Fresh food selections with a wee bit o’ Irish flair
Written by Lisa McGinnes, Coordinating Editor
Photography by Chris Redd, Chief Photographer
Just a block from the Downtown Square, tucked into a cozy spot on SW 1st Avenue, is Molly Maguire’s Eatery. Don’t let the unassuming storefront fool you – this place is hoppin’ with fresh food, beer and Irish fun!
The neon Guinness sign in the window announces what you’ll find behind the wooden bar – a case of cold, frosty mugs waiting for a perfectly-poured dark Irish stout. The tap features five other brews, including a locally-brewed Infinite ale selection. Their bottled beers range from other Irish and imported favorites, to more than 20 craft beers to Irish and domestic hard ciders – with more than 50 choices on the menu. They also offer a full selection of wines.
Come in for a pint and relax in a comfortable chair in one of the corner conversation nooks or claim a stool at the bar, but stay for the food. Lunch specials always include the homemade soups, which are so popular they are also sold by the pint and by the quart. Follow Molly-Maguires-of-Ocala on Facebook for soup-of-the-day announcements that will have your tastebuds twitching well before lunchtime.
Homemade salad dressings including Greek, lemon vinaigrette and ranch are delectable atop their diverse lineup of fresh salads like the beautifully-presented Ahi Tuna Salad, with its cracked-pepper-rubbed, gently-seared tuna filet atop mixed greens. It’s an explosion of flavor and textures – grape tomatoes, fresh cucumber, tangy Feta cheese, salty sunflower seeds and sweet dried cranberries. Salads and the soup of the day are always gluten free.
Their menu claims it’s “where the filthy birds roost” and, indeed, the Molly’s Dirty Bird is one of the most popular items on the menu, with its hand-carved applewood smoked chicken breast, carmelized onions and gooey melted cheese all pressed on hot Cuban bread.
Meats are smoked on the outdoor smoker every morning by the lovely Miss Patti, and on a fair day you can enjoy your meal at a sidewalk table, which offers a peek at the western sky come sunset.
Molly Maguire’s is open for breakfast and lunch every day except Sunday, and now offers later hours and live music Thursday through Saturday. Be warned, however, if you want a serving of the homemade banana pudding, come early – it’s so delicious that it often sells out before evening!
Owner Geroge Carrasco and his crew are already planning for St. Patrick’s Day, which is their biggest celebration of the year, and this year will mark their first anniversary at this location. You can expect savory shepherd’s pie and hearty portions of corned beef and cabbage. Watch their Facebook page for updates, and plan to get there early. With the holiday falling on Saturday this year, you can spend the whole day reveling in good times galore!
Molly Maguire’s of Ocala
17 SW 1st Avenue Ocala FL