People spend their entire lives looking for a decent bar that also serves good food. Pub food, as we know it, migrated from Ireland and England to the U.S., and there are now certain food staples that we bar-goers expect with beer and cocktails. If you’re on the North Fork, Digger’s on Main Street in Riverhead is a bar that also serves awesome pub fare.
When my boyfriend and I walked into Digger’s it looked like your typical pub: dark colors and heavy wood with a big bar that separated the restaurant into two sections. It was weird for us to be in a place like this during the day (we’re usually drinking and dining at night); it this was a nice change.
We both decided to start off with soup. He ordered the French onion and the waitress recommended I try the sausage and cabbage soup. The French onion soup was piping hot and had large slices of onion and melted cheese all over the top. The way my boyfriend devoured it, it must’ve been pretty darn good. I did manage to get a small sampling of it and I thought highly of it as well. The cabbage soup reminded me of something my grandmother used to make because it was very rustic and had a spicy tomato broth. Then, since we were in an Irish pub, we had to try their Bangers and Mash, but they just call them Irish chips. A huge plate came out covered with freshly fried waffle fries topped with melted cheese, gravy and bacon bites. It was basically a heart attack on a platter but we ate most of it because it was that delicious. The fries were crispy and the gravy was hardy with a distinct Guinness punch; the bacon and gooey cheese made it even better. Great hangover food.
For our entrées, I ordered a Reuben with sweet potato fries and my boyfriend had Chicken O’Brien with steak fries. This consisted of a fried chicken cutlet, topped with bacon, gravy and mozzarella cheese all on a roll. And when I say steak fries, I mean small potatoes cut into quarters and fried; they were no joke. I actually had a bite of the sandwich and the combination of all of those ingredients was fantastic. The corned beef on my Reuben tasted almost exactly like my grandmother’s, which brought me back to my childhood. Interestingly it was on marble bread, which I enjoyed because I make my Reuben with either rye or pumpernickel, so having both was perfect. My sweet potato fries were thin and crisp, just how I like them. I would like to say that we topped off our meal with a Guinness or Irish Car Bomb, but that would just spell disaster for the rest of our day.
If you’re ever in Riverhead and you’re on the hunt for some solid pub cuisine and a beer, Digger’s is the place to go.
Diggers, 58 West Main St., Riverhead, 631-369-3200, www.diggerspub.net.