Besides just a good Guinness, traditional Irish pub offers great pub fare also



Hello, curious connoisseurs of Grand Junction. I’m Hannah Soderborg, a humble intern at The Daily Sentinel.

I am a junior at Fruita Monument High School and I am furthering my knowledge by studying journalism and going to culinary school. My dream career is that of a food critic.

Gobs of peanut butter and jelly on top of white bread never has done it for me.

Living with my French grandmother greatly influenced my palate. She taught me to love foods most kids would never go near.

The myriad food made by my grandmother and my mother put me into a spell I don’t want broken.

I’m looking forward to working with Tess Furey and forging on in an adventure of gastronomic proportions.

— Hannah Soderborg

Think pub food, and think Irish food, and the images that come to mind might not be that appetizing. It could be the perfect storm of yuck.

But that stereotype, in the case of Naggy McGee’s, is dead wrong.

Walk in to Naggy’s and you’re immediately struck with the relaxed convivial atmosphere. It feels homey, TVs on with World Cup action, a large Celtic cross, a large horseshoe bar and lots of beer signs.

The bartender holds the rapt attention of a group of five men, telling some story or another, amid laughs and jokes.

During happy hour, 3–6 p.m., house wine is $3 a glass and drafts are $2.50. Sorry, no price break on appetizers.

On draught: Strongbow, Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, Stella Artois, Bass, Blue Moon, two types of Murphy’s and a half a dozen others.

If you arrive after 6 p.m., not-so unhappy hour actually, bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Paulaner hefe-weizen are only $2.

Naggy’s is making special allowances during the World Cup competition in South Africa, opening its doors at 8 a.m. for soccer hounds who want to watch the game in real time. A traditional Irish breakfast — bangers, rashers, fried tomato, potatoes and beans — is served.

It’s funny the things you remember from vacation, but the carnivorous breakfasts we were served every morning at the B&Bs in the motherland stick in my head. Fortunately, Naggy’s skips the two types of blood pudding.

On a recent evening, we ordered potato soup to get us started. I figure, you’ve got to try something made from the essence of Ireland, the potato, to get truly close to the sod.

Rich and creamy, topped with bacon and Dublin cheddar, it did not disappoint. Cup, $3; bowl, $6.

Next up, Irish beef stew and corned beef sliders.

My dining partner loved the Angus steak and vegetable stew, wiping the last of the bowl with soda bread. The dish was well-integrated, the flavor of leeks and spices on the tongue in every bite. $11.

The three sliders are served on pretzel bread, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

I was surprised to see beef brown in color, instead of the usual adulterated, reddish colored corned beef.

This is corned beef as it should be served, and topped with a wee bit of sauerkraut, scallions and horseradish cream. $7.50.

We couldn’t end our Irish adventure without tasting a boxty from the sides menu. What we got was a great dessert.

Unlike the German potato pancake or a latke, the boxty tastes more like crepes and less like potatoes, and is served sweet or savory.

This boxty came with fresh berries and cream, for $2.50.

The old Irish rhyme goes:

“Boxty on the griddle,

Boxty in the pan,

If you can’t make boxty,

You’ll never get a man.”

Yikes, I’m glad I’m not in the old country.

Other things on the menu: Scotch eggs with curry sauce, artisan cheese sampler with olives and house chutney, beer bread French toast, shrimp and chips and veggie dumpling stew.

For the nibblers, the menu has array of sides and appetizers for under $5.

LOCALS APPRECIATION NIGHT: The DoubleTree Hotel Bistro 743 offers 10 percent off your entire bill on Sundays from 4 p.m. to close.

No word on whether they actually check an ID to verify if you are a townie.

At the adjacent lounge, look for happy hour specials from 4–7 p.m. all week, including half-price appetizers, well drinks and $1 off beers.

While you’re sipping, enjoy the view of Bookcliff Country Club from the two outdoor patios.

WE HAVE AN INTERN: For the next several weeks, Fruita Monument High School junior Hannah Soderborg will be learning about the newspaper business and helping me with the dining out column.


QUOTE: “I don’t think America will have really made it until we have our own salad dressing. Until then we’re stuck behind the French, Italians, Russians and Caesarians.” — Pat McNelis

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• WHAT: Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub.

• WHERE: 359 Colorado Ave., corner of Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue.

• HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

• CONTACT: 424-5840,

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