It was a cold, dark January evening when the prophecy was fulfilled…to be honest, I was scared it might not happen. But when managing editor Michael Haas looked me in the eyes and asked those three fateful words, “Aaron Eats Erie?” I knew my time had come.
[Managing Editor’s Note: We’d be crazy to NOT continue the tradition of Aaron Eats Erie. Let’s just put it that way.]
In case you’re just tuning in, my name is Aaron Mook, and I am the copy editor here at Edge Magazine, with interests spanning from facial hair to music and food. This particular column is about the latter; I visit restaurants and more or less tell you what’s delicious and where you’re better off sticking to the bread. Essentially, I am the hero Erie needs, not the hero Erie deserves.
Before: You’ll notice I’m in pristine shape
Last night, I visited McGarrey’s Diner and Pub. I brought with me the usual suspects: my girlfriend Jess, my co-editor Mary Kate, my usual partner-in-crime Adam, as well as Mary Kate’s roommate, Mary. I know. From this point forward, we will refer her as Mary #2 as to avoid confusion.
Pictured: the crew
As we walked in, Jess remarked how her grandparents visited the restaurant every Friday for dinner, and she wasn’t kidding; it looked like everyone’s grandparents did. The majority age demographic looked to be 50+, with the exception of a large family party seated next to us in the middle of the dining room. This is hardly a bad thing; McGarrey’s looked like the kind of place that was filled with down-to-earth, loyal, “everybody knows everybody” kind of customers.
We seated ourselves and Adam and I quickly decided to split the pizza as it would only run us about $4 each (we’re working on a college budget here) along with a side of fried zucchini. Jess ordered the crispy chicken salad and both of the Mary’s got the same burger (I know, right?). I also ordered a cup of coffee, because this is the kind of joint where people drink coffee at all hours of the day, including after the 3:30 early bird dinner special.
Our food came quickly and the pizza was just as I suspected: not too shabby. You could tell it was homemade – the slices were a bit sauce-heavy without going too over the top and the cheese was readily melted to the point of falling off. My only gripe at this point was that the pizza size was certainly much closer to a medium than a large.
Not a stock photo. Real life.
The restaurant seemed to specialize in comfort food, as I noticed the children eating mac and cheese at the table to my left. Also on the menu was a very tempting $13 New York strip steak (and had it been my birthday, it would have been mine.) The fried zucchini was delicious, as were Mary #2’s onion rings. At the end of the meal, McGarrey’s proved to be an overall pleasant experience. Perhaps ‘quaint’ is the word I’m looking for?
Hounded by the pizza-razzi
After: Still pristine, but all of that bread went straight to my face
McGarrey’s turned out to be a nice place to spend a quiet night out. Until next time, dear readers; for now, I return to the shadows where I will listen to Morrissey records until our fair city calls upon my iron stomach once more.
I will return for you, the one they call ‘Reuben’