Atlanta has somehow become a craft beer mecca with some of the greatest beer bars in the world. This is a tribute to the beers and the bars.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mac McGee's

Downtown Decatur already has The Brick Store, The Grange, Thinking Man, and Twain's, so is there anything more to add?  I had my doubts, but after just a few moments in the recently opened Mac McGee's on the square I was sold.  I've never been to Dublin, but I've been in about a dozen London pubs in the last month, and this perfectly captured a beautiful, warm British pub.  More than captured, this is a beautiful, warm British pub with no sense of kitschiness.

First thing you notice after you adapt to being in Dublin is the 27 taps.  There are a few places around town with similar numbers of taps, but they tend to focus on American and Belgian beers.  There is a broader and deeper range of British beers here than any other pub I've seen in this country.  There aren't actually 27 different beers, as Guinness takes up four taps (as the bartender said, "We can't be running out of Guinness.").  I saw two big differences between this pub and British pubs I've visited.  On the plus side, the selection Belgian beers, though small, was actually good.  Houblon Chouffe, Oud Beersel Framboise, and Val Dieu Tripel is a very respectable list of Belgians in a British pub and much better than the token Brugse Zot found in most of the London pubs we were in.  On the negative side, sitting in that environment drinking a London Pride from a keg was disappointing.  You can't hold that against Mac McGee's, as I doubt you can get casks of real (live, unpasteurized) British ales here, but everything else about the place makes me want it.

Besides the beer, we were pleasantly surprised with the food.  Les got a broccoli and mushroom pasty with a salad.  The pasty was beautifully fried and flaky and the salad was nice and fresh.  I got a burger ad chips.  The burger was tasty if not special, but the chips were some of the best I've had.  Food was all very reasonably priced.

We already have one of the highest densities of great pubs anywhere and we should be thrilled to see another one come that offers something different.  Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. I was sold from the minute I saw my beloved Houblon Chouffe on tap! Like I said, I'm a slave to the gnome. We should also mention how kind and fun the bartender was! Every Irish pub needs a real Irishman behind the bar. He was a sweetheart. I believe the Grange is also owned by Irish folks.

    I loved this place. It really captured the feeling of a warm, comforting British pub. And while they didn't have many vegetarian options, that pasty and salad were delicious. Unlike real British pubs (except the White Horse) where the vegetarian food is generally inedible. And the "curry chips" here were yummy - love the little bite of spice on them!

    I can't believe the number of fantastic pubs within two miles of our house. Not to mention the Porter just a few miles away. All within a bike ride. It rules.