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A Boxty at Monterey Pub

Big Mac!
Big Mac!

Just when I thought I knew everything about old school Pittsburgh food pots, Monterey Pub in the North Side was thrust in my face by multiple sources. As an Irish Pub, the place is famed for its Guinness Shredded Beef, which it manages to drop into dishes at every level – nachos, burgers, shepherd’s pie and whatnot. I like Guinness and I like beef, so I was hoping Monterey Pub would satisfy my hunger.

We started out with chips, salsa and guac, which was a huge mistake. After all, despite being in the Mexican War Streets, this was not a Mexican place and I’m pretty sure all three things came from Costco. Nonetheless, my main course more than made up for that.

Per my waitress’s suggestion, I ordered the Guinness Shredded Beef Boxty. This delight was composed of potato pancakes in Big Mac formation layered with the shredded beef, English Double Gloucester Cheese and something called signature pub sauce. Little did I know that this would be served in a ring of lettuce, which was a poor choice, but what I ordered certainly was not. Despite looking like a sandwich, this required a fork and knife and each bite was better than the next. The shredded beef had a touch of sweetness from the Guinness malts, yet was plenty savory. The cheese was just strong enough and the special sauce was reminiscent of a certain mixture of ketchup and mayo, but better. Finally, the potato pancakes were nothing like the Jewish variety and added a great hit of crispy texture and flavor to the mix.

Monterey Pub is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for awesome Irish Pub food. The Guinness Shredded Beef Boxty is one of the most uniquely delicious meals I have had in a long time, and that’s a pretty strong statement for an Irish Pub. Just make sure to stick with the Irish food as opposed to random menu offerings like chips and salsa.