Barnett's brings you the best beers and some of the best liquors from around the world with a great cozy, Irish-Texan atmosphere. Great place to meet "after the game", or watch while sipping a Jameison's! They have a limited food menu, but "mom" will fix it with .....tender loving care! No smoking inside....kilts are optional!
So after a day of running around looking for wood to BBQ with and then sanding & painting my smoker, I decided to finally hit up Barnett’s Pub for some grub and a pint.
I had been to Barnett’s once before for a friend’s birthday. It’s a nice little place on Franklin, with a little outdoor seating area and a dart board in the back. Currently all they serve is beer right now (as of 11/04/10), but I hear they will soon be serving Top Shelf liquors.
For food they have a small and simple menu, appetizers, some heartier items and dessert.
While there I try a new beer, a Hearty Oat Stout, recommended by my friends Casey and then place an order for their Home made Shepard’s Pie and their Guinness 4 cheese sauce on the side. The beer was fine, fairly mellow, with a slight bitter aftertaste. Not bad, and I’m not usually a stout fan.
After hangin’ out a bit with Casey and sippin’ on my beer, my food is ready dine down on. The Shepard’s pie comes out in a while large gratin dish, and both are piping hot. The pie consists of ground beef, carrots, onions, peas and topped with mashed potatoes and green onions. The potatoes are fresh and creamy but with a flaky top from being in the oven. The meat is flavorful, well-seasoned, tender and juicy, while the veggies have a nice flavor and good texture, not all dry and bland. Wasn’t a big fan of the peas, but I just hate peas. lol The cheese sauce I had ordered on the side in case I wasn’t a fan, but I ended up really liking it. The guy who makes it also tends bar there. Told me a little bit about it while I was eating, he makes it every day fresh. Using 4 different cheese and Guinness beer. It had a nice consistency, you could actually taste the beer and the cheese flavors mixed well. I finished it all, minus most of the peas ;) and was stuffed. Great dish for this slightly cool and wet weather…. warms your body, heart and even soul.
But I still had enough room for their Bread pudding… oh yeah. I actually usually don’t go for dessert, but Id heard a lot of good things about this one, so I had to give it a try and besides who can pass up homemade Bread pudding! Its comes out in a little dish, it’s a pretty nice helping. Smelled awesome, you could smell the cinnamon and freshness of the ingredients, and it looked just as awesome. The pudding had a great flavor, just the right amount of seasoning and “sauce” and nicely sweet. It was warm and delicate and creamy in texture with just the right amount of raisins. Was the best bread pudding Id ever had and will definitely be getting it again.
Next time I go back I’m going to try a new beer and their Club sandwich, which Casey told me is pretty good. Over all I had a great dining experience and good company.
So if you are in the down town area and are looking for a place for some hearty food and a pint, check out Barnett’s Pub.
First of all, as a regular at this establishment when the previous comment was posted, I feel as if a formal apology is in order. I'm sorry you had a bad time, I'm sorry you thought the service and selection was lacking, I'm sorry you aren't assertive enough to grab the bartender's attention, and I'm sorry you aren't talkative enough to make any friends at a pub.
As a patron of pubs in multiple states and countries I can assure you that assertiveness and friendliness are two qualities that pub goers must possess in order to have a good time. Anyone choosing to visit Barnett's in the future must keep this in mind- if you walk up to the bar and sit meekly you will be ignored for a bit, if you shake the bartender's hand and introduce yourself you may eventually end up with your own seat and a mug ready for you when you sit down. As for the "clique-ish" feeling experienced by the other reviewer, I can assure any other patrons of Barnett's that people of all races, creeds, religions, and political persuasions are welcomed openly by the staff and regulars. Please, sit at the bar, strike up conversation with a stranger and have a beer.
Barnett's features a wide selection of beers an liquors for any palate and persuasion as well as a menu small menu of pub food. However the size of the menu and kitchen do not speak as to the quality of the food. The shepherds pie is wonderfully hearty and the sandwiches are absolutely tops. However it is the side dishes and desserts that make this pub stand out as a restaurant. The two I am speaking of in particular are the Irish Nachos and the homemade Bread Pudding. The nachos are made of potato crisps in a Guinness cheese sauce covered with bacon, chives, and sour cream- best served as a side to a Dublin Club (ask for the sandwich special). The bread pudding is made by the cook, and wonderful woman that we at the pub call "Mum" and it is absolutely to die for. The pain of having had Mum's bread pudding is that it appears infrequently and in limited supply.
In the interest of giving a fair review it is my unfortunate duty to report on the decline of Barnett's Pub I have recently noticed.
There was a time when Barnett's had +50 quality beers available, the atmosphere was more cheerful and friendly, and uniquely for Waco patrons could bring a beer out to the street while they had a smoke.
Due to what I understand began as a desire to offer quality liquor as well as quality beer the pub's owner applied for a liquor license, and with that came new rules prohibiting street side consumption and the inevitable inclusion of a fruity cocktail menu at the bar.
Going in there recently I have to admit that the atmosphere has changed. Any Friday night there are likely to be the usual compliment of those inebriated young ladies one might expect to find at any other bar in town. The shelves that once held beers now hold cheap liquors, and most of those people that make a pub interesting are nowhere to be seen.
Lamentably this scene has edged towards the norm for Barnett's, I can hardly stand to be there anymore. But every now and then on a quiet Tuesday or Wednesday night the true denizens of the pub come out, and on those rare nights Barnett's turns into something really special.
I was excited when I heard the news of a pub coming to town. I mean a real pub. We didn't go for the longest...hoping to give them time to work out the kinks. But the time came. And we went.
From the moment we walked in it felt like what I imagine the uncool kids feel like walking by the cool table. It was cliquish. And thats just from the staff.
Being a first timer, after 20 min of realizing I would have to be my own beverage advocate, I saddled up to the bar. About 7 min into the ackward saddledness, the bartender simply looked in my direction...as if I asked him if I could kiss his girlfriend. I said, "hey it's my first time...what do you guys have?". He responded by looking over his shoulder at a terribly small selection of beers...paused...then looked back at me. "so, what drinks do you have? Do you have a menu?". His response was fantastic..."what you see...is what we got.". He obviously didn't excel in grammar, but that was the least of my issues.
Needless to say I began hearing JT in a beer stein suit singing "bring it on down to Cickets-ville".
We left. Sad at the terrible display of service, selection, and, well, verbal skills of the staff.
Time to realize, Barnetts, you are no Cheers. Hire people who enjoy people...not grammar flunkouts who think they are a gift to the social scene. If you want my money, earn it.