The pub was quiet we walked in — but then again, it was a bit early for folks to come into Cregeen’s Irish Pub in Argenta to drink and get rowdy. The wife and I had been shopping for a coffee at Galaxy Furniture when hunger struck, and not wanting to move our car, we decided to grab lunch within walking distance, and the warm wood and traditional public house atmosphere of Cregeen’s fit the bill nicely.
The wife ordered a Guinness while I went for my personal favorite, a Murphy’s Irish Stout — a beer that is rarely on Little Rock taps but one that I find to be so imminently drinkable that I get one whenever I can. Either way, the beers were well-poured and hit our table with their creamy dark selves in record time. The first long pull went down so smoothly that I decided I’d have a second right then and there.
But there are plenty of pubs that do right by beer. Rarer is a pub that serves up good grub: Cregeen’s is one of the rare ones. Start off with an order of Duck Wings — we got ours with tangy buffalo sauce and I was impressed by the large size, meatiness, and nice crunchy breading. Sure, the sauce and breading come with a lot of flavor, but the flavor of the duck wasn’t lost one bit.
Another starter worth a look is the Irish Pretzel — a huge, soft pretzel topped with chipped corned-beef, house-made spicy kraut and shredded Gouda. It’s perfect food for soaking up beers, and utterly delicious.
As for an entree, it was obvious that we needed some fish and chips, and Cregeen’s did us right by them. Three large pieces of crisp, flaky white fish were a delight, but it was the crispy hand-cut fries that really had us raving. There are a lot of places serving up this style fries soggy and horrible — these were nice and firm on the outside and mealy on the inside. Fantastic.
Cregeen’s wears its Irish persona with pride, but its got the drinks and food to back it up. Go for a quiet lunch or get rowdy at night — either way, make sure you get some of that dark Irish beer into your system.