European >Molly Malone's Restaurant
177 State St, Portsmouth, NH | Directions 0380143.076459 -70.755915
Great hometown pub – We go here once or twice a week -- our favorite hangout in the area. It?s much more of a real neighborhood place than other downtown restaurants and pubs, though it does get its share of tourists. There are many local regulars, and many semi-regulars from the naval base, in a wide variety of ages (though Saturday nights tend to be on the 20-something side).
The food is tasty. My favorite is the O'Malley sandwich: smoked turkey, coleslaw, and melted swiss with a thousand-island dressing. My husband loves their burgers and their Irish specialties, like stew, shepherd's pie, and corned beef with cabbage. We both love the Dublin fries and the stir-fried veggies. Molly's also has our favorite beer, Old Thumper, an English-style pale ale, on draft -- the only place you can get it besides the brewery. They have a nice variety of other drafts, including, of course, Guinness.
The service is usually good. If it?s packed, of course, things take longer; Molly's is in a historic building with a nice crowded pub feel, so if the seats are full of rowdies, it can be hard for the staff to squeeze through.
The live Irish music sessions are fantastic: Thursdays (7-10) and Saturdays (8-11) a fluctuating group of musicians plays traditional music (mostly Irish, but also Scottish and English folk, with some modern but in-keeping-with-tradition pieces). Depending on who?s there on a given day, there's more or less "tunes" (just instruments) versus "songs" (with lyrics). The musicians are GOOD. There's a huge traditional music scene in New England, and some of the best are locals; others drive many miles to play there. Occasionally, internationally successful musicians drop in. I never cared about Irish music before my first session at Molly's, but now I'm hooked.
Molly Malone's is a treasure. Why aren't you there already? See you at 8.
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