Canton Baltimore, MD Bars & Resturants

Claddagh Pub – 

Establishments like Claddagh Pub are often best known for their large tap selection. But unlike its neighbors, it reaches a level of sophistication through its food, beverage, and serving options that none of the others do.

The architecture and décor of the building is Irish, but not the potato-pickin’, beer spillin’ Irish that most of the Baltimore Irish pubs bleed of. This is a classier, fancier feel, with white linen tablecloths and beautiful glass silverware.

The menu is also a step up, simply because it manages to go beyond fries and chicken tenders (yawn). They have some gourmet options, with crab, filet and fish dishes which have mouths watering at tables all over the restaurant. They also offer weekly specials and happy hours for regulars.

Claddagh is a bit of a paradox, with high class food and some more casual opportunities to socialize. They often have live music, and smoking is permitted – but the food and the service have the presentation of a five-star restaurant.

The serving staff is welcoming, and seem to really enjoy each other and the atmosphere they work in. Windows are open, as they speak with neighbors on the street, and you walk away from your meal with a warm, fuzzy feeling of “Old Baltimore,” which has practically vanished from many of the Canton venues.

I tried the Chicken Chesapeake for $17.95 which included twin marinated boneless breasts, topped with lump crab and a light imperial sauce. The crab was fresh and the chicken was tender, and although I walked away with a wallet slightly emptier than I would have liked, my belly was twice as full.

I think the Claddagh Pub deserves more respect for its food, which is standout in comparison to its competitors. It has numerous awards plastered along its brick walls, but I have never heard my friends talk about the food there. (Perhaps because its booze is so widely loved and respected.) But I urge customers, to put down their Clipper City for a moment, and try the Crab Toast. Nothing is closer to Heaven.2918 O’Donnell St., Baltimore, MD

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