It was a quick bike ride over to O'Michael's Pub & Grill with my partner in crime, Cecilia Bagadonuts. We rendezvoused with Mr. and Mrs. Shenanigans for some grub and spirits. It was 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night just after Happy Hour, so the bar was full of regulars and Bogus Basin snow bums probably at the bottom of their third, if not fourth, Jameson. After we ducked into the side dining room for some privacy, the waitress, Princess, promptly found us and brought a couple of brewskies. For me, a celebratory Maibock, and a couple of Mirror Ponds for my friends.
We ordered our meals, starting with one pound of steamed clams with garlic/basil butter and two pieces of toasted bread that were perfect for dipping. Delicious! A pound is only enough for about two people, but we managed to stretch it between the four of us. The clams are also kind of pricey for the quantity you get, but they're pretty good considering Idaho is almost 10 hours from the nearest ocean. The clams were accompanied by enough butter to consider taking it home in a to-go box.
As we were eating the last clam and swirling the remaining butter as if it were the finest Chardonnay, Princess strolled up to our table with plates of food precariously balanced on her arms. With one plate in each hand and the other plates resting on her forearms, she managed to place all of our food safely on the table. For how packed the place was, our food came out quickly.
To my right, directly in front of Mrs. Shenanigans, was freshly battered halibut, chips and tartar sauce. She commented that it was light, flavorful and did not taste overly deep-fried, while the chips were seasoned, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. As a side, she got a scoop of O'Michael's very own Creole coleslaw.
Directly across from me, the notorious Mr. Shenanigans ordered a salmon Caesar salad. I tried to talk him out of his selection since Julius Caesar was Roman, and the Irish had no business messing with an already perfect salad. Mr. Shenanigans assured me that Caesar was indeed from Ireland. He devoured a full plate of romaine lettuce and various veggies, smothered in dressing, with a sizeable portion of grilled salmon and croutons. When I inquired if he enjoyed his meal, he smiled and said, "Yep, but it was a bit heavy on the dressing."
To my left, Cecilia Bagadonuts had ordered the Slaw Burger: an ominous plate of barbecued pork piled high on top of a 10-inch buttered and toasted hoagie bun. On top of the BBQ pork was a heap of savory Creole coleslaw. On the side was a generous salad complete with carrots, tomatoes, onions, some ranch dressing and something that appeared to be a pickle. She grabbed the sandwich with both hands and barely ever set it down for fear that if she did, the sandwich would fall apart. The first words out of her mouth were, "Oh, that's good ... whoa, and spicy!" As soon as I had seen the description of the Slaw Burger on the menu, I knew I too had to have it, but with blue cheese dressing on the salad instead of ranch. The BBQ pork was sweet and tasty and the Creole coleslaw added the perfect amount of spicy heat to the sandwich.
The only complaints are that the pickle was flavorless and limp, they did not have dessert on the menu and there are very few options for vegetarians.
Overall, O'Michael's was a pleasurable experience with good grub, brews and prices. Princess' service was incredibly friendly and relaxed, and when I asked for aluminum foil for my leftovers in lieu of a Styrofoam box, she graciously obliged. The four of us paid about $60 total, frivolously over-tipped Princess, and waddled out to our bikes.
--Vincent Miresse wishes the moon was made of Roquefort.