Slainte Irish Pub has been a local staple for many years – you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t spent time at the popular downtown destination. The Union Street eatery has been a a haven for locals to unwind, whet their proverbial whistle, and enjoy some great local musical acts.
When Slainte first opened it was pretty much on its own, boldly yet nestled in, made a home in the city and paved the way for many future spots. Quite a few have since come and gone, yet Slainte has stood the test of time. The Irish Pub has now been a downtown fixture for 15 years this December!
Slainte has done so well because they are giving their patrons what they want: an establishment with a casual, welcoming atmosphere, some friendly, smiling faces behind the bar, plenty of live musical talent, and, of course, they provide New Bedford with some great mouth-watering food.
Many people will mention one of the more popular features: opening up the roof deck in the warmer months. A roof deck – which by the way like the all new function room – is available for private parties and special occasions. Have a birthday, anniversary, promotion to celebrate, or other special occasion? How does having the roof deck or function room as your own with Slainte as the setting sound? You get the service, the delicious food, cocktails, drafts…everything for your own group on your special day.
Want to enjoy your meal at street level surrounded by cobblestones/sets? Slainte’s outdoor seating is now available!
This basic formula of success of giving the people what they want was owner and operator, Irish transplant Barry Flynn’s goal from the very beginning. This is something he is clearly passionate about as you will always find him there working on something, talking about something new he is doing there, or which new act is coming up next. This passion is evidently contagious because you’ll find interacting with servers and staff alike, the same enthusiasm. Over the almost 15 years they have been open I cannot recall ever having anything but a positive experience.
What I personally love about Slainte – having been to many Irish Pubs throughout Europe – is the look and feel of a proper Irish pub. With the recent expansion of their menu and addition of many Irish favorites, Slainte is fulfilling something their patrons have talked about for some time now: offering a full lunch. This is great news for those of us who love to have a Guinness at lunch and devour the great food coming out of the kitchen, but would always wanted a lunch option too.
I’m pretty excited about the new lunch offering. It’s just another reason to visit. In fact, I’ve already had lunch twice since they begun offering the new menu. So, what kind of dishes are we talking about? For those who don’t want the boat rocked too much, all your standard pub fare is offered, so don’t fret.
You can, of course, get your chicken wings (50 cents every day!), chicken tenders ($1.00 every day), potato skins, onion rings, pizza (10″ thin crust – starts at $5 cheese and on Wednesdays ALL pizzas are $5, any variety), clam chowder, a variety of salads and wraps, burgers and more. They have also added a kids section that includes Chicken Tenders with Fries ($5), Grilled Cheese w/ Fries ($5), and Shepherd’s Pie ($5).
What will differentiate Slainte from other establishments within New Bedford are these specifically Irish dishes and very “local” favorites. The Bogside Irish Curry Fries – fries served with a sweet Irish curry sauce on the side ($4) which, if you have never had, you will quickly become addicted to. It is obscenely delicious. The New Beige Sandwich is sauteed, tangy chourico tossed with chips and served on a fresh Portuguese pop ($9).
Sligo’s Shepherd’s Pie is seasoned ground beef with carrots, corn and onions, then layered with mashed potatoes and topped with gravy ($11). This is not your mom’s shepherd’s pie! An absolutely to die for St. Jame’s Gate Guinness Beef Stew of tender steak tips simmered in a savory sauce with carrots, onions, mushrooms, and a dollop of mashed potatoes, served in a bread bowl ($11). St. James’ Gate was an entrance to Dublin during the middle ages, but in this case you are entering foodie heaven.
My personal favorite is the Bogside Chicken Curry perfectly grilled, tender morsels of chicken sauteed with peppers, onions, and mushrooms in an Irish curry sauce, served in a bread bowl, and garnished with french fries. I’m salivating thinking about it and tearing off pieces of the bread bowl to soak up that delectable curry. Made exactly how I remember it at various pubs in Ireland and even in England. Don’t tell Barry, I said that. Or tell him I said the Irish version is far better.
The new menu is simply too large for me to cover and there is no better way than to stop in for lunch and find out for yourself. See the difference serving fresh made food, not frozen, makes. What happens when you have people who genuinely care about the food they are preparing and serving. When you love what you’re doing, it comes through and that is never more evident when someone is cooking.
If you need more incentive, take a glimpse at those affordable prices – Slainte is just welcoming you with open arms. These prices are an invitation and display a confidence – they know that once you try Slainte out, you’re going to fall in love with what they are doing. With those prices you can afford to make Slainte your “local” and with this new expanded lunch menu you’ll find yourself not just coming for the night life, but for a fantastic lunch on a regular basis.
When you add in the ability to have private parties and functions, the loads of regular live music entertainment, frequent food specials, one of the friendliest atmospheres in the city, and the best Guinness on the SouthCoast it’s no wonder that Slainte has been around for 15 years and there’s no doubt in my mind that they will be around for at least 15 more.
34 Union St
New Bedford, Massachusetts
(Kitchen closes at 10:00pm every night)