When my regular group of snack clubbers, a group I regularly go out with to try new restaurants in the area, were figuring out where to go, one of them suggested Bailey’s. I must have missed the notice that Bailey’s Irish Pub became the newest iteration in the former carriage house of the Ward Mansion. 

I’m so glad one of my fellow snack clubbers suggested this pub. What an tasty discovery. We went on a Sunday night so it was a tad slow, but the service was highly attentive. We decided to sit in the back garden area because it was quite balmy outside and it was pretty private and we could be as silly and boisterous as we wanted. We all ordered drinks – beer of course – and then decided on what to eat from their well-rounded menu that is a wonderful mix of tradition and Irish pub food.

My friends kicked off their meal with the highly recommended Irish kegs. From the description we thought they were stuffed potato skins, but what arrived were so much better. For $9 you receive six of what could only be described as the best, biggest tater tots you ever ate. Truly, they are mashed potatoes mixed with bacon, cheese and onions and shaped like a keg, served with spicy ranch and regular ranch. They were delicious. I would say “the bomb” but Bailey’s also serves up something called Bailey’s bombs. We didn’t try them, but they sound marvelous. They are grilled marinated chicken, diced up and rolled in a flour tortilla with cheese, house pico, sriracha sauce and sour cream.

For our entrees we all ordered a nice array from the menu. Two of the clubbers ordered the prime rib dinner ($25) and both proclaimed it was perfectly cooked. The prime rib is served with a salad, choice of potato, delicious sauteed cabbage (which was everyone’s vegetable side) and some crusty bread. Two others ordered the bangers and mash ($12) which also came with the sauteed cabbage and crusty bread. They weren’t let down at all. I surmised this because their plates were practically licked clean. Another friend ordered the fish and chips, ($12) and said it was crispy and quite enjoyable. But then I had to order. I’m so bad at ordering. Really, I make everyone order before me because I can never decide. I get a little sweaty and have that FOMO moment (fear of missing out) that I’m going to get the wrong thing. Ridiculous, I know. I couldn’t decide between the shepherd’s pie ($13) and the Guinness beef stew ($11). So I ordered the Irish coddle ($11). What?

Irish coddle is something I had never tried before, and I can definitely see myself downing a bowl or two this coming fall and winter on the regular. Irish coddle is a hearty of stew filled with bangers, carrots and potatoes. It was such a big bowl of it, I ended up taking half home, and it was one of the most tasty soups I’ve had in a long time. (I also got some cabbage and crusty bread). To top off my delicious meal were another round of potatoes – let me explain. My hubby, who doesn’t like potatoes, well at least not the way I do, let me pick his potato side so I chose the potatoes O’Brien.  Apparently the waitstaff heard our conversation and to be extra nice, they didn’t put the potatoes on my husband’s plate and instead plated them separately and put them on the side for me.  How thoughtful is that? The potatoes were deliciously spicy with black pepper and what I believe were jalapeños. I could eat them any time and they would be amazing with eggs for breakfast too.

My group is also never one to shy away from dessert and we tried both the warm cookie in a cast iron skillet topped with ice cream ($7) and their newest dessert which I shared with my friend, a warm chocolate brownie with a pretzel crust and ice cream.   

I have to say, we did not leave hungry or thirsty. The food was amazing, the prices were extremely reasonable and the waitstaff took wonderful care of us. I highly recommend Bailey’s for a relaxing, casual night out. If I were to give it a ranking, I’d give it four forks out of five, but that is so arbitrary, so instead I’ll just say, give them a go. They seem eager to please and it is a great place that gives you the opportunity to relax, have a drink and enjoy some of the best food Leavenworth has to offer.

Lisa Sweet writes about food for the Leavenworth Times. Contact her at foodfreaklvtimes@gmail.com