EAT and Drink This Week: McP’s Taphouse’s Nutty Irishman and Reuben sandwich
On a typical week, we look to feature a dish and drink separately – a dish that looks to squelch those pangs of hunger and a drink that showcases the many places around the lake to whet your whistle. But this week, given the proximity to Saint Patrick’s Day, we’re giving you a two-fer at a place that celebrates the holiday in glorious fashion: McP’s Taphouse Grill. Oh yeah, the food and drink are pretty good, too.
We’re going to kick things off on the food side with a riff on the traditional celebratory corned beef and cabbage: their Reuben sandwich. Perhaps the most important part in the success of this sandwich is the corned beef – and boy is it successful. Cooked for eight glorious hours, its crazy tender and balances the act of salty, sour and spice about as well as a top-flight high wire act.
A hearty six ounces of the corned beef is piled high atop toasted slices of marbled rye. For the holiday, you can also get the innards of this bundled tightly in a spinach tortilla for a wrap – although, if you’re already indulging, why not just go for the gusto and rock the rye? I personally think the rye is the Reuben’s ride or die, because without it you lose that deep, rich flavor it brings. Buy hey, I like tortillas as much as the next person, so whatever tickles your clovers.
The meat is topped with two scratch made items: sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. In between the two you have a layer of melted Swiss that has seeped into each and every crevice of the corned beef. The sandwich is served with a side of fries that are so crispy and delicious you may contemplate whether money spent on one gallon of gas is better in your vehicle or in your belly as additional sides of these fries. Fuel vs. fries has a clear winner – and it isn’t the one leaving you sulking at the pump.
Each bite of the sandwich makes perfect sense. The beef is chocked full of salt and peppery goodness, while the sauerkraut counteracts it with a briny blast. You’re not overloaded with the dressing, either. It pumps up the flavor and still lets everything else shine on its own. The gooey Swiss’ nuttiness dances extremely well with the earthy notes from the beef, creating a very worthy St. Patty’s Day dish.
Now, for something to wash this dish down you might think that in a place that pours the most Guinness in the basin, we’d be tooting that horn, but no. We’re giving you the inside track on a drink that will keep you warm on a night that currently looks to be in the 20’s. The Nutty Irishman not only has a name that is perfect for the celebration, but is a delicious jolt to kick start the evening.
Fresh coffee is the base to help widen those eyes after a meal like the Reuben. It’s joined by Irish cream and Frangelico then topped with a healthy portion of whipped cream. Yes, in this construction of the sentence, whipped cream is healthy.
You definitely can taste the liqueurs mixing it up around the coffee – begging it to join their gang. When it does, you’re treated to a three-way juxtaposition that is sweet and roast-y and nutty. If you’re one that likes coffee with your cream, feel free to swirl around that big topper and mellow it all out until it meets your DEFCON level of creaminess.
There isn’t anything too crazy happening with this cocktail, and there doesn’t need to be. It’s all ingredients you’re friendly with, in-it-to-win-it with you for an old-fashioned good time.
Just make sure if you are going to treat yourself to this (or any combination of menu items) keep in mind that this is an Irish Pub at heart. Tables start to clear out around 7 p.m. and the DJ starts to spin around 8 p.m. The Guinness Girls will also be in attendance until 7:30 p.m. so don’t say I didn’t warn you – or you can thank me for telling you … either way, stay safe. Cheers!
McP’s Taphouse Grill is located at 4125 Lake Tahoe Blvd A in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and drink information visit them online at mcpstahoe.net or via phone at 530-542-4435.
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