Diner’s corned beef serves well as St. Patrick’s substitute.

One of my friends, a film buff of Irish extraction, is predictably a St. Patrick’s Day enthusiast.  It stands to reason, of course, that we tried and failed to find space in a traditional Irish pub on Friday – the way the city fills up with miscreants of all stripes (I’m looking at you, Long Island, Westchester, and Jerz), it seems like it can’t possibly be fun for anyone, except maybe the guys wearing firefighter dress jackets (who, I presume, are indeed firefighters).

We were a little cheered by our success at finding a traditional Irish meal, however – corned beef and cabbage at the Lyric Diner (3rd Ave. at 22nd St.).  The $16 special was only advertised in the window and not by our somewhat annoyed waiter (we did take a while to make up our collective minds), but my friend and I agreed it was a fair imitation of the goodness that was likely being served next door at Molly Malone’s.  Including hunks of cabbage, strips of corned beef, and enormous skinned potatoes, the meal proved an excellent base for a late night of Guinness drinking for me, and a fine interim between afternoon and evening drinking from my friend.

The other four people at the table didn’t order the special, but expressed general satisfaction at their burgers and soup.  So I’m not sure if this qualifies as a recommendation, but if you need some corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day and don’t want to wait in line, Lyric Diner is a fine choice.

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