A month or two ago, while driving north on Edgewood Road approaching Blair’s Ferry, I first saw a sign for Beef O’Brady’s. It made me laugh. No offense, but it sounded made up, likes something from an SNL sketch.
Turns out it’s a real place, the latest addition to the area’s lengthy list of strip mall bars/chain restaurants. (The chain’s based in Tampa, according to the company Web site.)
Beyond the name, marrying the promise of seared cow flesh with Irish tipsiness, I was also struck by the fact that Beef O’Brady’spromotes itself as a “family sports bar.” I have a family, and I often enjoy sports, not to mention bars, so this concept seemed appealing. We checked it out.
“Welcome to Beef’s,” said the waitress who greeted us and seated us. Snort. I can’t get over the name. Sorry.
The bar is a medium-sized space filled with tables and video games with a smallish bar where no one was sitting during our visit. The walls are home to several flat-screen HD TVs, including one very large screen, and lots of sports posters, signs etc. A good portion of it invokes local high school teams, so you might never guess you are sitting in one of 225 Beef O’Brady’s nationwide.
You are sitting in Iowa’s first and only Beef O’Brady’s, however.
It does look like a decent place to watch a game/games, if you get a strategic seat in the middle. There’s a typical beer selection and a good-sized list of appetizers, although I didn’t sample any.
The menu is filled with burgers, sandwiches and other bar grub. The food is reminiscent of other bar-grill chains and is on the good side of passable. If you’ve ever been to an Okoboji Bar and Grill, a place I used to go in Ames, the food was very comparable.
I had a steak sandwich that was ordered medium rare and arrived perfectly cooked with sauteed mushrooms. But it was served on garlic bread that was overpowering and frankly unnecessary. My wife had fish and chips that were declared “good.” My daughters continued their effort to eat chicken strips and fries in all the world’s restaurants. Service was fine. Bottom line — no big complaints.
We ate at Beef’s on a Thursday night and the place was fairly busy. It’s the only tenant in a three-unit strip mall and sits just south of another strip mall that’s home to Beckett’s, a larger, locally owned Irish joint. We’ll see if Edgewood is big enough for the both o’them.
I also heard a rumor that a Pork O’Paddy’s is opening down the street. Nah, I made that up.