Barley Republic Irish Public House

I’m tempted to start this review with dessert.  It was so tasty!  But there’s more to Barley Republic Irish Public House & Restaurant than a really long name (or great homemade desserts) so we’ll start from the beginning.  That’s last Wednesday.  Steve and Kim.

When Steve and Kim suggest a restaurant, we go.  These friends know {and love} good food.  We were meeting them for a late night dinner last Wednesday and they suggested Barley Republic.  Excellent choice.

Barley Republic has a great beer list, so the guys drank their appetizers.  Swamp Ape IPA was the favorite new beer of the evening- with over 60 beers to choose from, you’re certain to find a favorite!  Kim enjoyed her Chardonnay and I had an excellent glass of club soda with lime- on the rocks.  ;) The porch is perfect for dining al fresco; we enjoyed cool breezes from our high-top while we waited for dinner.
 

I ordered the Burger special with locally raised Cartwheel Ranch beef.  As soon as our waitress said grilled pineapple & onions and freshly sliced avocados she had me.  I added BBQ sauce (because I love BBQ sauce, not because the burger needed it) and it was perfect!  Spiraled porcini fries {a house special} were ultra-crisp and delish!!

Kim stayed traditional with an order of Shepherd’s Pie.  The presentation was beautiful and she appreciated the chunks of lamb instead of the Americanized ground beef often offered at less amazing restaurants .  ;)

The guys each opted for the BBQ Pork special with hand-cut fries.  It was topped with slaw.

sidenote: I wasn’t going to say anything about these photos… but they’re so bad I have to confess!  My *real* camera battery died and I was forced to use my iPhone.  {Barley Republic: If you want to invite us back, I’ll re-blog with REALLY good photos!}

NOW we’ve made it to desserts!  A St. Augustine sweet spot, Sugared Bliss, makes the Car Bomb Cupcake.  Guinness chocolate cake is just the beginning… a sweet surprise awaits you & it’s so tasty.

The Cranberry Bread Pudding is made in-house.  After brushing off the dried cranberries on top, I took a bite topped with whipped cream.  I was most surprised by the addition of caraway seeds to the traditional “pudding”.  I’m curious if it’s the Irish way or Barley Republic’s creativity?!  Either way, the flavor kept me interested and was subtle, not overpowering.  Well done, Barley Republic!  It was a generous serving- enough to enjoy for breakfast in the morning!

Aaaand the piece de resistance- Young’s Chocolate Stout Cheesecake.  I am so sorry this photo does not even begin to do it justice.  It’s creamy and rich as is expected in a cheesecake… but it’s also perfectly balanced- not too sweet but perfectly chocolatey.  On second thought, maybe it’s a good thing the picture is terrible… there will always be a slice left for me!

We had the pleasure of meeting Red, owner of Barley Republic.  As he walked through the restaurant, he welcomed first-timers like us and comfortably visited with the regulars.  This is what I love about locally owned spots- small town friendliness.  I wish him & the Mrs. well!

Barley Republic Irish Public House & Restaurant has rekindled my faith in Irish food.  Next time we go, I’m ready with my Irish toast:

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.

May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

Cheers!

Barley Republic Irish Public House & Restaurant
48 Spanish Street
(904) 547-2023
Barley Republic Irish Public House and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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