Whoever said it was taboo to start drinking before 5 p.m. clearly had no Irish in their blood. Fortunately cousins Michael and Doug Dunlay have green running through their veins; this duo (also the owners of Dunlay's on Clark as well as a few others) will gladly serve you a frothy glass of stout with your bacon and eggs. In fact, they encourage it. That's why the menu's hearty Irish breakfast already includes a pint of Guinness.
The big Mike ($10), as it is so lovingly called, gets you a heaping plate of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, broiled tomato and potatoes to go with your beer. Another brunch favorite is the fried-egg sandwich ($8.50) served with bacon, veggies and a slathering of mayo shoved between two hearty slices of rye. Pair it up with a Stoli bloody mary (shot of Guinness included) or a mimosa with fresh-squeezed orange juice.
While brunch is this restaurant's strong suit, Dunlays also offers an eclectic dinner menu. Choices range from pizza to a selection of burgers and salads. All barbecued dishes come slathered in Smoke Daddy (the duo's first restaurant) sauce, and for $4 a bottle you can make the stuff a staple in your own kitchen. You won't find pints of Guinness included with any of these late-night entrees, but don't fret; it's always on tap here.
During off nights, locals can be found at the bar (pulled from the old Brunswick hotel) warding away their workday blues with a slew of weekly specials. Mondays and Tuesdays bring out all the wine lovers in the Square when glasses (Mondays) and bottles (Tuesdays) are half-price. Wednesdays win over herds of carnivores with discounted cheeseburgers (and fries) and on Thursdays the staff shakes up Stoli martinis at $5 a pop.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden