[caption id="attachment_8856" align="alignleft" width="266" caption="Corned beef and cabbage at Twisted Kilt in downtown Puyallup. "] [/caption]When Twisted Kilt Irish Pub and Eatery opened in Puyallup in late June, owner Bryan Purdy said the pub would be to Puyallup what Doyle’s Public House is to Tacoma: a headquarters for soccer fans. Judging by the flat-panel screens tuned to soccer here and abroad, I’d say they’ve kicked that goal (sorry about that lousy pun, couldn’t resist).
Doyle’s long has been my favorite Irish haunt for its well-crafted sandwiches and Irish stew with a side of soda bread from Tacoma’s Corina Bakery. Twisted Kilt, on two separate anonymous visits, provided some hearty meat-and-potatoes competition for the St. Helens neighborhood Doyle’s. However, Twisted Kilt’s Puyallup location trends much more suburban and likely won’t have the burgeoning late-night crowd Doyle’s attracts.
Twisted Kilt joins a downtown seeing some restaurant movement this year with the addition last September of It’s Greek To Me, an outpost of the Tacoma restaurant, and Crockett’s, which opened this year.
Twisted Kilt is operated by local owners Bryan Purdy and Jason Pingrey in the space that formerly housed Bagel Boyz Bakery, and Giggling Greek before that. The fast-casual minimal décor of Bagel Boyz has been replaced with a darker color palate more appropriate for a pub, myriad flat-panel televisions and a long bar. (Readers have asked, but it's not part of the Tilted Kilt chain, the names are just similar).
The menu is American pub food – sandwiches and burgers – with Irish leanings. Chef Greg Savage, who is finishing his culinary degree at the Art Institute of Seattle, designed an affordable menu in the $10 range.
I stuck with the Irish side of the menu: a heavenly Shepherd’s pie ($9) – a base of ground lamb suspended in a boozy, rich Guinness-fueled gravy and threaded with carrots, peas and onions sealed in with a creamy layer of skins-on red mashers topped with melted cheddar.
Corned beef and cabbage ($11) tasted sharp and looked equally pretty in its plating: three thick slabs of tender, braised corned beef fanned across a knot of slow-cooked cabbage. I swiped the velvety, but thin, brown gravy with the colorful side of roasted starches: cubes of purple and red potatoes and carrots.
A Twisted burger ($10) was a spin on a Reuben: a half-pound burger patty and thick corned beef smeared with Thousand Island dressing, a cheesy layer of Swiss and puckery sauerkraut all on grilled marble rye. Crispy, thin and freshly fried pub chips came on the side.
Irish meatballs ($9) were another boozy concoction with a creamy Guinness gravy swimming around tender, beefy meatballs over garlic mashers.
Note: The bar is for ages 21 and older only. No kids. A rarity for Puyallup.
Twisted Kilt Irish Pub & EateryWhere: 109 S. Meridian, PuyallupHours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. dailyContact: 253-604-4791 or twistedkiltpuyallup.com