Drove my parents from RI back to Arlington yesterday. On the way, we stopped for lunch at a new-to-me place, Paddy’s Public House in Newton (I’ve not been to the sister pub, O’Hara’s, either). Mom and dad are both in the need for comfort food these days and Paddy’s was just the kind of place mom loves. It’s quite dark when you first walk in (my eyes needed a few minutes to adjust) but both the bar area and dining room are snug, homey, and welcoming. Lots of dark wood, bric-a-brac/old photos on walls, comfortable booths (if a bit on the small side). We started with the huge portion of mussels, done Portuguese style with chorizo. Wow, those were some of the plumpest mussels we’ve had in a long time. Almost no grit, perfectly charred bread to accompany (they gave us more bread on request). Mom and dad were glad that we had only ordered crocks of spicy chili (man, they gave us raw jalapeno slices that were super-spicy) and French onion soup…mom brought half of the chili home. Dad got the full-sized order of shepherd’s pie, which both mom and dad enjoyed (and they had enough left over to have for lunch today). They offer smaller lunch portions of 2 different items for $12 - that’s what he’ll do next time.
Finally, one really nice scene I observed - the place filled up to capacity after we got our food. An older man came in alone with a walker and got seated right in the middle of the busy room because there was no other place for him. And I don’t think that bothered him one bit - he ordered his food and a big glass of wine, seemingly savoring both. And the server made him feel right at home. Now THAT’S service.