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St. Patrick's Day offers the foodie more than green beer

DOYLE'S: The number one Jameson Irish Whiskey bar in the Pacific Northwest. Photography by Pappi Swarner

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Tacoma's three hottest Green Beer Day destinations, O'Malley's, Doyle's and Paddy Coyne's, will once again be off the chain this year. More than a few metric tons of cheap green beer, Guinness, Black and Tans, Irish Car Bombs and Jameson will be consumed in the South Sound. Besides beer gardens, live music, giveaways, prizes and hilarity, some tasty grub can be had. Here's a cheat sheet for deciphering special St. Paddy's Day menus with funny sounding dishes offered at places that may or may not have anything to do with Ireland.

  • Soda bread: round loaf of bread made with baking soda instead of yeast.
  • Bangers and mash: sausage and mashed potatoes.
  • Colcannon: kale or cabbage and mashed potatoes.
  • Champ:  mashed potatoes and green onions.
  • Shepherd's pie: layered casserole of ground beef, chopped carrot, onion, green bean or corn topped with mashed potatoes.
  • Irish stew: same basic ingredients as shepherd's pie, but in different form and with parsley and occasionally barley.
  • Black pudding: sausage made of pork blood, filler of oatmeal and savory spices.
  • Corned beef and cabbage: brined beef roast with cabbage and often root vegetables.

O'Malley's on Sixth Avenue supports the local agricultural community by using pork sausage from Orting's Crying Rock Farms for bangers and mash. Locally sourced organic produce is used when possible at Pat Mawhinney's pub. Corned beef and cabbage is made with Certified Angus beef. Irish stew, shepherd's pie and Northwest clam chowder are made from scratch. Dick's Brewery crafts a signature Irish Ale for O'Malley's. That ale is what makes the batter for hand-dipped fish and chips so good. On St. Patrick's Day, music by the Fun Police, DB & the Struggle and Seamus and Suzanne starts at 5 p.m.

The dining menus at both Doyle's and Paddy Coyne's regularly feature Irish-inspired fare. Both locations have added traditional corned beef and cabbage.

Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District enjoys the distinction of being the number one Jameson Irish Whiskey bar in the Pacific Northwest, and was voted one of Esquire magazine's Best Bars in America. The self-proclaimed site of Washington State's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration, Doyle's features an enormous outdoor beer garden in a revival-like tent with live music, shenanigans and boisterous merrymaking. Chow down on soda bread made for Doyle's at Tacoma's own Corina Bakery. Doyle's will open at 6 a.m. for Irish coffees and breakfast. Music by Doxology, the Paperboys and Shillelagh Jack starts at 3 p.m.

Down the hill from Doyle's on Pacific Avenue, Paddy Coyne's opens at 9 a.m. and will also have a beer garden. Music will be offered by the Boys of Greenwood Glen..

Coincidentally, the Pierce County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band will perform at both locations on St. Paddy's Day.

O'Blarney's Irish Pub in Olympia offers traditional Reuben and corned beef sandwiches, corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew. Grub on savory meat-filled puff pastries, house-made chicken pot pie with from-scratch crust, shepherd's pie, soda bread and steaks finished with an Irish whiskey sauce. On the big day, enjoy live entertainment by Torn Jackets, Olympia Highlanders bagpipe and drum band and Comerford School of Irish Dance from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Also, expect Guinness, Jameson Irish whiskey and green beer specials.

Steak and Guinness stew, corned beef and cabbage, burger specials and other Irish and American food will be served at McNamara's Pub and Grill in DuPont. The outdoor beer garden will be open 5-9 p.m., with live Irish and alternative rock music by Jug of Punch, Yurt:30 and AK Entertainment.

Want a classier evening out than where the green beer flows? Belfast, Ireland, native Chef Charlie McManus of Primo Grill at Sixth and South Pine prepares Guinness-braised lamb shanks, grilled salmon on champ, black pudding, mushroom risotto, grilled lamb chops with colcannon and sticky toffee pudding.

Varsity Grill in downtown Tacoma will serve traditional bangers and mash with house-cured sauerkraut and Guinness cream. GRÜV Nightclub and Lounge on Sixth Avenue offers classic corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, and Guinness battered fish and chips. Shamrock Shots of lime JELL-O are $1, rum and crème de menthe make your head spin. Kyle Wnuk at Dirty Oscar's Annex on Sixth Avenue makes a mean grilled rack of lamb with Yukon gold mash, pea puree and rosemary-mint demi-glace.

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