640 S. Mill Avenue, Suite 120
Tempe, AZ 85281
Despite the Mill Avenue address, Robbie Fox's is tucked back off of Sixth. The interior is pretty much what you’d expect of an Irish Pub--dark wood, a looming bar. The patio on the other hand is pure Arizona. We went to Robbie Fox during Spring Break a few days before St. Patrick’s Day. We got a table outside and I was immediately pleased with the surroundings. There are tables as well as more comfortable lounge seating and an outdoor bar. While the table next to us smoking cigars and a mix up on who would be serving us set things back ever so slightly, the patio offers seclusion from Mill and a laid-back environment.
There’s an extensive been and wine selection. I ordered a glass of the King Estate Pinot Gris (because I’m pretty much in love with Oregon wine right now)($7), while my partner went the traditional Guinness route ($5). I was a little displeased to discover something in my wine, but brushed it off as sediment.
The menu at Robbie Fox's runs the gamut from pub food, to traditional Irish, to American steakhouse inspired. We started with the Oyster Rockefeller ($11). I ordered the Eggplant Parmesan Burger ($9) with fries (there’s a choice of roasted potatoes, fries, or a house salad with sandwiches) and my partner, again going traditional, opted for the Lamb Stew ($12).
The Oysters, served with “spinach fondue” and Parm over Pernod bread crumbs had potential, but fell short both because they came out cold and because they were on the soupy side (watery, rather than cheesy). The Perod bread crumbs were a nice touch though.
When we got our entrees, I realized immediately I had made a tactical error. My partner’s stew looked amazing. And indeed it was--hearty and rich. The scoop of mashed potatoes made the meal. He also commented on how well the lamb was cooked. He did lament that there weren't more potatoes or at least a side of soda bread.
I, on the other hand, was totally disappointed. My sandwich was one piece of fried eggplant
without much marinara, and only a slice of cheese (that wasn't parm). I had hoped for something gooey and divine. What I got was a very large bun and two thick sliced of tomato that obscured everything else. On the upside the fries were thin and crisp. They were topped with parsley flakes, at which point I figured out what was in my wine. Lest Robbie Fox be accused of inconsistency, they were in the second glass as well.
It might sound like I’m being hard on Robbie Fox's. In truth, I really liked it there, but mostly for the atmosphere. After an initial snag, the service was fine. I’d recommend sticking with the Irish fare, Robbie Fox’s Public House, is after all an Irish pub.