McKibbins Irish pub is one of the nicer pubs around Concordia University. Like most Irish pubs there is a hokey element to the place. However, the turn-of-the-century sandstone building and wood-paneled interior takes it a notch above. In recent years, McKibbins has branched out and opened pubs on boulevard Saint Laurent and the West Island, slowly making it feel less like a real place and more like McStarbucks.
McKibbins serves “Irish poutine.” This is obviously a misnomer, as they don’t have poutine in Ireland. However, Ireland does have brown sauce, and some of the Guinness-derived sauces used in stews are quite outstanding. Ireland also has some excellent cheeses. Therefore, it remains a mystery why McKibbins’ Irish poutine is served with curry sauce and North American mozzarella.
Fries: Home-cut fries, greasy and earthy, could be crispier. 22/30.
Gravy: This is not Indian curry. This is more like British fish & chip shop curry, meaning a somewhat bland madras curry powder sauce thickened with flour. It’s a little too bland, in fact. 29/50.
Cheese: I would normally give a score of zero to poutine with grated cheese, but these guys are passing it off as a novely item, an “Irish poutine,” so I will judge the cheese on its own merits. Unfortunately, it has little merit aside from providing a bit of flavour and texture to an otherwise bland curry sauce, not to mention the fact that there’s nothing distinctly Irish about this cheddar/mozzarella combo. The quantity isn’t bad, though. 8/20.
TOTAL SCORE: 59/100
Verdict: I hear this pub makes some decent proper Irish food. Try that instead.
Value: Slightly below average – $6.25 for plate above.
Location: 1426, rue Bishop, near Guy-Concordia metro