Before heading out of Jacksonville, Florida, I decided to call my niece Sam to see if she wanted to meet up for lunch. She did not answer so I left a message. Sitting at a red light on Prudential Drive my phone rang. It was Sam and she asked if I wanted to meet her and her boyfriend, David, at O’Brothers Irish Pub in Riverside. I was unfamiliar with the place, and we decided to meet up at the Stockton Street exit off of I-10. After sitting in the parking lot of a gas station for a few minutes Sam and David arrived. Getting the pub was surprisingly easy and after a couple of minutes of driving through Riverside we arrived. We both found on street parking spots a block from the restaurant.
O’Brothers is a converted home painted white and trimmed in bright red paint. An analog clock was anchored to the peak of the roof with a large green shamrock on each side. To the left of the building was a large bar and patio area. Numerous tables were arranged under a brown awning that provided shade. People lounged drinking cold beers and chatting. A second awning sheltered the short path to the front door and was decorated with O’Brothers’ Irish inspired logo. It consisted of two lions toasting what appeared to be two pints of Guinness. An Irish and American flag completed the look.
Sam suggested we sit inside and I followed her up the front stairs. The interior mildly smelled of stale beer and conjured memories of places I used to frequent in undergrad, grad, and law school. The downstairs consisted of an upper bar area with high top tables and a second area below the bar in the back. The bar area was painted green with black accents. Several overhead lights hung from small poles. The tables and stools were light oak colored. A television hung in one corner. The focus of the room was the bar packed with liquors and about twelve beers on tap.
The bartender came over and brought us waters and our menus. Sam said they had great burgers and suggested I try one. I considered ordering bangers and mash or the fish and chips. The bartender said both were really good, but they were known for their burgers. I decided to take her advice and opted for the Oscar Wilde. The burger was billed as a hand-made patty of choice beef topped with a Stilton crust and smoked bacon. It came with on a fresh roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and fries.
Our food arrived in a few minutes. My burger arrived on a white plate with green trim. The burger was a large patty covered with melted Stilton and crossed with two large pieces of thick cut bacon. A mess of steak fries sat on the opposite side. Chopped parsley had been sprinkled on the burger and fries. As is my habit, I ate the lettuce, tomato, and onion separately before digging into the burger. I requested the burger medium rare and it was cooked as ordered. The meat was juicy and the bun was soft. The smokiness of the bacon went well with the beef. The melted Stilton gave the burger a nice creaminess and provided a nice bit of Stilton’s signature twang. The fries were a bit soggy and had obviously spent some time in a warming tray.
O’Brothers seems like it would be a great place to grab drinks after work, or spend a lazy Saturday on their patio. The service was very attentive and friendly and I enjoyed my burger. Sam and David both enjoyed their lunch, and I would stop in for a pint and another burger the next time I am in Riverside.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: