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Rare Olde Times, Irish Public House; Crab Louie's Seafood Tavern 

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Rare Olde Times, Irish Public House

The spacious interior boasts the typical Guinness advertisements, green upholstery and dark-stained walls found in other Irish pubs. At first glance, it seems the menu at Rare Olde Times offers simple dishes to pad the stomach before patrons consume gorgeous pints of Guinness. It carries a typical selection of starters and bar food — i.e. chicken tenders, wings, potato skins, and fries.

Sandwich selections range from the simple (a grilled cheese, $4.50); to the coronary (a deli club ($7.95) that includes enough pastrami, corned beef and knockwurst to clog even those hard-to-find arteries).

Try the savory shepherd's pie ($9.95), this enticing traditional Irish dish is prepared with ground beef (left pink) mixed with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and baked with an additional layer of white cheddar cheese and brown gravy.

If fish and chips ($9.95) or the corned-beef and cabbage ($10.95) don't appeal to you or your more Protestant friends, you can find grilled chicken ($9.95), crab cakes ($12.95) and grilled tuna ($9.95). — Kevin Finucane

10602 Patterson Avenue
(In the Canterbury Shopping Center)
750 1346
Open for dinner Monday-Saturday
3:00p.m. - 12:00p.m.
Reservations recommended for parties of 6 or more.

Crab Louie's Seafood Tavern

The fresh fish at Crab Louie's — Atlantic salmon, sole, sweet-lipped grouper, ahi tuna and other delights — are flown here twice a week. You'll find equally fresh shellfish - clams, oysters, shrimp - and lobster and crab, too.

The range of seafood preparations covers the waterfront from traditional baked, broiled and pan-seared items ($13-$17) and seafood pastas ($13-$16), to more decorated, dressed-up items like seafood au gratin ($7), hazelnut crusted grouper ($16), and several combination platters ($18-$22). For landlubbers, turf items are buried in the menu's tail section.

We enjoyed their spin on clam chowder ($5) with the addition of green pepper and smoked bacon, a very hearty dish for winter, as well as the she-crab soup ($6), robustly flavored with sherry. We opted out of the simple fish preparations, though, and reeled in the filet of sole stuffed with crab imperial ($19) — light, tender and not dried-out — and bouillabaisse ($22), a boil of salmon, ahi tuna, shrimp, clams and king crab in a tomato-saffron broth.

What keeps people coming back to Crab Louie's, though — and its following is quite large — has as much to do with place as with food. The service is friendly and welcoming, and the setting — a 250-year-old "Midlothian" estate — is plain-spoken but elegant. — Patrick Getlein

Sycamore Square Shopping Center
275-2722
Lunch: Sunday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.;
Sunday 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

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