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Eat Feature

Irish

Posted 3/4/2009

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant

616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$

James Joyce provides the chance to score a proper pour of Guinness when you absolutely positively have to patronize this neck of the Inner Harbor's woods. We've never tried any of the conventional dinner menu items--crab cakes, pork chops, and the like--but the Irish staples, such as fish and chips and a solid shepherd's pie, are worth checking out.

Lucy's

21 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-2100, lucysirishrestaurant.com, $$$

Where Maggie Moore's, which used to occupy this space, felt more like a pub with nice dining room attached, Lucy's somehow feels more like a nice restaurant with a pub attached. Lucy's menu offers an extensive selection of nouveau treats--sliders Irished up with Blarney cheese, seafood and pasta options, and even some small plates at the bar now--but the Irish selections sing, especially a gut-busting traditional Irish breakfast, good day or night.

Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant

1700 Thames St., (410) 563-6600, slaintepub.com, $$

This sprawling Fells Point spot has enough self-identity to avoid the Irish-pub-in-a-box trap. Sure, it's self-consciously "Irish," with Celtic motifs and scripts painted hither and yon, but it's not trying to fool you into thinking you're getting drunk in front of Aunty Molly's coal furnace. We go for the real football and rugby matches on the downstairs TVs, relaxing with real, honest-to-god Irish people (and our American pals), drinking expert pours of Guinness, and eating excellent sandwiches, burgers, and respectable, if a bit pricey, shepherd's pie.

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