Four Irish men and women walked into a pub. No, that is not the beginning of a joke, but the beginning of an evening at Nine Irish Brothers pub.
Four University College Dublin students — Penny Gavin, Tommy Meade, Niall Diffley, and Celine Kiernan — tried traditional Irish foods at the local Irish pub near Purdue’s campus. The group had already tried a pub in Chicago but were sorely disappointed after finding that one featured an Italian flag above the counter rather than an Irish one.
However, the group was able to find a piece of home right near Purdue’s campus at Nine Irish Brothers pub. It did not take long for the group to feel the true Irish spirit after they entered the doors. They agreed that the atmosphere matched that of a typical Irish pub, with live music and décor. Similar to many pubs in Ireland, Nine Irish Brothers has dark wood paneling with lots of signs and flags. Many of the signs referenced many locations all over Ireland. The group was happy to see that there was even a photo of Michael Collins, who is a famous revolutionary leader in Irish history and a symbol of Irish patriotism.
Penny is from Westmeath, Ireland, and is studying crop production. She tried a half order of Tiger Mike’s Fish and Chips. She was worried about the fish not being fresh; as Ireland is a small island country, fresh fish is common, accessible and a key ingredient for fish and chips. She was happy to find that the haddock was fantastic. The half order comes with “chips,” or non-traditional fries, and one large haddock filet battered with lager. We also tried shamrock sauce, which is a delicious fry sauce. It is much better than it sounds and worth a try. The half order comes with plenty of food.
Tommy is from Meath, Ireland, and is studying agricultural sales and marketing. He had a full order of Baby Jer’s Guinness Stew. Tommy grew up raising Limousine cattle and had high expectations for the stew. Even so, he thought it was quite delicious. As the name implies, the beef stew features a Guinness Stout that gives it the delicious, hearty flavor. Like any Irish meal, it would not be complete without potatoes. In the case of the Guinness stew, it came with two large scoops of mashed potatoes. The half order is available as well.
He also noticed that many of the recipes were American variations from typical Irish recipes. For example, corn beef and cabbage typically is ham and cabbage. The soda bread was also much sweeter as many Irish recipes do not use nearly as much sugar as American ones.
Niall is from Roscommon, Ireland, and is studying agricultural sales and marketing at Purdue. He tried Irish John’s Prime Rib, which is a Friday & Saturday night special served from 5-10 p.m. In addition to the prime rib, the meal was served with steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, and whiskey sauce. It is one of the best steaks Niall has had since coming to the States. It was very tender and cooked perfectly. While the vegetables were underwhelming, the mashed potatoes were exactly like how they are at home in Roscommon, he said. Niall was the only member of the group over 21 and was excited to order Magners, an Irish cider not commonly found in the States.
Celine is from Cavan, Ireland, and is studying food science. She loved how homey the pub felt as it featured traditional Irish music and decor. She loved how some decor incorporated the Gaelic language. She had a half order of Brother Jim’s Shepherd’s Pie. Featuring ground beef, carrots, and peas, the shepherd’s pie was hearty and delicious. The half order was the perfect size for smaller appetites and the full order provides the perfect opportunity to take home leftovers.
Overall, Penny, Tommy, Niall, and Celine loved their experience at the Nine Irish Brothers pub, noting its authenticity and atmosphere. Tommy was happy to see that the flag was the correct one.
Be sure to make a point to stop at one of Nine Irish Brothers pub’s three locations in West Lafayette, Lafayette or Indianapolis and try a traditional Irish meal, or check out their events page to see upcoming events like whiskey tasting or live bands. For more information about Nine Irish Brothers and other restaurants, visit HomeOfPurdue.com
Purdue University Student, Hayley DeHaan, shares this blog.