O'Sullivan's: Just Irish Enough
In my life time I can’t remember Fresno having too big of an affiliation with the Irish. Sure
Notre Dame’s red headed step-child Rudy was the last day of the school year movie of choice and we did get misrepresented as the drunkest city in America but that doesn’t make Fresno bleed green. Besides some faux Irishness at Grogg’s and some old Irish charm at The Body in the Bog, Fresno comes up one leaf short of a clover. Yet in old Sunnyside I found a place that could possibly pass as something out of 1950’s Boston or at least Dublin’s version of Applebee’s at O’Sullivan’s Sunnyside Lounge.
Sorry, the Dublin Applebee’s line was out of line. O’Sullivan’s is a great little joint that falls somewhere between family restaurant, dive bar, and Irish Pub. There was a plentiful amount of awesome booth seating may give it a bit of Chili’s vibe but don’t let that fool you. They have a huge island bar with lots of liquor and beer on tap. Their draft selection was surprisingly large and they have a generous 2 – 7pm happy hour and shitty beers are $2.00 during every Giants game. Also the 17th of every month pints are only 2 bucks cause they are Irish and the 17th is their favorite day to get Irish wasted. So this is a food review right …
Pablo and I had gone by a few times, purely for booze purposes and the crowd was nice. People were friendly and there were no people that immediately screamed douche which was surprising for a bar where the girls wore Irish school girl skirts. Anyways, the menu always looked good if not interesting. They had all the normal bar stuff; steak, burgers, chicken wings, fries, etc. This is all well and good but they also had corned beef and cabbage and the things we got; Irish Nachos, Sheppard’s Pie, and an Irish French Dip.
The Irish Nachos ($8.00) came out and were nachos…but with house-made potato chips. The chips were actually really great and the toppings were pretty standard: Chili, canned jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and onions. They all worked well together and it was definitely a solid bar appetizer. Their portions were large so appetizers are a little unnecessary anyways. The food came out and I got the Irish French dip ($9.50) with Guinness onion rings. I am not sure why the French Dip was Irish… but it was really good. It was made with prime rib on a very lightly toasted bun that might have had some garlic on it. The au jus was amazing! There was also cheese on the sandwich, unorthodox I know but it worked fine. It came with lightly sautéed mushrooms, but I got those on the side cause sometimes I hate mushrooms. The onion rings were above average and very crispy. They were almost too perfectly shaped so they could have been frozen but they were still awesome.
Pablo got Sheppard’s Pie ($12.50 with soup or salad) served with green beans and garlic toast. The Sheppard’s Pie was prepared as an individual portion. Spiced beef in thin Irish brown gravy with carrots and onions covered in mashed potatoes and then covered in cheese. Pablo described it as “pure comfort” and was really happy with it. All the flavors and consistencies worked great together. I am not sure if cheese is a traditional Sheppard’s Pie ingredient but it needed the extra calories. The green beans that accompanied the pie were perfection, probably because they came with bacon. It was a great and filling meal of Irish comfort food deliciousness. We both left full and satisfied.
O’Sullivan’s is a great place to hang out in Sunnyside. It is Irishish, they have great food, good beer, good service, and it is the best drinking option on Kings Canyon. I recommend it for food as well as just a good place to spend a few hours.
WARNINGS AND COMPLAINTS: This place closes at Midnight and will promptly kick you out. This will leave you unsatisfied and left to wander into the adjoining strip mall to guzzle Budweiser at one of Fresno’s dirtiest dives (name will remain anonymous). Also, they used to have a kick ass shuffleboard table that they GOT RID OF!!!! They are turning the old karaoke/game room into a banquet room which will not at all help the fun factor for casual drunks like me. They have it in storage for $5,000 but you should advocate for its return. Everything else was rad.
Dead in 60 Approved.