Harrigan’s Pub in Sea Girt is as familiar to me as was my old Toyota Camry. The difference is Harrigan’s is still running strong. I could tell immediately when we returned there on Saturday after a fairly long hiatus. It is not that we stopped going for any particular reason other than our need for diversity. We always found our Harrigan’s experiences to be positive.
Harrigan’s Pub has been in operation for around thirty years I am told. We have been going there for at least half of that time. Very little has noticeably changed except for the addition of a very large selection of craft brews both on tap and in bottles. They also offer flights and growlers. If you are not sure what to order do not be afraid to ask for a sample. I am a fan of IPA and supporting local businesses so a Kane IPA was the perfect choice for me.
The food at Harrigan’s has always been consistently good. They offer a large menu selection and many daily specials. The food is Irish American cuisine as I would describe it. One of their popular items is a “can’t go wrong” sizzling steak. The corned beef sandwich is also always a fine choice as are most of the other sandwiches and burgers. I can’t link to their menu at this time as their website has been down. I will try again.
On our most recent visit we came for lunch on a Saturday. Our server named Laurie was a very upbeat and cheerful professional who knew about all the beer choices well and was also eager to answer any questions we had about the menu. I decided to have the Fish and Chips and my wife had the Blackened Mahi sandwich which was a special. As I mentioned, I went with Kane IPA and my wife ordered a French Martini.
On this occasion we were a little disappointed with the food. My fish and chips consisted of two rather small filet pieces that were mostly batter and little fish. The coating was oily and not as crisp as is should be and the fish was very soft and lacking in fresh from the sea taste. Her blackened mahi consisted of little pieces, almost like mahi bites, piled on a roll. It was served with two slices of winter tomato. The seasoning was very salty. It tasted like one of the half salt Cajun seasoning mixtures that are found in the spice aisle of the super market, rather than a blend of spices created in house. This was surprising because of all the other times I had been here I never had a complaint.
Following the Martini, my wife ordered a glass of Chardonnay which was also very small. She tasted it and remarked that it did not taste right. I tasted it and agreed. It tasted like the wrong wine was poured or it had been opened a long time. We told Laurie about it and she said she they probably would do nothing about it because we drank some of it. How else would we know it was bad? Not wanting to get her in trouble for bending the house rules we let it slide and paid for it. Between that and the portion sizes of the fish the impression was made that the management focuses too much on the bottom line and less on the customer’s satisfaction.
Next time I come to Harrigan’s Pub in Sea Girt I will order what I know they do well. If I want fish and chips I will go to one of the many other pubs like St Stephens Green who does it much better.
Harrigan’s sign does accurately reflect my opinion of the place which was not really affected by this one visit. “Good Food, Good Drinks, Good Friends.” It is a friendly, lively place that always has events on different evenings in the form of live entertainment and daily specials of all kinds, many of which are great values. I would describe our experience as a visit to an old friend who was just a little off that day. We will be returning for the sizzling steak soon.
Harrigan’s Pub is located on Route. 71 South just north of Sea Girt Ave. They serve lunch and dinner and feature entertainment on some evenings. The bar is always busy and serves a vast variety of craft brews. Walk-ins are welcome at any time but expect a wait at peak hours. There is adequate parking on premises.