The folks at the Burger Shack sure enjoyed the post I wrote about their fine establishment a little while back, and so I decided to devote today's entry to another local eatery that my 'partners in crime' and I enjoy frequenting. McCarthy's Tea Room (website under construction as of this writing) is, like the recently photographed Sands Casino Resort, located in nearby Bethlehem.
I'm not Irish, but my husband is, and so I like to say I'm Irish by marriage. My friends, by comparison, are descended from a very old Irish clan that included some kings back along the line. In any case, we enjoy periodically getting our Irish on by journeying to McCarthy's. It's situated upstairs of Donegal Square, a specialty shop that sells all sorts of Irish goods like arran sweaters and Celtic crosses and claddagh rings.
The menu at McCarthy's is pretty much all Irish. Our unanimous favorite is the eggy bread, which is their version of French toast; I could not begin to tell you what they do to it that makes it so amazing, it just is. But it's not on the menu every day, so most of the time we have to content ourselves with other things. Like the buttermilk girdled scones, which are their answer to pancakes. Or the tuna melt on homemade brown bread. Or the shepherd's pie made from real shepherds.
While I enjoy all of those, my favorite dish is called an egg paddy wac. Available in single or double, this is a potato pancake-of-sorts topped by a slab of loin bacon topped by one or two eggs cooked to order topped by hollandaise sauce, with a grilled slice of tomato on the side. Whether I get the single or the double depends on the availability of eggy bread, because a double paddy wac is filling, but too good to not get at all.
McCarthy's also offers a wealth of teas - they have a separate page in the menu just to list all the available varieties of tea. While American beverages like Coca-Cola are available for purchase, I have a special fondness for the Club Orange, a soda imported from Ireland which contains bits of real orange. And don't get me started on the dessert cabinet...from the scones to the many kinds of pudding to the big cookies, it's all good, though my preference is easily the red velvet cupcake.
With its polished wood floors, Irish decor, occasional live music, and friendly staff, McCarthy's is almost always a guaranteed visit whenever we venture into Bethlehem. It has only two down sides, really (well, not counting the fact that my stomach isn't big enough for everything I want to eat when I'm there). One is the limited hours; they close at four in the afternoon. The other is the metered parking, although on a recent visit, that ended up being a source of confusion rather than annoying. None of us were quite sure how to respond to this...
(If you look close, you can see our faces reflected in the failure.)