Author’s Note: McFadden’s just announced it is closing its doors. So much for that eh?
I have to admit, as an American of Irish heritage, I tend to cringe at the proliferation of “Irish” pubs that dot U.S. cities. No doubt there are numerous authentic Irish pubs in Boston and NYC, but in Vegas?
Enter McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon.
McFadden’s is by no means perfect and in fact it often falls back on stereotypes (really… the little guy dressed as a Leprechaun?) and there is no lack of green beer available, but it is Vegas and we thrive on stereotypes (did you know everyone in Venice dresses in Renaissance garb and sings in the streets near the canals? Me either).
However, McFadden’s does a couple of things really well. First, they don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s a party bar with an Irish-American twist. Frankly, the atmosphere at McFadden’s is one of laid back fun. During this trip I was there for dinner – not typically party time – and yet the patrons around me seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Secondly, McFadden’s has pretty decent food. The shepherd’s pie, while made with ground beef and not lamb, is tasty and filling. It is a no fuss dish filled with the aforementioned ground beef, carrots, peas and sweet corn all swimming gently in a rich brown gravy topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Not quite like the version I make at home, but a good substitute.
The Rueben is also quite lovely. I have to admit (much to my shame) that I am not a big fan of corned beef. However, McFadden’s claims to have their “own” (I am presuming that this means they make it in house) and it is quite lovely. The Rueben is flavorful and hearty and would pass as high quality pub grub in any city.
If there is one area in which McFadden’s food misses the mark, it is with its hamburgers. There is an interesting variety of specialty burgers, all of which have the potential to be quite tasty, but the actual ground beef is a bit under seasoned and bland. So I’d suggest avoiding the burger and go with something a bit more authentic.
Finally, after you’ve stuffed yourself with dinner and beer (you must have beer… it would be a sin not too have at least a pint with dinner) give the Guinness battered Twinkie with Guinness chocolate sauce a try. I would say order one to share, but after your first bite you’ll be ready to fight over the rest of this decadent treat.
Overall, McFadden’s is worth the visit to satisfy your desire to do “something Irish” in Sin City.
McFadden’s is located in the Rio Casino and Resort.
While the meal and beer was provided by Wicked Creative, the opinions are my own. As always, Dear Reader, if it sucked, I would have let you know.