Chew On It
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By Andrew Kochirka staff blogger
Food has been an integral part of Andrew's life from a young age; from cooking with his mother and grandmother to creating recipes in his own kitchen. Now he scours the area's non-chain restaurant scene to find the best of the best of local food from chicken wings to French cuisine.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Molly Brannigans"
Posted: February 1st, 2011

Ethnic was a food category that I was extremely excited about.  A few of the places have turned out to be my new favorites in Erie.  There is no real way to break this eight week tour into categories to review because most places were different, so I am just going to name my favorites:

Favorite appetizers: Thai Sampler, Khao Thai; Spanish Meatballs, Rosa’s Legacy; Guacamole, Latino’s

Favorite entrée: Steak with sautéed onion, Rosa’s Legacy; Basil pesto shrimp and lump crab penne, Petra; Pollo con mole, Latino’s; Filet Toscano, Chovy’s

Most comforting food: Everything from Khao Thai makes me feel better; Both the Boxty and Shepherd’s pie from Molly Brannigan’s warmed right to my core

Favorite dessert: I don’t think I could pick just one from Rosa’s Legacy. I would have to say both their Corn pudding and their Bread pudding

Most of the locations were fantastic and many I will be returning to (some I already have).  I’d like to thank all of the servers and cooks again for making the majority of my visits as great as possible.  I am glad that I now have many more places to go eat dinner.

The next eight weeks of my Erie food tour will be filled with soups and appetizers in the area.  Soups will be great to help deal with these frigid February temperatures.  I have a few places in mind that I want to visit, but please continue to make suggestions here or send e-mails letting me know where you think I should go.

Let’s go soup!

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Ethnic Food
Posted: January 25th, 2011

Molly Brannigans at 6:30 on a Monday night was pretty crowded.  The back section was filled with some larger parties, while the front was a little more spaced out.  We got a table near the fireplace, so it was nice to get out of the cold weather.  Our server, Whitney, got our menus and drinks then left us to decide.  I have been to Molly’s countless times, but I normally don’t order food off of the traditional Irish fare section of the menu.  That had to change last night.  Now, I have tried Purcell’s Fish and Chips and Madge’s Cottage Chicken before, but nothing past those.

Whitney returned and I wanted to know what she liked.  She told me both the fish and chips and the chicken were her favorites, but said the different Boxty’s and the Shepherd’s Pie were quite popular with customers.  Her suggestions were good enough for us.  Amanda went with the Corned Beef Boxty and I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie.  We could see how busy our server was but our food still came out in good time.  The shepherd’s pie was perfect for a cold winter night.  The bottom layer of the pie is ground steak mixed with fresh carrots, peas and other vegetables.  On top of the meat is a thick layer of mashed redskin potatoes and a healthy coating of cheddar cheese.  This is a real definition of comfort food.  It warmed me up from the inside out.  The beef was awesomely seasoned and had just the right amount of broth to dip my soda bread into.  The potatoes were smashed to a good blend of smooth and chunky.  It came with a side of roasted squash and peppers and I also ordered a side of the braised cabbage.  The roasted veggies were a little plain, but the cabbage more than made up for it.  I’m not sure what all the cabbage was cooked in, but I know it was delicious.  It was tender to the point of falling apart and went great with the pie.

Amanda’s Corned Beef Boxty was pretty great as well.  This was another dish that was great cold weather food.  Boxty is a very traditional Irish potato pancake.  It can be eaten by itself or in this case, wrapped around vegetables, corned beef, chicken or steak.  The potato is very simple: some shredded potato mixed with mashed potato and some flour.  Fry that in a little oil and you are good to go.  Molly’s layers corned beef and their house braised cabbage in their potato cake and covered it in a whole grain mustard & honey glaze.  The sauce on top would go great with just about anything.  The corned beef was fork tender and the flavor of the cabbage really melted into the meat.  I would come back for both of these dishes anytime.

Whitney, your service and recommendations made for a great night out.  I’m glad I got to try more from the Irish part of the menu and I will be back to try the rest of it.

My ethnic food tour of Erie is now over and next week I will wrap up and review everything I sampled.  Make sure to come back and vote for my next food tour category.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

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Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Ethnic Food

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