A friend from college (University of Florida – go gators!), was in town visiting from Florida, and one of our friends suggested McSorley’s Old Ale House. She said this was where she always brought guests visiting because it was the oldest running bar in New York city, since 1854. Apparently, the bar is a New York legend, boasting visitors from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon. How come no one took me here before?! Anyway, when I arrived I saw a large line of people waiting to get in at around 4pm on a Saturday, and the door was guarded by some tough looking Irish men! I thought we’d have to wait in the cold rain forever, but luckily the line moved pretty quickly.
When we finally got in, the place was jam packed, and I was thinking there was no way we were ever going to get a seat in here. We pushed our way to the bar, and ordered our drinks. Oh here’s an important thing to note – it’s cash only and you only have two options for drinks: light beer or dark beer. And the best part is that you get two beers for $5! Unbelievable I know! As equally unbelievable was that we actually got a table within about 5 minutes of standing by the bar. The tables are communal, so as soon as someone gets up, someone else sits down. We were seated with two retired NYC firefighters, who had been there since 11:30am. Needless to say, we were quite entertained!
We were brought our mini mugs of light and dark beer two at a time, and drank merrily for a couple hours. I liked the light beer better than the dark, but I drank a bit of each and both were quite smooth. It really was a great place, full of old world Irish charm, complete with saw dust on the floor, and Irish staff. It makes you feel like you’re in a little cabin in the woods, not in the middle of Soho. After a couple of beers, my friend said we HAD to get the cheese and crackers. I was definitely getting a little hungry myself so I gladly agreed. I have never been more surprised, when our server brought us a sleeve of saltines (still in the plastic sleeve) with a plate of sliced cheese and onions. What is this?! My friend assured me not to knock it til I tried it!
She said I had to put some mustard on the cracker with the cheese and the onion, but to be very careful because the mustard had quite a kick. And boy did it! I put just a little on my cracker and smeared it around with the cheese, and took a bite, and I could feel it go all the way up my nose like some flaming wasabi! But man was it good! We hungrily ate all the cheese and crackers with the onions and hot hot mustard. Somehow the beer must have masked the onion breath, because I don’t know how we continued to all sit so close to each other after all that onioney goodness. The best part was when the tab came, I couldn’t believe how cheap it all was!
This is a super fun bar, and I will definitely bring any out of town guests that come to visit. I may even just go for fun myself!
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
McSorley’s Old Ale House | www.mcsorleysnewyork.com | 15 E. 7th Street