Drop Anchor at Galway Hooker

Written by admin on . Posted in Eat & Drink.


I’m a big fan of the Emerald Isle, from the accents to the wool to the love of beer. When I heard about an Irish Pub just east of Macy’s, I wanted to see if Galway Hooker was more mediocre Blarney Stone, or if the place could hold its own against the city’s many Irish spots. The name, incidentally, has nothing to do with the oldest profession, but instead refers to a sailing boat used in Galway, Ireland.

My friend Barbara, who is a second generation Irish American, joined me for what turned out to be the fourth night of the American League

“Galway Hooker” has nothing to do with the oldest profession, but instead refers to a sailing boat used in Galway, Ireland.

“Galway Hooker” has nothing to do with the oldest profession, but instead refers to a sailing boat used in Galway, Ireland.

playoffs. With a 12-by-9-feet high definition projection screen and 14 plasma televisions, we were going to get a taste of the sports bar experience. After some initial harried flyby service (the waiter brought us only one menu, and instead of the lengthy beer list I expected, he rattled off a half dozen beers), we mellowed out with our happy hour Blue Moons ($4). Barbara started chatting with our waiter to see where his accent was from (the Philippines). He was more attentive and we cut him some slack since he seemed to be the only waiter for the entire second floor, and had to keep running downstairs to the kitchen. Note to management: You need more than one person taking orders, especially on game night. Our guy even stopped mid-run to the first floor when he saw me looking for the bathroom and told me where to go.

We were getting hungry and although the goat cheese fritters ($11) almost lured me in, I decided to be a little healthy and shared the John Esty salad ($10) with Barbara. It had a couple of tweaks on the basic arugula salad, including grilled onions, avocado, red peppers and a spicy dressing. You wouldn’t think a pub would have an outstanding salad, but we both thought it tasted very fresh and left nothing on the plate.

After my brief flirtation with sensible eating, I followed with a big helping of the deep fried goodness of codfish and chips ($15). Barbara ordered the turkey meatloaf ($14), which was not a total winner. She loved the hot, buttered corn, but said the meatloaf, though chockfull of vegetables, was a bit bland and came to the table lukewarm. My fries were spot on, but I think the batter makes the dish; it would have been better with a crispier, thicker coating. We skipped dessert since we were loaded up with carbs and nobody goes to a pub for sweets.

We were finishing up just as baseball was getting underway. Neither of us is interested in the American League, but between the abundance of screens and the volume that reached every nook and cranny and probably the sidewalk, too, it felt like we were in the stadium. Don’t go to Galway Hooker expecting quiet conversation, but when you need to kick back with some beers and a burger, or relax after a few rounds of shopping, tie up your skiff on East 36th Street.


Galway Hooker
7 E. 36th St.
212-725-2353
Entrees: $12 to $22

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