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beer and food pairing at Fado Irish Pub Denver

Review: Food and Beer Pairing at Fadó Irish Pub

A few years back, one of my second cousins on my dad’s side embarked on a very thorough research of our family name. Turns out Boggs is pretty darned literal, and that my people, many, many generations back, were likely Irish peat boggers—the lucky ducks who get to wade hip deep into bogs and cut out slabs of peat to be used for fuel. (Incidentally, the interwebs tell me that “peat bogger” was once a slang term for someone of Irish descent.)

My personal identity has always run a little closer to home, with “Texan” being my main claim of lineage. But now that I know what kind of killer grub I’ve been missing, though, I might just have to go out and get a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” tee shirt or two.

Fadó Irish Pub (pronounced fah-doh) in Denver is just a cool place. It is literally a stone’s throw from the ballpark, and, as the manager Glen Eastwood told us in his genuine Irish brogue (he’s from Dublin), the pub was actually built wholesale in Ireland, then dismantled, shipped, and reassembled in Denver. It’s arranged so that if you walk through the restaurant clockwise from the front door, you pass through rooms decorated in the style of different periods from Irish history.  We were in the Victorian room, with lovely wood-paneled walls.  It all feels very authentic.

And so does the food. Glen treated us to a sample plate of a few of the restaurant’s specialties, each with a paired beer selection.

beer and food pairing at Fado Irish Pub Denver

We started with a mini version of Fadó’s bestselling shepherd’s pie paired with a Guinness Foreign Extra.  The super dark, slightly bitter beer played beautifully off the rich, sweet notes in the demi glace and ground beef of the pie.  It was winter comfort food at its absolute best.

Next, we sampled the Salmon Bites—an appetizer I definitely wouldn’t have expected at an Irish pub: delectable tidbits of smoked salmon served atop boxty blinis with a light horseradish sauce, capers, onions, and lemon. A boxty, for those not in the know, is a traditional Irish potato pancake and can be made large, the size of a crepe, or small like these delicate little canapes.  These bites were brilliant served with a lighter golden ale from Westmalle.

Finally, we sampled the pulled lamb sliders with au jus.  Is your mouth watering at the mere thought? Because mine certainly was.  These little gems didn’t disappoint, with rich, savory lamb doused in a touch of the lamb au jus and topped with bleu cheese crumbles and caramelized onions. Glen paired these decadent nibbles with a Celebration Double Bock that was just dark enough not to be overwhelmed by the rich earthy flavors of the lamb, and light enough to allow the sweetness of the onion to bloom through.

I can heartily recommend that you make a trip to Fadó to sample some of these Irish treasures—and order them with one of these paired beers to really enhance the entire experience.

In fact, I have the perfect excuse for you to make a trip downtown:

Each year, Fadó holds a huge charity event in support of St. Baldrick’s, a wonderful charity that encourages people to gather donations in exchange for shaving their heads to support kids with cancer. This year it will be on Friday, March 16, 2012, with a Charity Event, Bottomless Stella Happy Hour, and entertainment by That Eighties Band.

This is a cause newly near and dear to my heart, as my nephew was diagnosed in January with stage 4 acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.  He is 5 years old. The photo here was taken at Christmas, just a couple of weeks before his diagnosis, when we had no idea that this happy, energetic, incredibly sweet and precocious little boy would soon be facing the battle of his life.

To add insult to injury, of course, he has started to lose his hair from the chemo treatments that he is enduring. It’s hard enough to explain to such a young child what’s happening to them, and harder still when the outward result of their treatment is so visible. (My sister-in-law said he was really upset about it until he found out that losing his hair wouldn’t hurt!)

You can support children’s cancer research by indulging in one of the great beer and food pairings we got to sample at Fadó‘s—whether you shave your head or not!

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer while requesting donations of support from friends and family. The goal this year is $225,000 and Fadó Irish Pub will donate 20 percent of all food sales between 12pm and 6:30pm during the event.

Nearly 325 people will have their heads shaved by stylists from Salon on the Boulevard at the event at Fadó this year. Those shaving their heads will be enthusiastically cheered on by crowds of friends, family, doctors, nurses, children and others who have been touched by cancer in hopes to further awareness that pediatric cancer, the number one disease killer of children, is terribly under-funded.

Get involved and either shave your head, volunteer, eat or donate, but give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/132/2012 to learn how to be a shavee, support a team or donate in general.

Doors open on March 16th at 11am to all ages with a limited menu. After 5pm, the party is exclusively for those 21 and up.

And check out my fellow bloggers’ experiences at Fadó:

• Beer Tasting at Fadó’s Irish Pub, Denver, CO and a Shepherd’s Pie – Creative Culinary
•  Fado Irish Pub and My Version of Their Smoked Salmon Bites — Savoury Table

Who else was there? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to link you up!

Fadó Irish Pub invited a group of local food bloggers, including me, to sample their new menu, however I was not paid for this post, and all my opinions are my own.

Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 Comments

  1. I was there with you but no matter…your review is making me wish I was there again. Now. I loved all of it but have to admit those lamb sliders were the BOMB!

    Hey…here’s a place that feels like home if we ever need to meet in the middle!

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