The Luck of Nine Irish is Still Going StrongNick Rogers | Tuesday, November 05, 2019
My wife and I have only lived together in two different cities: Springfield, Illinois; and Lafayette, Indiana. But each is home to a local restaurant that would follow us wherever we may go if we had our druthers. Places where they know you and what you want. That jump to the top of any dining-out conversation. That feel like a room in your home.
In Springfield, it’s Little Saigon, our twice-weekly Thai-Vietnamese restaurant with the best crab Rangoon I’ve ever had. In Lafayette (and West Lafayette), it’s Nine Irish Brothers. Jerry and Jan O’Bryan’s Irish-pub concept is so ironclad it could delight diners nationwide. But Jerry and Jan couldn’t physically be on hand, which is part of NIB’s inimitable charm and consistent quality.
Named for Jerry’s sizable family (the bar inside is named Five Irish Sisters), Nine Irish Brothers has racked up numerous local, regional and national awards — for prime rib, pork tenderloin, perfectly poured pints of Guinness and much more. Its cozy aesthetics and community approach are modeled after public houses that pepper all parts of Ireland. The West Lafayette location, with its welcoming nooks, is the flagship. But you’d have to be a long-time local to recall its Lafayette location as a Ruby Tuesday, so total was its transformation.
By now, it’s easier for me to say what we’ve not eaten and enjoyed. (With seasonal menu rotations, there’s always something new to sample.) But here are some perpetual NIB winners:
- If a tenderloin bun doesn’t feel like a bit like a small beanie, something’s wrong. The same applies to NIB’s robust grilled chicken sandwich, as flavorful as it is full-bodied. The Reuben and Molly Malloy are also outstanding sandwiches. And always, always, always get the Shamrock Sauce with your pub chips, which are NIB’s signature crisp, delicious, disc-shaped potatoes.
- One look at the fish and chips, and you’ll say: “You’re gonna need a bigger plate.” Aptly described as “hefty haddock,” it’s a catch of the day that’ll probably last you two.
- Looking for something on the lighter, but still indulgent, side? The Irish Pizza, with feta sharpness and corned-beef oomph, is a top-flight appetizer. Plus, the goat cheese fritters — well-herbed and fluffy — are great on a small plate or as a salad topper.
- Irish or UK staples like a full Irish breakfast (served all day) or bangers and mash crackle with cased-meat goodness.
Provided you have any room left: All that will keep you from devouring traditional bread pudding in seconds flat is the temperature at which it’s served fresh out of the oven.
IF YOU GO
- Nine Irish Brothers
- 119 Howard Ave.
- West Lafayette, IN 47906
- (765) 746-4782
- 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Saturday
- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday
- 3520 State Road 38 E.
- Lafayette, IN 47905
- (765) 447-0999
- 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
- 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
- Appetizers: $5.99 to $14.99
- Soups and Sides: $3.49 to $6.49
- Salads: $9.49 to $12.99
- Sandwiches: $9.99 to $12.99
- Entrees: $9.99 to $19.99
- Goat Cheese Fritters
- Irish Pizza
- Pots of Gold
- Pub Chip Plate
- Irish Onion Soup
- Guinness Soup
- Lobster Bisque
- Chicken Sandwich
- Deluxe Reuben
- Molly Malloy
- Black and Blue Salad
- Chicken Salad Salad
- Willie’s Bangers and Mash
- Tiger Mike’s Fish and Chips
- Full Irish Breakfast
- Traditional Bread Pudding
- Last modified: Friday, November 15, 2019