameson shot glasses.

Bottoms up, friends.
Two rounds of shots later, and it was about time for some food.  We decided to split an order of nachos.  The nachos were topped with ground beef, jalapenos, tomatoes, beans, black olives, cheese, pico de gallo, and served with a side of sour cream.  It was more than enough for the three of us, but we still polished them off rather quickly.  The toppings were generous, and the chips were crunchy. 

Definitely an appetizer to share.
After devouring the nachos, we each ordered a couple of tacos.  These are not your run-of-the-mill tacos; instead they have a rather unique flair to them.  The choices are limited (only 7 to choose from), but each one sounded good.  L ended up getting the pork carnitas and the chipotle ranch chicken.  A had the chipotle ranch chicken and the carne asada (and later ordered the pork carnitas).  I had the carne asada and the buffalo chicken.  Both L and A thought that the pork was a little too dry.  I really liked both of the tacos that I ordered. The steak was pretty well cooked (though I could have used it a bit more rare) and the buffalo chicken was gloriously spicy.  The guacamole I ordered on the side was also pretty fabulous.  I also really liked that you can get hard or soft shell tacos, as well as flour or corn tortillas.  Or any combination thereof.

L and A's tacos
My plate.  The carne asada is the soft taco.
We ended up having a pretty good night.  I'm not sure we'll be back while school is in session (I have a feeling the target demographic would drive me crazy), but the tacos are certainly good enough to warrant a return trip.  I just wish the beer selection and the liquor selection were a bit more extensive.  But again, college bar in a college town. The idea is to keep prices low and cater to those who won't (or can't) spend $6 on decent beer and good booze.  

Final Rating

You can find Senor O'Malley's on Facebook or on Harden Street, where Chubby's 2X4 used to be. 

Senor O'Malley's on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been meaning to try this place since they opened. Their veggie burger seems like it should be good, so I'm hoping to give it a test drive soon. I guess the real reason I haven't gone yet is because the idea of going to 5 points in the evening makes me just... not.

    However, baseball I'll gladly flock towards! Did you go to the Princeton game Friday night?

    1. It might not be so bad in the early evening, before things really get hopping downtown. Maybe a decent happy hour spot?

      I didn't make it to the Princeton game on Friday, but I was there on Saturday and Sunday. A nice weekend for Gamecock baseball.

    2. Hmm happy hour, good point! Or maybe I'll squeeze in there Saturday when everyone and their mom will be in 5 points, haha.

      The Friday game was good because USC won but it was kind of a snoozer of a game other than all of the good strikeouts.

  2. They are open for lunch on Saturday and Sundays...

  3. Looks great! I've definitely been meaning to try this place. I'm so glad that a new restaurant opened up in Five Points. Keep up the with the reviews - this is now my go-to blog for Columbia food news.

    1. Thank you! That's really nice to hear. Is there anywhere in particular you would like to have reviewed?