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McNellie’s Pub

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I had always liked the look of the building on the corner of 10th and Walker.  The streets do something weird here (who knows what the city planner was thinking), and they split off in a V shape.  The building between the two streets actually gets wider as it goes back, making it look really interesting.  Above this building, which had been empty for quite a while, were huge letters spelling out “Plaza Court.”  I hadn’t been down by the Plaza Court building in a while, but a group of friends invited me to go with them to McNellie’s.  I’d never heard of it before, and I was surprised to find my unique building was now home to a pub.

McNellie’s, or the James E. McNellie’s Public House, as it is formally called, is a family-friendly restaurant, although the downstairs bar area is for adults only.  The atmosphere, at least downstairs, is very relaxed and friendly.  I didn’t get a chance to see what the upstairs was like, but from what I could see of it, it looked like it was more for eating, while the downstairs was dominated by the large bar.  Seating downstairs was pretty limited, especially for large groups.

McNellie’s has four pages of international beers, so chances are, you’re going to find something you like.  In fact, they have more than 300 beers available, with many of them on tap.  Not sure what you like?  You can order a McNellie’s flight, a collection of small sampler beers.  For example, for March, one of the flights is called the British Isles Flight and features Fuller’s London Pride, Boddingtons Pub Ale, Murphy’s Red, Guinness Stout, and Smithwick’s.  Another flight features beers brewed right here in Oklahoma and includes McNellie’s own Pub Ale.  You get a good amount of each beer for one price. 

The bartenders and staff are all very knowledgeable about beers, so don’t hesitate to ask them if you have any questions.  For those looking for lunch, dinner, or a snack with their beers, you’ll find McNellie’s has a good variety of food.  Appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fish, chicken strips, meatloaf, and more are on the menu.  My group started out with a wide variety of the appetizers, including fried pickle chips, mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and white queso, and chicken quesadillas (we don’t hold back on the food!).  I can personally recommend all of these except the fried pickles, which I passed on.

I had Jimbo’s grilled cheese sandwich, which featured American and Swiss cheese on Texas toast.  It was very good.  Their pub fries were also delicious.  A friend got the sweet potato fries, which are an interesting twist on the classic French fry side.  You can also get Tabouli for your side.  My friends had nothing but good things to say about the charbuger, meatloaf, Monterrey chicken wraps, and the reuben.

I’ll admit, my favorite part of the meal was dessert.  After several minutes of going back and forth over what I wanted, I settled on the chocolate brownie.  It came with a dip of vanilla ice cream and was covered in raspberry sauce.  It was incredibly good, and I highly recommend it.  Next time, I’m going to see what the Guinness bon-bons are like.  Or maybe the Sam Smith oatmeal stout cheesecake.  Maybe both….

McNellie’s actually has another location in Tulsa, which is the original McNellie’s.  It was started by Elliot, a student who spent some time studying in Dublin.  He loved the pubs there, and upon his return to Oklahoma, he spent many nights trying to find a pub that was similar to those in Ireland.  He couldn’t, and eventually, he decided to open his own.  I’m glad he did, and I’m glad he expanded to OKC. 

I’ll certainly be going back to McNellie’s in the future.  There’s just too many good things on the menu (both drink and food) that I want to try.  If you’re in OKC and looking for a great place to hang out with friends or for a good meal, give McNellie’s a shot.  You can check out their menu and learn more about their beers on their website at http://www.mcnelliesokc.com.

Want to know more?  Check out these blogs.

McNellie’s Beer Blog was written by a (now former) McNellie’s bartender.

Dave Morris posted a short blog about the grand opening of the OKC McNellie’s.

The Best and Worse of OKC has a review of McNellie’s that includes some pictures of their amazing food (including the chocolate brownie!).

The Existential Sock Monkey blog features another review of McNellie’s.  They have some pictures of the upstairs area plus a picture of the fried pickles.

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