2009-08-19 / Restaurant of the Week

McCann's Pub and Grill is not just a neighborhood pub, it is an integral part of the neighborhood it serves. With group fishing trips, cruises, nightly drink and food specials, sports events and an upcoming paintball


trip, McCann's has built a sense of community right here on Ditmars Blvd. Owner Paul Fogarty and John McEvoy, the amiable manager, make sure that everyone is happy and that the food, drinks and service are of consistently high quality. Indeed, after 11 years, the proof is in the pudding, or should I say the "pint."

McCann's has a fun, relaxed atmosphere that attracts a good-looking crowd of guys and gals who come for their specialty drinks, great appetizers and entrées, friendly service and nightly specials. The billiard tables in the rear of the pub, as well as the dart board, allow for some friendly competition while several television screens show all the games, without sound, so as not to disturb your conversation.

Wednesday nights are "Ladies Night" with half price drinks for ladies from 8pm until 1am. McCann's has a long list of specialty cocktails, such as the French martini, with a splash of Chambord, or the refreshing, summery peach or watermelon martinis. Tuesdays offer "martini madness" with $5.50 martinis all day long. Other fruity drinks, such as strawberry daiquiri, pina colada and margaritas are mixed up on the spot. A selection of over a dozen beers, served by the pint or pitcher, offers a brew for everyone. Get a pitcher of beer and a sampler platter of appetizers for the low price of just $17 all day long.

While some pub food can vary, McCann's is always consistently fresh, prepared on the spot and made with high quality meats and vegetables, and served in very generous portions. We began with some tempting appetizers that can be eaten at the bar or at one of the pub tables. McCann's Buffalo bites put a new twist on the wings with these boneless chicken bites that are breaded and fried till golden, then served with your choice of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, teriyaki, or honey glaze ($7.25). One of the most popular appetizers is the steak tidbits. Angus steak is cooked to order then cut into bite-sized cubes and served over garlic bread with melted mozzarella ($8.25). This steak is incredibly tender and flavorful yet this is hardly an appetizer portion, as one could make a sufficient meal of it alone. A new menu item called "sliders,î consists of mini burgers with bacon and your choice of cheese. They make a nice snack and are perfect for sharing. The crab cakes are also bite-sized and full of sweet crab meat, with six to an order. Chicken quesadillas are large enough to have as an entrée and are filled with tender chicken and melted cheese, served with chunky salsa and creamy sour cream ($7.95). The Buffalo wings are tender and juicy and can be ordered as spicy as you like them. The Buffalo shrimp are equally as good, served with tartar sauce. Potato skins are full of melted cheese and bacon and served hot and crispy for just $6.95 for a large portion. You can also have them filled with McCann's famous chili or vegetables and cheese. McAnn's chili is thick and meaty and can be ordered as an appetizer too. If you can't decide among these tantalizing choices, Mc- Cann's Sampler offers an assortment of their best appetizers and a pitcher of beer for just $17, a deal that can't be beat.

Dinner entrées include an impressive chicken cordon bleu, a massive dish, layered with tender chicken breast, ham and Swiss cheese. Chicken Francese was also rendered well, served with pasta and fresh vegetables. John's favorite is the 12-ounce shell steak grilled to order or the Hungry Man steak smothered in mushrooms and onions ($15.95). Penne with tomato and basil, or alla vodka is served piping hot with freshly grated parmesan. Most entrées are served with colorful vegetables and your choice of mashed potatoes, steak fries or rice. Of course, classic Shepherd's Pie is always a good choice. Freshly tossed salads can be ordered for dinner as well, alone or topped with grilled chicken, Buffalo chicken, steak or chunky white tuna and your choice of dressing.

McCann's burgers are what burgers should be and you'll need two hands for these. A long list of wraps and sandwiches can be ordered any time of day, such as the Cajun chicken wrap is one of the most popular for its zesty seasoning, lettuce, tomato, bacon and mayonnaise. The McCann's wrap features grilled chicken, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard ($8.95). A classic BLT sandwich or a Club sound just great, especially when served with a choice of steak fries, onion rings, mashed potatoes, salad or rice.

By the way, breakfast is now being served all day and all night long, so stop in any time. There's always something fun happening at McCann's. Football season is coming and McCann's has every single game covered. Visit their website for upcoming events, such as the paintball trip in September and, get this, Christmas in August. That's right, on Wednesday, August 26th, Santa will be on hand to hand out presents and share some cheer.

Whether you're looking to meet up with friends, or make some new ones, McCann's is the place to be any night of the week. They're open from 11am to 4am, and the kitchen stays open until 2am, serving anything on the menu with a smile. Check out McCann's Pub and Grill for great food, fun, drinks and lots of specials.

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