Restaurant: Tip O’Leary’s Restaurant and Bar
Address: 300 W. Chester Pk., Havertown, PA 19083
Rating: (3 out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Casual eatery
Food: Pub grub, burgers, salads, sandwiches and seafood items
Atmosphere: Warm and welcoming
Parking: Lot parking
Price Range: Affordable
Unique Feature: This place has various drink specials during the week and during Eagles games, extensive seafood options and a kid’s menu.
You can’t get more Irish sounding than Tip O’Leary’s. What I found when I dined there recently though was that there was a surprising amount of seafood on the menu and not as much Irish fare as I had expected.
Rumor has it that the chef is actually from Ireland and while I wasn’t ordering corned beef and cabbage and don't recall seeing boxty on the menu the meal was still enjoyable.
I went in for a late afternoon lunch and parked myself at a high table by the bar with a good view of the numerous TV screens and the locals hanging out and answering the questions to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” There are numerous signs advertising the weekday drink specials, Eagles game day drink specials and 50-cent wings during happy hour. This may all lead you to believe that this is merely a pub that happens to serve food but you would be mistaken.
I’m a sucker for mussels marinara and a good cheeseburger so that is exactly what I ordered. The freshly brewed iced tea with lemon was a crisp and refreshing way to start my lunch. A basket of so-so looking rolls and a half a dozen packets of butter soon came my way. As expected the bread wasn’t the most dazzling but I dug in anyway as I was famished.
My lovely server next brought over a soup bowl covered by a huge white plastic bowl. When I flipped over the bowl I saw a veritable mountain of steaming mussels glistening with butter and marinara sauce. It’s safe to say that there were easily 4 dozen mussels in this single order! The mussels were for the most part, cooked nicely. Delicate and flavorful, there were only a few overcooked rubbery stragglers in the mix. The velvety rich tomato broth provided a hearty flavor to the shellfish and was so good that I couldn’t resist dunking the rolls in it.
The cheeseburger with cheddar and French fries was fair. The golden French fries were wonderfully crunchy on the outside and nice and tender on the inside. Delicious enough to be enjoyed solo, these spuds got even better with ketchup. The burger came on a fluffy brioche bun which was a nice touch. The thick slices of tomato and crisp iceberg lettuce were far better than what you normally see.
The patty was also a hefty portion and covered with both white and yellow cheddar cheese which accounted for the strange mosaic on top. The burger was a decent rendition of the pub favorite. Cooked a little beyond medium rare it was still fairly juicy. The whole affair improved with a dash of salt and pepper.
The service is friendly and prompt. I was greeted immediately and my drink order was taken in minutes. My food arrived in a timely fashion and my server was great about clearing dirty plates.
You don’t need to have the luck of the Irish to have a good experience at Tip O’Leary’s in Havertown. Check it out next time you get a hankering for some wings, mussels, a cheap beer or an Eagles game.
Click here for the website.