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Shawn O’Donnell’s is a fun restaurant literally tucked between two gas stations off 128th in Everett. If the name doesn’t tip you off, then as soon as you walk in, there is no question that you have stepped into an Irish Pub. There is a large wooden bar in the middle of the restaurant offering a huge selection of Irish lagers as well as domestic brews. Also displaced around the bar, are several TV screens showing various sports games. One thing I found unique were the vintage magic show posters throughout the restaurant. From the articles displayed on the wall, the owner, Shawn O’Donnell is an avid magic enthusiast. There are many old posters of famous Magicians such as, Houdini and Copperfield!

dining floor

entrance

 

The Food:

pub club: smoked turkey, thick sliced bacon, swiss cheese, tomato, leaf lettuce

A club sandwich is a staple of any respectable  Grill/Pub and Shawn O’Donnell’s is definitely on this list. All of the ingredients in this sandwich came together very nicely to provide a wonderful bite. White-meat turkey is usually too dry for me, however this smoked turkey was tender, moist and very tasty. The bacon also came as advertised, thick!  And also carried good savory flavor. The rest of the ingredients were just the icing on the cake- the melted swiss, fresh tomato and crisp letture. The bread was also noteworty – not too dry or too buttered.  This club sandwhich was excellent. Cherry stated, “This is probably the best club sandwich I’ve ever had!” 

fish and chips: lightly breaded white cod, home-made tartar, fries

 I’m a sucker for fish and chips so it was a no brainer to order these! When my meal came out, I had four decent sized pieces of fried cod and a basket of fries – nothing fancy but everything I wanted. The fish was perfectly fried and had excellent crunch! The batter maintained ideal texture throughout and didn’t get soft even after I squeezed lemon juice atop. Another thing that really stood out was the flavor – the batter had great flavor that did well complimenting the freshness of the fish. As far as I’m concerned, these pieces of fish had everything I look for in fish and chips – thick cuts of fish, perfect crunch and great flavored batter! Their home-made tartar was also very tasty! There were pieces of diced onions that did a nice job cutting through the sweet and creamy flavor of the tartar sauce. The chips served were also delicious. These natural-cut fries were cooked just right and seasoned with just the right amount of salt.

My Conclusion:

This was my first time eating at an “Irish” restaurant, and although the items we ordered weren’t the most traditional Irish dishes, they showed much promise and appeal. Looking through the menu, there were a ton of dishes I would want to try next time I eat here…because I am definitely coming back! I am sure there something for everyone here at Shawn O’Donnells; from Bangers and Mash and Shepards Pie to a large variety of burgers and seafood and other land fare. The only thing missing from my magical meal was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

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I’m always on the hunt for a great burger spot to satisfy my hunger and to possibly make it into my Toppings. Red Onion Burger was on my friends personal Top 10 as #5, so I figured it was worth a try. Cherry and I came here the other day after work, and as we pulled in, we saw a worker in the front of the store holding some sort of signage and waving people in. It wasn’t until we were inside that we figured out she was holding an American Cancer Society (ACS) sign – because on Tuesdays, Red Onion gives back to the community and ACS was their chosen organization for that day. As soon as we walked in we were greeted and a woman behind the counter handed us our menus and  we seated ourselves. The ceilings looked as though they were painted recently, but it did not cover up the fact that the restaurant is run down. The appearance didn’t deter me though, even though I was a little turned off by seeing cob webs in the corner behind me… By the time we ordered, there were several parties of customers also dining in – my guess is that they didn’t come for the décor.

interior + ice cream freezer

cob web in the corner

 

The Food:

 

the original baconator: 2 patties, loaded bacon, melted cheddar

My initial impression when I first saw this burger was, “Wow!” It looked to have copious amounts of bacon between two juicy beef patties and perfectly melted cheddar atop all between garlic onion buns… However looks can be deceiving. I will give credit where credit is due, and the bacon was delicious. It was thickly sliced and nicely cooked carrying with it a good savory crunch. The rest of the burger was ordinary at best. The lettuce they used looked to be the same kind you find in pre-packed salad bags – chopped into bite-sized pieces. I wouldn’t consider myself a burger snob , but I think if you’re going to put lettuce in a burger, it needs be the whole leaf. Not some chopped or shredded variety you find at a fast food taco joint! Toasted buns is also a judging criteria I have for a good burger and there was no toasting at Red Onion. Instead, the buns were flavorless and plain. After seeing the size of the side items, Cherry wanted to order two sides of tater bites. I walked up to the counter and ordered with the young man standing there. I even heard him relay the order to the manager, so there should have been no way to miss/forget this order….they never came.

 

the ring tails bacon mushroom fan’s: bacon, onion ring, sautéed  mushrooms, swiss & onion rings

 When the ring tails burger came out, after two bites in I said to myself, “Where’s the bacon, mushrooms and onion ring?!” I opened it up and it only had melted cheddar cheese, red onion and lettuce. I waved down our server and let her know that the burger I was served had none of the ingredients listed on the menu. The woman, I perceived as the owner, came by, acknowledged the mistake, and took the burger back to have the correct one made. She did come back and apologized stating, “I’m very sorry, I pushed the wrong button on the screen.” After a few more minutes, the correct burger was served and like the baconator, it looked great. But looks can only get you so far, you need substance to keep people coming back. Flavorless and ordinary seem to be a common theme with our meal here. Acting as the lighthouse shining on dark and lowly night, the bacon was the only thing that brought anything to the table. Swiss cheese isn’t the most flavorful cheese by any means and in this case it was no different. The mushrooms were meagerly sprinkled atop the melted cheese and beneath a plain onion ring. A good onion ring, to me, is one that has good crunch doesn’t have the entire onion come after one bite. Those two benchmarks were not met either. The single onion ring was forgettable and in the grand scheme of the burger, it was a non-factor. It didn’t stand out at all and was lost between everything else. I did order a side of onion rings with my burger and they were one in the same. I even got a what seemed like a mouthful of oil after biting into one – not an good lasting impression.

 

My Conclusion:

I have three words to describe Red Onion Burger: Ordinary, circus, dirty. The burgers were vanilla – something I could make myself on my backyard grill. Patties had no substance and honestly looked like the frozen patties you find at a grocery store. I’m not going to knock on family run businesses, but it looked a little awkward and inefficient to me to see six workers standing behind the counter and ice cream freezer with no apparent tasks or roles. Everyone just walked around aimlessly and did random tasks that were assigned by the owner. Also, it was very clear that routine cleanings rarely happen apparent by the cob webs behind our table on the dining floor. The red baskets that everything was served in were all very dirty. Black dirt and other various colors that appear after many months and maybe years of not washing the baskets lay under the parchment sheets… Needless to say, I will not be returning to Red Onion Burger.

dirty baskets…

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