It makes sense, for St. Patrick’s Day revelers, to seek out a place for celebration that can provide them with the Irish atmosphere the day demands. Yet, how many get stuck in the same annual rut of corned beef, cabbage and Guinness?
As it turns out, there’s a place right here on the Mid-Shore that takes those staples and elevates them to something more, something perfect for those “Irish for a day” folks and those who enjoy good Irish food any time of the year.
Located on a street corner in the heart of downtown Denton, Market Street Public House is hard to miss. Its easily recognizable décor — a mix of green, red and black—runs three storefronts deep thanks to a fairly recent expansion, and boasts both outdoor seating and an indoor that can fit several hundred people.
With a menu covered in clovers and a bar stocked with more than 30 varieties of Irish whiskey, Market Street has fully embraced its role as an Irish pub, one of the most common styles of restaurant nationwide. However, owner Brian Tyler also has embraced the role of hometown staple, with tables made from wood found in Caroline County barns and pieces covering the walls reflecting local history. It’s a neat mix, and one that’s been embraced by both visitors and locals alike.
This St. Patrick’s Day is a special one for Tyler and his staff. They’ll be celebrating not just the holiday (and their biggest business day of the year) but also Market Street’s 10-year anniversary in Denton. And while they’ll have plenty of live entertainment and fun events to mark the day, it’s their food that’s the real star of the show.
Everything at Market House is made fresh daily; Tyler estimates they go through about 200 pounds of potatoes every day. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but there’s a few pairings that really capture the deliciousness of this classic pub fare.
Pub’s Famous Grilled Reuben & Harriet Tubman Stout
Maybe the most traditional St. Patrick’s Day item on the menu, Market Street’s grilled Reuben features thinly sliced corned beef (made in-house), sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and Swiss cheese on perfectly toasted rye bread. You’ll be licking your fingers to savor every bit of this outstanding sandwich.
Pair the Reuben with Market Street’s own Harriet Tubman Stout — a smooth, drinkable dark beer brewed right in the back of the restaurant. Tyler calls their set up more nanobrewery than microbrewery, but they’re able to keep a few of their own creations on tap at all times, thanks to the work of brewer Kevin Blankenship.
Public House Fish & Chips & Guinness & Jameson
Served in a basket lined with newsprint-style paper, Market Street’s fish and chips are quintessential comfort food. Several thick pieces of cod, dipped in house-ale batter and fried golden brown, crunch with every bite and will leave you incredibly happy with your choice to order simple. Served with an ample portion of hand-cut shoestring fries, this is a perfect meal for a chilly day.
According to Tyler, “nothing goes better with fish and chips than a nice Guinness and a shot of Jameson,” so you’ll definitely get your Irish fix with this one, too.
Guinness Burger & Irish Red Ale
If you’re looking to break the St. Patrick’s Day Guinness habit without going totally cold turkey, why not eat rather than drink it? Market Street’s Guinness burger is half a pound of fresh ground beef topped with bacon, caramelized onion marmalade, smoked Gouda and a Guinness aioli. And it’s delicious. This burger is big and juicy, and really everything you want when you order a burger — something that leaves your mouth watering after the first bite and gives you plenty more to follow it up with.
So, what do you drink with this burger if not a Guinness? Another of Market Street’s own beers, an Irish red ale, stays on tap at all times. The “red” moniker comes from its color, and it’s a well-balanced beer that serves as a nice alternative for someone who doesn’t want the bitterness of an IPA.
Spicy Asian Chicken Salad & Dublin Dew
This pairing isn’t exactly Irish, but it’s got a great flavor to look forward to with the approach of spring and warmer weather. Grilled chicken on a bed of mixed greens tossed in sesame ginger dressing and spicy peanut sauce with green pepper, red onion, and carrots, all served on corn tortilla chips, it’s incredibly light and refreshing. Just picture yourself enjoying the crisp kick of this Thai-infused salad while you dine outside and soak up the sunshine.
You’ll want to keep your drink light with this meal too, so consider staying away from the beer and opting for a cocktail instead. Tyler recommends a Dublin Dew, made with fresh lemonade, melon liqueur, simple syrup, lemon vodka and a splash of Sprite. Its sweetness provides a nice contrast to the spice of the salad, and the combination of the two prevents either from being overwhelming.
These are just a few of the highlights from Market Street’s impressive menu. For seafood lovers, there’s also the grilled ahi tuna panini (one of Tyler’s bestsellers) made with sushi-grade blackened ahi tuna. Pair it with an IPA to get a little bitterness to balance out the spice of the sandwich.
Bread Pudding & Irish Coffee
If you think you’re going to have room in your stomach, start with the Irish baked potato soup, a real treat served with homemade garlic crostinis, or finish off with your meal with their bread pudding and an Irish coffee, two nice options to finish out your dining experience without killing you with sugary sweetness.
You’ll need more than one trip to Market Street to really explore the menu the way it deserves to, but it’s both affordable and worth it.