Bennigan's Fans Need To Know About Its St. Patrick's Day-Themed Menu

Is St. Patrick's Day an official food holiday now? It's certainly not one on the level of Thanksgiving or Super Bowl Sunday, and it can't even claim its own signature candies like Valentine's Day, Easter, and Halloween. In fact, if you ask the proverbial person in the street to name some St. Patrick's Day foods or recipes, they might be able to come up with nothing more than corned beef and cabbage, green beer, and whatever cocktails and desserts can be greened up with a hefty dose of food coloring.

Still, there's no holiday, large or small, that we won't celebrate with food, given half a chance, and we always welcome any chance to expand our holiday menu options. We're therefore pleased to see that Bennigan's, a chain with an Irish-ish name, is offering a St. Patrick's Day menu this year. According to a press release sent to Mashed, the "Blarney Blast" menu will be available not just on the day itself but for the entire month of March, with additional specials being available during the week of St. Patrick's Day itself.

What's on the Blarney Blast menu?

So what's on Blarney Blast at Bennigan's this month? According to the press release, the specials include two new entrees. Entree No.1 is a Reuben Burger, ostensibly Irish due to the fact that it is covered in corned beef, a food embraced more by Irish-Americans than by the Irish. The Reuben burger, like its eponymous sandwich, is also served on rye bread and topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing — none of these typical of Emerald Isle cuisine. Entree No.2, Finn's Beer Battered Fish and Chips, is at least similar to the dish beloved in Ireland and throughout the U.K. Bennigan's has even added some extra green to the dish by spiking the tartar sauce with jalapeños.

Bennigan's PR team also mentions an appetizer they've dubbed Hogan's Egg Rolls. There's nothing remotely Irish about them apart from the name. According to Irish America, Hogan comes from Ó'hÓgáins, a common Irish surname. There doesn't appear to be any connection between Hogans and egg rolls, though, particularly not chicken/corn/black bean egg rolls with pineapple sauce. Tasty? Yes. Irish? No more so than the Irish Tower O'Rings, Dubliner Quesadillas, or Sheela's Sriracha Shrimp also currently featured on Bennigan's menu.

For St. Patrick's week, Bennigan's will be offering beer cheese soup, perhaps under the impression that the state of Wisconsin has been annexed by Ireland. (Ope, what?) They will also, of course, be dishing up the ubiquitous corned beef and cabbage.

Bennigan's also has Irish-themed cocktails

If St. Patrick's Day hasn't yet reached the pantheon of true food holidays -– which might not happen until there's a main dish that doesn't involve boiled cabbage -– it's right up there with Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo as a day when people like to get their drink on. Bennigan's, of course, is happy to oblige, not just for a day but for the entire month. The press release calls our attention to three drinks that contain Paddy's Irish whiskey: the Irish Eyes Martini (an appletini-esque concoction of Paddy's plus Jim Beam Apple Bourbon, apple syrup, and sour mix), the Celtic Rita (like a margarita, plus whiskey), and Blarney Stone Kiss (whiskey, sour mix, peach puree, stone fruit syrup, and Red Bull).

Those three aren't the only Irish-themed drinks on Bennigan's drink menu, though. There's also the O'Malley's Mojito, the Shamrockin' Sangria, the Irish Mule (Jameson's in place of the typical vodka), the Celtic Hurricane (made with Jameson's), the Long Ireland Iced Tea, the Skinny Leprechaun (lemon-flavored vodka and soda), the Irish Beer Blaster (a Bailey/Jameson's shot with Guinness chaser), and, for the traditionalists, Irish coffee. Oh, and there's one more drink special for St. Patrick's week — yep, you guessed it — it's green beer. Love it or hate it, the stuff's been around long enough that it's now a time-honored (well, sort-of honored) tradition of its own.