St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and with it, for many people, comes the craving for corned beef and cabbage, even if they are not Irish. While some restaurants serve the dish year round, it is most popular at this time of year.
Like many other ethnic dishes eaten in the United States, the traditionally Irish fare of corned beef and cabbage did not come from Ireland, but was created in America. A little Internet research came up with the meal’s background.
While Ireland was a major exporter of corned beef a few centuries ago, the meat was too expensive for most Irishmen to buy themselves. Later on, Irish immigrants in New York discovered that beef here was cheaper than pork, which had been their staple meat back home. So corned beef replaced boiled bacon and was paired with cabbage (which was cheaper than potatoes here too) to become an inexpensive and easy to fix meal for many Irish-Americans.
The term “corned,” by the way, refers to the process of preserving the meat with kernels of salt.
To satisfy that craving for corned beef, local residents have a variety of places they can visit. Two area restaurants serve a corned beef and cabbage dinner year round.
The menu at Magee’s Tavern lists “Traditional Irish Fayre” including Corned Beef and Cabbage which is slow-roasted corned beef served with boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and topped with Irish whiskey cream sauce.
If you don’t care for cabbage, the tavern’s menu also includes Corned Beef Tacos, which are served with either a cup of soup or a side salad, and Corned Beef Mac ‘n Cheese served with fresh, sautéed vegetables.
Besides a Classic Reuben Sandwich, (corned beef with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on rye bread); the tavern also serves a Reuben Burger, a beef patty topped with the ingredients of a Reuben Sandwich.
Rainbow Oaks Restaurant features Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes as its daily special dinner entree on Mondays. For those diners who cannot get enough of corned beef, its menu also lists Corned Beef Hash and Eggs as one of its breakfast specials and two sandwiches that contain corned beef – the Reuben Sandwich and the Deli Combo which pairs corned beef with pastrami and Swiss cheese, both served on grilled marbled rye bread.
Anyone who enjoys eating corned beef and cabbage while contributing to a worthy cause has two events to choose from. The Fallbrook VFW Post 1924 is holding its annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner on Friday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at 1175 Old Stage Road. The meal includes corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots, salad, and rolls. The dinner is a fundraiser for veterans’ causes. Call (760) 728-8784 for more information.
On Saturday, March 15, the Knights of Columbus will present its 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance at St. Peter’s Catholic Church parish hall, 450 S. Stage Coach Lane. Besides the usual corned beef and cabbage meal, this event includes traditional Irish coffee served at the bar.
The event also features a 45-minute live show performed by an Irish dance troupe. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.; the show begins at 6 p.m. Proceeds go towards charitable programs. For ticket information or group reservations, call (760) 728-3229.
Corned beef lovers can also find their favorite meat in three places just south of town. Aquaterra Restaurant at Pala Mesa offers Corned Beef Hash for breakfast while both Z Cafe in River Village and Jack’s Place at Fallbrook Golf Course prepare not only Corned Beef Hash but also the Reuben Sandwich and a Corned Beef Sandwich.
Fallbrook Cafe is another location where Reuben Sandwiches and Corned Beef on Rye can be found daily. So, whether you like corned beef just once a year or any time of day, all year round, Fallbrook is a good place to satisfy your taste buds.