Hamburg, NY

The Classic Irish Fare of J.P. Fitzgerald’s

J.M. Lesinski

A Hamburg, New York staple for over thirty years and still in their stride, J.P. Fitzgerald’s has been bringing the community some of the most delicious Irish fare and fusion dishes in the Buffalo area. Fans know the history and delicious plates, like the French Onion Soup, by heart and know to get there early before everybody comes home to dinner.

The French Onion soup at J.P. Fitzgerald’s has a legendary following. Fans of the sweet and salty broth always order a cup or crock to go with their meal. One cannot walk through the door without seeing at least one crock on a table at any given time. The soup is just that good, in fact, the recipe is kept so secretive the only ingredient listed is the provolone cheese topping.

Not to be outshined, the Irish Beer Cheese soup at J.P.’s has a similar following without as much of the allure. The warm heartiness of zesty cheddar mixed with the boldness of the beer makes it an amazing accompaniment to the hearty plates across the menu. The rye crouton toppers are sure to please any first-time eater too, they keep me coming back, and I am not that much of a soup guy.

In terms of starters, J.P.’s does not hold back. The Spinach and Artichoke Dip comes served in a bread bowl, with shaved parmesan cheese, an amazing dish to share on any occasion. Irish Skins offer a unique J.P.’s take on the potato skin, coming with corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and swiss cheese on top in true Irish fashion. The onion rings are thick, hearty treats for a great appetizer option as well.

Shrimp starters at J.P.’s are another great example of the restaurant’s versatility with cuisine. The Coconut Shrimp comes deep-fried, covered in coconut, and served with an orange marmalade sauce, a sublime texture and taste combination. Fitz’s Kickin’ Shrimp are always talked about, deep-fried and tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce to the true Buffalo tradition.

At the main course juncture, one must-try dish to start with would be a Buffalo Combo. The three combos offer a minimum of three amazing J.P.’s dishes in one platter, an inarguable value for the variety and quality. Combo I features the beef on weck, five chicken wings, and curly Q fries. Combo II features the same, with the addition of three chicken fingers as well. Combo III subs out the fingers for pizza bread, a zesty melty dish that adds a unique third flavor element to the spice of the wings and zing of the beef on weck.

Chicken wings and fingers in general at J.P.’s are a great choice as well. Traditional mild, medium, and hot options, as well as extra for some amazing BBQ and Montana sauces, cascade over the heartiest of wings. The crispiness of the wings is at a perfect balance point, while the chicken fingers are perfectly plump and just great cuts of meat.

The Ireland’s Fare portion of the menu contains what many would argue is also a must-try fish dish at J.P.’s:” the Reuben. Dubbed “The Best Reuben Sandwich in WNY,” the iconic sandwich comes open or closed at the same price, with rye bread baked in house daily. The sandwich comes baked with corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on rye.

Other Reuben dishes exist as well for those wishing to explore the spectrum of the flavor profile. The Reuben Flatbread comes artisan wood-fired, while the Reuben Quesadilla is another unique take on the dish. The Reuben Burger is a monster of a plate, a burger with the sandwich toppings in essence, and lord is it one of the most delicious things one can ever try. The mash of flavors is pure Zen.

Corned beef at J.P.’s is melt in your mouth good. Traditional corned beef and cabbage tops the Ireland’s Fare menu list, coming with carrots, potatoes, and rye, alongside the namesake ingredients. The Mother Superior comes with corned beef, red onions, Russian dressing, and Swiss on rye, while the less intense Mother McCree comes with just corned beef on rye if one is looking for a true exploration of the delicious sandwich meat. The “Monster” McCree comes with a full pound of corned beef, Russian dressing, and Swiss, for the adventurous spirit.

I would be remiss not to mention the Shepherd’s Pie and Bangers and Mash at J.P.’s, true Irish standards at their finest. The Shepherd’s Pie showcases tender pulled pot roast amid a glistening pool of vegetables topped with potatoes and baked to perfection. The Bangers and Mash feature a succulent sausage in some of the richest gravy for an amazing harmony of flavor.

There are a number of staple sandwiches and burgers at J.P.’s as well. When it comes to Beef on Weck, the namesake plate comes with the signature weck roll, but the Irish Dip comes with mouth-watering au jus and the Hot Roast Beef Sandwich comes smothered in beef gravy. The one of a kind, half pound Gypsy Pete Burger comes with sauteed onions, tomatoes, American cheese, and Russian dressing on sourdough for the burger fans, while “mini” options are also their own section on the menu for miniaturized, slider-like versions of some sandwiches.

Mexican fare has been a more recent addition to the menu over the years, with standard taco, quesadilla, and burrito options. The Fitzjita is a unique fusion dish bringing in NY strip steak or chicken with traditional fajita fixings, while the Nacho Supreme is much more flavor and quality than your standard over-salted started nachos.

In true Irish-Catholic tradition, Friday fish fries are spectacularly well done at J.P.’s. With batter options including lemon pepper or Cajun-broiled, the half or whole fish fry make for flavorful dinner choice. The fish fry sides are also some of the best available at J.P.’s like the German potato salad or crisp and sweet coleslaw.

A number of Fitz Fresh dishes offer healthy alternatives for diners as well. The Pasta Primavera comes plain or with either grilled chicken or shrimp, for those looking for a pasta meal, while the seasonal skillets are bursts of flavor with chicken, shrimp, salmon, or steak protein options.

Comments / 0

Published by

Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

More from J.M. Lesinski

Comments / 0