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4 Daughters: A pub with great Irish grub

Irish pubs are known for their tasty food and jovial atmosphere. When some out-of-town guests came to visit last week, I decided to take them to the 4 Daughters Irish Pub on West Main Street in downtown Medford. Some delicious Irish food would be the perfect antidote for a blustery winter night.

As you enter the restaurant, the exposed brick walls and warm wood beams create an inviting atmosphere. On the right side of the restaurant, a mammoth bar seats 10 people. The back of the bar is lined with libations of every kind. On the left side, a grand staircase leads you upstairs to a large room with a wood burning fireplace on each side. Leather couches and chairs are arranged in small groups to provide space for people to sit and chat.

Our waitress brought us our menus and we all had to take a few minutes to read over the delicious offerings. For starters, Bubbles and Squeak was described as an Irish favorite: cheesy potatoes and vegetable cakes fried and served with creamy dill aioli. Irish nachos are thickly sliced potatoes covered with creamy nacho cheese, Kelly’s Irish salsa, sour cream and jalapenos served with a side of Shepherd’s Pie. Grilled Fish and Chips is another favorite.

After much discussion, two of my friends decided on Shepherd’s Pie, ground sirloin mixed with peas, mushrooms, onions and cabbage in a thick red house gravy covered with garlic mashed potatoes and melted cheddar cheese ($13.75). They proceeded to eat every last bite, but stopped short of licking the plate. Another friend tried the Irish Stew — hearty, slow-stewed sirloin with carrots, celery, onions and rich beef broth over mashed potatoes ($14.75). A fourth friend tried the Guinness Meatloaf — signature house Angus beef with Guinness and bacon, baked to juicy perfection and served with garlic mashed potatoes topped with red wine house gravy ($15.75). I decided on Taylor’s Bangers and Mash, two savory and delicious pork sausages flame grilled and served with rich garlic mashed potatoes and tender peas covered with red wine gravy ($14.75). The seasonings in the pork sausages were outstanding.

In addition to delicious food, the 4 Daughters Pub hosts a popular Trivia Night from 7 to 9 p.m. every Monday. The trivia questions are on a piece of paper with room to write your answers. You can play individually or as a team. Prizes include a restaurant gift card of $30, $20 or $10 to the winners.

Another fun evening is the First Tuesday Pub Talks of each month sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society. The talks are held in the upstairs room of the bar with comfortable seating. The next talk will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7. The subject will be “Survivors of War: Indian Women in Jacksonville.” Pat Harper, who worked for 30 years in public libraries and became the SOHS archivist in 2010, will give the talk. As Indians in the Rogue Valley were forced onto reservations, some Indian women remained in Jacksonville and the surrounding settlements. The lecture will talk about who these women were and how they lived.

The First Tuesday Pub Talk on June 4 will present the story of how a group of school kids impacted the preservation of Jacksonville. For additional talks going forward, check with the Southern Oregon Historical Society website at sohs.org.event-list.

Guinness Meatloaf – 4 Daughters' signature house Angus beef with Guinness and bacon, served with garlic mashed potatoes topped with red wine house gravy. (Photo by Cheryl Pearson)