By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
Irish smoked salmon is also available as a pasta entree, napped with a whiskey cream sauce and served over angel-hair pasta. Other main courses offer more traditionally familiar offerings, some British in origin -- bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), for instance, or chicken potpie. Beef stew, an Irish dish, was particularly good. Generous hunks of gristle-free meat, carrots, tender white potatoes, and aromatic onions had been simmered in a Guinness-rich gravy, which was eagerly sopped up with toasted brown bread. Like many traditional Irish dishes, the stew wasn't fancy but was hearty and filling, exuding hearth and home.
A variation on the same theme, shepherd's pie, offered ground beef that was sauteed in onion gravy, then baked in a casserole dish with a lid of fluffy mashed potatoes. The base of the dish, however, was drenched in oil, and the fat bubbled up through the crust.
Grease proved to be the major downfall of Irish-style fish and chips. The cod fillets, dipped in batter and deep-fried, were fresh and sweet. But the coating was gooey and undercooked, and the gray color of the fish suggested that the cooking oil was far too old and needed to be changed. The chips, long and wide French fries, suffered the same fate.
Improving our spirits, literally, was a whiskey-soaked dessert. Bread-and-butter pudding, served steaming hot, was studded with raisins and aromatic with a homemade whiskey sauce -- the kind of sweet meant to be consumed in front of a peat fire on a lonely moor somewhere. While finding a moor, or a peat fire, may be difficult in Fort Lauderdale, Waxy O'Connor's provides plenty of its own kind of warmth.
Waxy O'Connor's. 1095 SE 17th Street Cswy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-9299. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.
Irish smoked salmon
Fish and chips