A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sandwiches at Maloney's Pub in Matawan

It was Friday night, so we decided to try Maloney's Pub & Grill. It is an Irish pub at 119 Main Street in Matawan, just half a block off Little Street. We were greeted at the door and were promptly escorted past the bar into an area where about fifteen tables provide a comfortable setting for dining. We each enjoyed a draught from their long list of beers on tap -- I had a Stella in the classic stemware, and my wife had a Yuengling. I thought the beers were a little steep at $4 for a draught, but maybe I've been hitting too many Happy Hours at other local bars? (Wine by the glass is $6)

We received a bread basket full of fresh baked rolls and some sort of sweet soda biscuits -- we gobbled them up. They must have a baker on the premises because the breads all tasted so fresh.

We decided to begin our meal with salads, which came dressed to the nines but were larger and a bit more expensive than we expected. My house salad came with a nice lettuce blend and a bunch of great additions -- a soldierly row of sliced cucumbers flanked by hard boiled egg halves, plus a long spring onion decorated the plate. The honey mustard salad dressing was a bit spicy, which made the salad tasty and special. My wife's caesar salad also came with unexpected garnishes, including tomato. While the salads and breads were wonderful, they also nearly filled us up. Side salads need to somehow be small enough to allow a diner to enjoy the main course or they aren't side salads.

The sandwiches we ordered truly paled in comparison to the preliminaries. The pulled pork sandwich my wife ordered was only lightly toasted, so the sandwich was difficult to handle. Sort of greasy and sagging. She worried that the contents of the sandwich would overwhelm the frail exterior and she'd have a mess on her hands, or her lap. So she had it wrapped to go so she could study the situation at home. My cheesesteak sandwich wasn't what I expected. It had the meat on top and a very mild white cheese down below the meat, sort of hiding along the crevice between the top and bottom buns. I imagine that is the proper style for making cheesesteaks and lots of people love them that way. But for me, anyway, I had to add mustard because the meat was too dry without any cheese on top. I'd say the cheese was absent without leave. The roll was great -- soft and warm. And we both loved the fries. But the sandwiches left us rather disappointed.

The wait staff was polite, responsive, and personable. The restaurant was possibly overly lighted, at least until the band was getting ready to play and the manager began to dim the lights. They could study their lighting and make things a bit cozier for the dinner crowd. The band, which was setting up as we entered, was just starting to play as we packed up around 9:30 PM. There was a lively crowd building in the bar area.

The tab was just under $40.00 for food and beer for two. Full dinners can run up to $20, so if you enjoyed a bottle of wine, appetizers, salads, some of the higher end meals plus dessert, you could spend over $75 for dinner for two.

We'll have to try Maloney's again in a month or so. Maybe a burger would be a better choice?


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