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Susan Cover

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Posted: March 26, 2018

It’s St. Paddy’s all year-long – and all day – at Madden’s in Falmouth

Written by: Susan Cover

Madden’s is located in a Falmouth shopping center.
Photos by Susan Cover

Say you’re out grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon and get a little thirsty. It’s still cold enough this time of year to leave your reusable bags stuffed full of kale and almond milk in the car for a bit. So, you walk a few doors down the strip mall to Madden’s Pub & Grill.

An appetizer and a beer later, you’re on your way home. While your family might wonder why it took so long to do the shopping this week, they forget all about it as soon as the Count Chocula hits the kitchen counter.

This is just one of many possible scenarios to explain how you might visit an Irish pub in Falmouth that’s tucked between Supercuts and a nail salon. To stand out among its more errand-oriented neighbors, it has a two-story façade in the one-story shopping center – and a giant banner outside advertising deals on beer during Red Sox games.

And while not many people go to an Irish pub the day after St. Patrick’s Day, it proved to be a perfect time to sample a lot of food and a few drinks.

This time around, my three dining companions and I opted mostly for beer, with one of us trying what our server called a Snakebite, which is like a black and tan but with hard cider and Guinness. The rest of us stuck to the basics – a Sebago Frye’s Leap IPA, a Peak Organic IPA and my go-to Bacardi and Diet Coke.

The bar has eight beers on tap and a nice variety in bottles, ranging from selections you might expect, like Miller Lite and Coors Light, to others you might not see as often, like Amstel Light, Molson Canadian and Harpoon IPA. It’s also got all the booze you need for whatever cocktail you might be craving.

The hearty appetizers at Madden’s might spoil your meal.

For appetizers, we tried the Trinity Potato Cakes ($9.99) and the Irish Quesadilla ($12.99). Both were outstanding – so good we barely had any appetite left for the main course. The potato cakes were massive and came three to an order. They were fried just right, and each bite had bacon, scallions and cheddar, with just a hint of the sweet balsamic glaze.

The Irish Quesadilla puts the typical bland chicken-and-cheese creations to shame. This one is stuffed with corned beef, caramelized onions and cheese. Put a little salsa and sour cream on that bad boy and you’ve got a delicious – and unusual – flavor combination.

Guinness beef stew ($14.99) with tender chunks of beef, carrots and potatoes on the side.

For dinner, we tried the cottage pie ($13.99), which featured grass-fed beef and a thick layer of potato on top. The Guinness beef stew ($14.99) had melt-in-your-mouth beef chunks, hearty carrots and a large portion of potato on the side. The health nut among us ordered the char-grilled Atlantic salmon ($17.99), which she said actually tasted like it had been cooked on a grill. She ordered a double side of broccoli, which were huge florets, making for a very colorful meal.

And to top it off, we ordered a Greek pizza, which is $13.50 for a small and $19.50 for a large. It came with the usual Greek toppings – spinach, feta, Kalamata olives, onions and slices of tomato. The crust was a little soggy and we were craving more feta, but it otherwise had good flavor.

As we sampled each other’s meals, a Boy Scout leader and a couple of Scouts came in. There were couples in the booths on the other side of the room, and a few people at the very long and large bar.

The menu noted that the owners are actually Irish who have lived in southern Maine since 2001. Philip and Simone Ryle have worked to give the pub a real “Irish Feel,” the menu notes, along with a wide variety of food choices and a place to watch sports on the big-screen TVs.

Interior of Madden’s

The red walls went a long way to warm the place up and the piped in music featured a nice selection of tunes. The pub has live music on some nights and features food specials, including two-for-one pizzas on Monday nights (dine-in only), burger night on Tuesdays and wing night on Thursdays.

As we packaged up our meals in to-go boxes, the server switched out kegs that no doubt got drained the day before. We paid the tab, and as we walked out, we checked out the tennis and golf-themed décor, Irish flags and Guinness and Harp bar gear.

It should be noted the pub is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., so even if you head out to do the shopping early in the morning, you can still sneak in a visit to Madden’s before the kids even get out of bed.

Madden’s Pub & Grill

WHERE: 65 Gray Road, Falmouth
PHONE: 899-4988
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
AMENITIES: Big screen TVs, neighborhood bar atmosphere, family-friendly
BOTTOM LINE: Madden’s offers food you just don’t see on typical pub menus and offers large portions for good price-point value.

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