I love restaurant recommendations. Since the start of this column, I’ve gone to so many restaurants that I probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. Whether that’s because they are outside of my normal go-to restaurants or because they are in the city (and I’m trying the city) is beyond me.
This week, my friend invited me to lunch. She recommended Molly Brannigans. I had never been there but she convinced me that it was delicious. Plus, it was within walking distance of her office. I gladly accepted and ventured to 2nd Street.
Molly Brannigans is what I imagine any restaurant in Ireland would look like. The first feature I noticed was the amazing stone fireplace. It was beautiful and inviting. While the restaurant itself is very dark, it also felt warm because of the exposed brick and worn hardwood floors.
After being seated, it took me awhile to choose my entrée. There was a lot to choose from. Dishes range from soups and salads, a variety of sandwiches or wraps, to burgers.
Initially, I wanted the potato & leek soup but after reading further I noticed the seafood chowder. I was delighted when there was a combo option (one of the best things a lunch menu can offer). I chose the BLT with the seafood chowder. Combo sandwiches include half of Big Tom’s Pub Club, Traditional Reuben, Potato Rachel, or the BLT. Included with the combo are the potato & leek soup, the soup of the day, or a fresh garden salad. I chose to add the seafood chowder for an extra dollar. This made my whole entire meal under $10.
My BLT was a classic BLT. It was good; the bacon was the best part—generous and tasty. The seafood chowder is made with shrimp, haddock, clams with fresh corn and potatoes. The description says the soup is spicy, but I must have misread because I was not expecting the hotness that went on when I took my first bite. While it was delicious, I wish it were less spicy for my taste. But, overall it was very good.
Another great dish option is the Chicken Caesar wrap. The wrap is served with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, and Parmesan cheese all tossed in Caesar dressing. The wrap is also served with fries, which according to my friend are her favorite part of the whole entire meal. Molly Brannigans has quite a few side options; one that I would be interested to try are their sweet potato fries. I enjoy sweet potato fries more than normal fries – call me crazy. Maybe next time I go I’ll try them out.
We didn’t order any dessert, but if you’re in the mood for dessert make sure you check out the dessert of the day. I think having a dessert of the day is a really unique option because it could go beyond the classic desserts such as cakes or pies.
On this Thursday, head to this new pick of mine, and after starting you night out at Molly Brannigans hop into your car and travel to Temple Ohev Shalom, which is hosting the Calefax Reed Quintet from 8—9:30pm.
The Calefax Reed Quintet was established 25 years ago in Amsterdam and has been performing across the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, China, India and Turkey ever since.
While researching the quintet, I found various YouTube videos of their performances, but I also found a great explanation of the history of The Calefax Reed Quintet. Alban Wesly explains that they have a unique combination of instruments. The video goes on to demonstrate each instrument, but very unusually. They composed a song to show the audience how they assemble each instrument. They begin with the reeds and continue adding pieces until the instruments are completely put together. Even while some instruments aren’t entirely together the group is amazing to listen to. If you want a sneak peek, click here to view the video.
The Calefax Reed Quintet will perform a program ranging from Bach’s Goldburg variation to Ravel’s Le Tombeu de Couperin.
Oliver Boekhoorn, oboe
Ivar Berix, clarinet
Raaf Hekkema, saxophone
Jelte Althuis, bass clarinet
Alban Wesly, bassoon
According to their bio the quintet has released sixteen recordings and launched their own label titled Rioja Records. They have been fortunate enough to collaborate with other famous performers.
To read more on the Calefax Reed Quintet, click here.
Ticket information is as follows:
General admission: $30
Senior admission: $25
College student admission: $5
School-age student admission: free with a $5 ticket purchase with one accompanying adult
Tickets can be purchased by calling 717-214-ARTS (717-214-2787) or by visiting the Whitaker Center Online Box Office. Click here to access the box office website. If you order online you will be charged with a $7 processing fee, but if you want to save $7, you can purchase tickets via the phone and also at the door.
The video itself was amazing; I hope that it convinced you to buy a ticket to tonight’s event. If you go, have an enjoyable evening!
Molly Brannigans Information:
Address: 31 N. 2nd Street, Harrisburg PA 17101
Hours: Open daily at 11am – Monday—Sunday
Phone #: (717) 260-9242
Price Range: $$ (source)
Visit their website
Calefax Reed Quintet Information:
Venue: Temple Ohev Sholom: 2345 N Front St, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Check out what’s happening in the City of Harrisburg this weekend:
Saturday, January 25th:
10am–1pm: Harrisburg Electronics Recycling Day at Camp Curtin YMCA
2–4pm: Fight Mass Incarceration: Organizing Meeting
Calefax Reed Quintet photo source