By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
I was working late the other night, in Downtown Little Rock, and John Farmer, a co-worker, invited me to Dugan’s Pub for a beer and some food. Although the food was sure to be outside of my diet, I accepted the invite and joined along with a few other co-workers.
Dugan’s Pub fancies itself as an Irish Pub and was founded by Don Dugan, who used to work at Kelly’s Bistro. I used to really like Kelly’s Bistro and looked forward to visiting the pub which is located on 3rd and Rock Street. The pub is open and spacious with plenty of tables and seating, and of course a bar to sit at.
We chose to sit at a table in the back, near the dart boards and had plenty of room. The menu has quite a few items on it, ranging from typical bar food (fried stuff) to “Irish Favorites” such as Filet Mignon ($23.99) and Shepherd’s Pie ($8.95). I’m not sure a Filet Mignon is an Irish favorite, but it looked nice on the menu. The one part that annoyed me wa the Shepherd’s Pie. It’s made with beef. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many shepherd’s who have flocks of cattle.
John ordered an appetizer of Fried Jalapenos ($4.25) and the Dugan’s Sampler ($9.95) for an entree. I didn’t want to break my diet too much so I went with the Turkey and Swiss Sandwich ($7.95).
The Fried Jalapenos appetizer came out quickly and was made up of sliced jalapenos, fried, along with a basket of chipolte ranch dipping sauce. The sauce was on the thin side, with bubbles from being so thin, but had a decent taste to it. The jalapeno slices were fried but not greasy and had a nice crunch. I enjoyed them and would order it again if I were going for a fried appetizer.
The Turkey and Swiss Sandwich was medium in size, with a mild chipotle sauce, and topped with avocado and melted cheese. The bread was firm, but not stale, and tasted good. I wish the sauce had been spicier, but it was good enough and overall the sandwich was enjoyable.
As I mentioned before, John had the Dugan’s Sampler, which consists of fried mozzarella sticks, fried chicken tenders, and fried mushrooms with ranch, marinara, and chipotle sauces. It came out on a plate in a heaping mound of fried goodness. Just looking at it caused me to gain 5 pounds!
The mozzarella sticks were huge, reminiscent of the ones you get at Shorty Smalls, and were good with the marinara sauce. Although they were huge, they were small enough to not have to cut up and had a nice crunch to them. The chicken tenders were also fried well, not greasy, and with a good flavor to them. The mushrooms, tasted like well, fried mushrooms, but were tasty enough. Overall I was surprised that the dish was not greasy and had a good flavor to it. If you want fried food, give it a try.
So how did I like the experience? It was what I expected and a little bit more. The fried food was crisp, flavorful, and not too greasy given what it is. If I were 10 years younger I could see myself really liking the bar as well. Overall, a nice place to go for a beer and some pub grub.
Located at the corner of 3rd and Rock St. in the River Market District
401 E. Third St, Little Rock, AR 72201