For an island nation with only about 6 million people, Ireland sure has made an unusually distinct mark on American culture. Leprechauns, potatoes, and the color (colour?) green are all Irish imports. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the 36 million Americans that can trace their ancestry back to the land of St. Patty’s.
Perhaps that numeric figure explains the presence of McCreary’s Irish Pub in the heart of downtown Franklin, TN. The locale is a bit strange. Franklin, a beacon of the “New South” (whatever that means), isn’t the first place that comes to mind when pondering for a pub (much less one for brunch). But McCreary’s delivers in a surprising fashion.
McCreary’s Irish Pub
Kristen: Irish Scramble ($5.95), Water
Pierce: Big Catch Breakfast ($7.25), Sweet Tea ($1.75)
Serving Time: 15 minutes
First Impression: McCreary’s is a small place. It’s almost easy to miss it among the boutiques and stores that dot Main Street in downtown Franklin. But that certainly doesn’t take away from the atmosphere. The interior is Irish-rustic with a wood finish that almost made you expect to see St. Patrick himself wiping down the bar.
On a late Saturday morning, we sat ourselves down at a small table and were served promptly. The local vibe was present. Even though only a handful of folks chatted quietly, it was easy to see McCreary’s having more of a lunch or dinner bustle.
The Main Event: Fifteen minutes on the nose was below our self-researched average of 20 minutes. That’s good service.
Pierce set out to prove that breakfast isn’t just for farm animals by ordering the Big Catch Breakfast which included two eggs, cheesy grits, and a golden brown cod fillet. The size of the fish was a little underwhelming, but the taste made up for it. The pairing with the scrambled eggs wasn’t unusual either. The fish and chips is probably a popular lunch choice—and rightfully so.
Kristen went with the Irish Scramble which was a simple dish with cheesy eggs and breakfast potatoes. The eggs and cheese weren’t extraordinary—but how creative can you get with such a simple dish? Also, the potatoes left something to be desired.
The Verdict: Atmosphere, service, and price were all top-notch at McCreary’s. However, the food didn’t quite live up to the other excellent traits. It was a good brunch—especially for a two-person price tag of only $16.59 (with tax, but before tip). But the food simply lacked creativity and pizzazz. Still, it’s a viable option for a cheap brunch outing.
3.5/5 Syrup Crocks