If the concept if an Irish Pub/Sports bar theme sounds confusing, it ought to. Located on the edge of Pioneer Square across the street from Qwest field and 1/2 mile from Safeco field, FX enjoys the benefit of prime placement for pre and postgame frivolities.
I stopped by for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon lunch with some colleagues. We were early ~ 11:15, but didn't think this would be much of a problem because just about every place in North America that bothers to serve lunch is open by 11:00, right? Not here. FX McRory's opens at 11:30 on weekdays.
But fortunately, they had left the door unlocked and we were able to show ourselves to a table and they didn't throw us out, so it was all good. Having grown up in Seattle, I've been aware of FX McRory's most of my adult life, and the decor of the place definitely demonstrates authentic historical depth, whether from the Leroy Neiman watercolors that decorate the walls to the accumulation of sprots memorabilia strewn about, this is a venue that has seen some stuff go on. The main room is very roomy, probably 8-10,000 square feet with enough room between the tables to feel like we were able to converse without being over heard or interrupted by our neighbors.
The ceilings are high and the room is airy , comfortable and bright. The view from the windows on that side of the building was negligible, but the bric-a-brac was more than enough to capture the eye.
Allo fhtis went through my mind as we were waiting for opening. The menus stay with the tables so we were able to consider our orders while waiting. Unfortunately, I have to say that from the opening on, things went downhill. Service was indifferent at best, one of those Thousand-yard-stare waitresses that seemed to be dreading yet another horrendously busy day. And yet efficient enough to get our drinks and orders right.
My order was an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) and their featured Reuben sandwich. I am something of a Reuben afficianado, and I find that a restaurant's attention to quality can be reliably be measured by seeing how they assemble and serve their Reuben sandwich. Seeing that it was featured on their menu and priced at $15 and actually mentioned Russian dressing, I thought it would have to be something special. It was not.
When I saw my scorched, impossibly thin sandwich, the scales fell from my eyes. Apart from the name and the decor, this restaurant is really no more special than your average neighborhood sports bar -- at twice the price. It was a sharp disappointment to see their pathetic attempt. And to top it off, even the Arnold Palmer wasn't very good.
I won't say much for the rest of the lunch except that the room did fill up and there was a waiting line when we left at 12:30, so if you choose to go, earlier is probably better than later. Still, 3 guys got lunch and a little wisdom for around $60 with tax and tip.
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