951 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 832-2021

On one of the rare few lazy Fridays that we've managed to get in recent months, Pike and I decided to take our intern (whom, I will name, sheerly out of laziness, Bintern (subject to change)) out to lunch. Okay, that's not true. We didn't TAKE him out to lunch. We went to lunch WITH him. It's cheaper this way. But what to get? You can only have salads so many times in a row and warm Chinese food served from a trough at a deli is only so appetizing. Bar food was the consensus. And Pig 'N' Whistle would be the bar. Sadly, this would not be a liquid lunch, my craving for a Guinness notwithstanding.

We went to the Pig 'N' Whistle On Second. There is also one On Third. This one is has, like most bar/restaurants in the immediate area, a second dining floor and at happy hour fills to the brim with people who, unlike me, get out of work early enough to go to happy hour. I call these people "lucky bastards". One of the reasons that we chose Pig 'N' Whistle this sunny afternoon was for its outdoor seating. It was a gorgeous day and why escape the office if you have to go back inside to eat?

Here's the thing about Pig 'N' Whistle. It's a bar. It serves bar food and the menu at one bar is, nine times out of ten, going to be virtually identical to the menu at some other random bar. So don't go thinking that we ordered some crazy litany of courses that you can't get anywhere else. Far from it. Unfortunately, PNW isn't really a standout.

We decided to split an order of Fried Calamari. I don't know anyone who doesn't like fried calamari. I mean, sure, there are bound to be a few freaks out there, but they're not normal people. Bars always give you one of two types of appetizers. First, those that are tiny and make you wonder why you bothered ordering it at all, like mozzarella sticks, which usually come with maybe five pitiful fried cheese cylinders and leave you hungrier having finished the dish than when you started. And second, those that are so massively huge that there's no way that one person could possibly eat it all. Normally, the nachos fall into this category. PNW's calamari platter was like this and was therefore a good size for the three of us to share, especially since we also ordered lunch entrees.

I ordered Pig ‘N’ Whistle’s Shepherds Pie, which, while not bad, was nothing to write home about either. The sauce was somewhat too tomato-based for me to really go nuts over, but I can’t say I didn’t eat the whole thing. I have the nasty habit of trying to find the perfect shepherd’s pie (similar in nature to my quest to find the perfect key lime pie) and it eludes me. From now on, I’m not going to expect perfection except from an actual, authentic, certified Irish Pub where the staff’s Irish and the wood paneling’s dark. Pike chose the South West Chicken Wrap, a standard wrap of ranch dressing, bacon, onions, avocado, cheddar cheese, tomato, and lettuce in a warm flour tortilla. Pike felt that it was a wee bit heavy and, for calorie count reasons, felt that he should have gotten the Chicken Caesar Wrap instead. Nonetheless, he liked it. I guess the moral of this story is that you should order it if your waistline isn't a concern. Bintern's choice was the French Dip Au Jus sandwich on a french baguette with horseradish aioli. He shared the au jus sauce with his slacks. Bintern wasn't the world's biggest supporter. He thought it was decent, but not fantastic. Somewhat bland. Both the wrap and the sandwich were served with french fries.

PNW wasn't cheap. Expect to spend $15 for your meal, plus drinks, and while nothing was bad, nothing was really special, either. Maybe they're better for drinks, and maybe they have a great evening atmosphere, but next time I want lunch, I'll probably find another place.

One appetizer, one shepherd's pie, two sandwiches, and three sodas, plus tax and tip ended up at a whopping $75.

You Might Also Like



The contents of this website/weblog are the property of its author and are protected under the copyright and intellectual property laws of the United States of America. The views expressed within are the opinions of the author. All rights reserved.

Readers are free to copy and distribute the material contained within, but such external use of the author's original material must be properly attributed to the author. Attribution may be through a link to the author's original work. Derivative use is prohibited. The borrower may not alter, transform, or build upon the work borrowed.

The author is free to change the terms of this copyright at any time and without notice. At the written request by the borrower, the author may choose to waive these rights.