Mamatoga Review: Irish Times Pub and Restaurant

Last week during a particularly beautiful day Julie and I took the kids over to Irish Times Pub and Restaurant, located at 14 Phila Street in Saratoga. Since it was so sunny out we decided to sit outside at their back patio area and the kids took over one table and Julie and I had a table all to ourselves, quite a luxury. Our service was perfect from the beginning, the kids were brought out a cheese plate and crackers along with plenty of crayons and coloring menus to keep them busy while we took our time with the menu. Julie and I both liked the idea that they hang the colored in menus on the wall when the kids are done, something that made the kids take extra special care in their drawing rather than the usual scribbling. The kids all easily found something they wanted from the kids menu which included burger sliders, chicken fingers, pasta with cheese sauce, and grilled cheese all for $5.99 (drinks included with our favorite lidded plastic kids cups) and our waiter brought their meals out right away, the portions were great and the kids happily munched away as we mulled over the lunch menu. It was hard to choose what to have since the lunch menu has plenty of options for everyone, with fresh homemade soups, tons of appetizers to choose from, salads and sandwiches as well as traditional Irish fare including All Day Irish Breakfast and Celtic Curry Boxty, something I sometimes crave for the curry potato combination and can't be found anywhere else within miles and miles of here. I settled on the Greek Hummus and Flatbread which is served with calamata olives and warm flatbread, which is an appetizer but is enough as a lunch and is a great deal at $6.99, also a great vegetarian/vegan option without having to go the salad with dressing on the side or fried food route. Julie got the Potato Crab Cakes, the chef's homemade crab cakes on a bed of field greens with a red pepper aioli sauce, also an appetizer big enough for a lunch at $10.99. They also have a great dessert menu and I had a fantastic piece of cheesecake, and the waiter made up a bunch of little dishes of ice cream specially for the kids as well. We really took our time that afternoon, something we never get a chance to do, because it was so relaxed back there we almost felt like we were over at a friend's house having lunch. Our waiter, Barry, was attentive without making us feel rushed at all, and we probably could have spent another hour there if we didn't have to get over to the sprinkler park to meet up with some other Mamatogians. The kids even broke into a spontaneous dance party, dancing along to the upbeat music they were playing throughout the restaurant and I didn't feel the need to jump up and corral them all back into their seats. We were all satisfied with our delicious lunches and there was enough leftover from the generous kids portions to take home. One of my favorite things about Irish Times is that is has something for everyone. You can go there with the kids for lunch or dinner (there are also booths inside, a favorite of ours when eating with the kids) and it's also a great place to go out with friends or as a date night. There are two bars on two levels, as well as the best outdoor patio overlooking Saratoga and Congress Park with plenty of outdoor upstairs seating. I love the layout upstairs, with different areas that have couches and little nooks where you can sit with friends and feel like you're in your own private little space while still being right in the middle of the fun atmosphere of the place. We'll post a review of the sans-kiddies activities they have to offer soon, including tons of specials and lots of live music. But we guarantee that if you drop in there with the kids for lunch or dinner you can feel totally at ease and will find something on the menu to appeal to everyone in your party. And ask for Barry as your waiter, he did a fantastic job dealing with all five kids and did it all with a smile. Irish Times is open for lunch Mon-Sun: 11:30-3:30pm and dinner Mon-Sun From 5pm, with Happy Hour Mon-Fri from 3-6 at the bar. They are located at 14 Phila Street, (518) 583-0003, highchairs available.