So much of the Boston restaurant scene seems to focus on shiny and new places that try to position themselves as completely unique or special and with concepts that will wow its patrons. And while a lot of them are good (or even great) spots worth checking out, the "old Boston" neighborhood restaurants and bars continue to quietly chug along under the radar, maintaining their loyal customer base with friendly service, cheap prices, and stick-to-your-ribs food. These beloved places seem to get fewer and fewer as the years go on, but each neighborhood in the city still has at least a handful of such spots, including West Roxbury, which is home to a completely unpretentious eating and drinking establishment called the Corrib Pub which takes the best of both classic American restaurants and Irish pubs, making for a place that locals often see as a second home.
The Corrib Pub sits at the corner of Centre Street and Lagrange Street in a section of Boston that is still mostly untouched by development (in some ways, West Roxbury feels more like a quiet suburb than a part of the city), and it is located adjacent to a baseball/softball field which helps make it a popular spot not only for locals, but also for those wrapping up night games during the warmer months. The interior of the place is a bit larger than it appears from the outside, with a spacious dining room to the right, a long bar partitioned off from the dining room, and a separate and slightly more private-feeling dining section off to the left. The fact that the bar is mostly separate from the main dining area and completely separate from the other room allows for relative peace and quiet for diners, and even the bar area isn't overly loud, with people at the bar often eating their meals there and sharing the space with those who are there mainly for a drink or two.
As implied earlier, The Corrib Pub is a mix of family-friendly restaurant and Irish pub, and the menu tends to reflect this; here you will find bar bites, comfort food, Irish and Irish-American fare, and classic American dishes, all of which are reasonably priced. A few highlights include spicy buffalo wings and boneless tenders, a crock of French onion soup made with a three-wine stock, a moderately-thick bowl of clam chowder, fish and chips made with scrod, a seafood casserole with shrimp, scallops, and haddock, an 8-ounce burger that can be topped with chili, a fried haddock sandwich with grilled cheddar (and yes, some frown upon fish and cheese together but this sandwich somehow works), steak tips marinated in a house sauce, center-cut grilled pork chops, a shepherd's pie with seasoned ground beef, house-made mashed potatoes, and sweet corn, baked sea scallops with veggies and a potato, and for dessert, strawberry shortcake and lemon meringue pie. Drinks at the Corrib include the always-popular pints of Guinness and Smithwick's along with a few wine options and mixed drinks/shots from the bar.
People don't tend to go to the Corrib Pub for mind-blowing food or overly-complicated cocktails, but they do go for the homey feel of the place, the "soul food" of days past, and prices that won't make much of a dent on the wallet. As old-school restaurants go in and around Boston, the Corrib is one of the better options, and one that is still not very well known even after a half century in business. [Ed note: Another location of the Corrib Pub can be found in Brighton Center.]
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