It was a perfect evening weather wise – so down the convertible top went and up the highway we went. Thurmont was our destination, the Shamrock our dining choice. It was my father’s suggestion to give this old Irish standby a try – and so we did. (In general, you should always listen to your father)
I actually liked the ambience – it was kind of old-fashioned, cozy with lots of clover decorations. It was kind of like your grandmother’s house if she were the nurturing, cooking, apron-wearing, chintz-covered sofa kind of grandma. (Mine was more the kreplach making, oy-gevalting, “No, you don’t need to change the lightbulb, Dark is Good” kind of grandma - so this was new to me!)
The menu was short, but the offerings were solid: fish, steak, chicken, crabcakes. On the recommendation of the server, we ordered crabcakes ($22) , the haddock imperial ($22) , and an interesting-on-paper mixed seafood platter ($20 something).
In short, nothing was great. Nothing was really even good. It was all “OK”. The crabcakes were indeed moist – but tasted more like mayo than crab. The tasted-like-it-may have-once-been-frozen haddock was as firm as number 8 on the Serta perfect sleeper, and the mixed platter – yawn.
Dinners were accompanied by a little bowl of green beans. Now, I happen to like green beans. I can eat them prepared in a myriad of ways. But, remember the grandma reference earlier? Well, she would be in luck with these veggies.
Grandma (or maybe even grandma’s grandma) could have eaten these mushy green cylinders even after her teeth were efferdenting-ing in the glass on the bedside table. Gee whiz - did they pick them up at the Golden Corral buffet?
I will now say something nice. The wine offerings were an amazingly excellent value. A full bottle of Kendall Jackson Reserve Chardonnay was about $23. That’s hardly any more than retail – and a fraction of the ridiculous markups that most restaurants embrace. So though the food made me sad...the wine made me glad!
Alas, a not so pleasant dining experience at the Shamrock. The clover didn’t bring us any luck at all.