Car Bombing

Pub grub: The Blarney cheeseburger and a salad at O’Skis.

Pub grub: The Blarney cheeseburger and a salad at O’Skis.

Photo By Lauren Randolph

O’Skis Pub & Grille

840 Victorian Ave.
Sparks, NV 89431

(775) 359-7547

It had been a very long day. Monday was the first day of school, and I was still frantically putting my classroom together. When 6 p.m. rolled around, I didn’t feel like anything fancy. I didn’t want complex spices and a medley of tastes. I didn’t want a cloth napkin. What I wanted was pub grub. I found it at O’Skis.

O’Skis Pub & Grille has been around since 2000, and it’s likely the only Polish/Irish pub in town. The interior is dark and moody, with an oak bar and polished, wooden tables and very little light coming in through the windows. The usual knickknacks and adverts adorn the walls. It’s a pub, quite like the ones I’ve visited in Ireland, and—come to think of it—in Poland, perhaps, as well.

That night, our friends joined my husband and I. After a bit of a wait, our drink order was taken, and I asked for my usual martini ($4 and up, depending on the liquor used). Ten minutes later, I had a drink before me that was shockingly yellow and tasted odd. When I inquired, I was told it had been made with sweet Vermouth. I asked for dry, but they didn’t have any. My new drink was straight gin, but the error was handled politely and efficiently. My husband and his friend ordered two “car bombs,” Guinness, with a shot of Bailey’s and Irish whiskey ($7). Typically, when one drops the shot glass into the Guinness, some of the foamy beer overflows. In this case, however, there was still an inch of air at the top—the beer was nowhere near full enough to run over. Still, the guys drank up.

The food was a similar story. For example, Kevin ordered the Western Irish Burger ($7.50), with barbecue, cheddar cheese and onion rings, medium-rare, but it arrived well-done. He didn’t really mind, and overall it was a good meal. Everything else was perfectly done. Had it been cooked the way he had ordered it, he would have called it “great.” After slamming his Guinness, my husband felt compelled to order the Queen Mum’s fish and chips ($9.95). When he did, though, he was told there were no potatoes in the house—would onion rings do? Of course, but it was still surprising—an Irish pub and not a potato in sight?

We women fared better. My very veggie pizza ($7.95) was exactly what I expected. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was definitely a very good pub pizza. What I couldn’t finish off, the guys ate, and nodded their agreement with cheese-stuffed cheeks. Monica went for the Irish dip ($7.95) and was also satisfied. In fact, the au jus was some of the best she had ever tasted. The sandwich was juicy and thick, and there was no skimping on the cheese. The salad, however, was a little wanting. It was a spare and wilting mix of greens and cheese. And we could only shake our heads in wonder at the blatant absence of tomatoes in August. Maybe they were on the same grocery list as potatoes.

While our complaints might have been valid, they were also nitpicky. Overall we enjoyed ourselves. O’Skis doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: a pub. And the food there is pub grub, served with errors here and there, but in general very tasty. There is also quite a bit to choose from. The list of “snackums,” such as Kilarney chicken tenders ($6.95) and zucski sticks ($4.95), is extensive, and breakfast is served all day. There is even the “Ultimate O” breakfast ($11.95) for the morning after, which comes with everything a breakfast could, including a Bloody Mary. For those wishing to close out the weekend at an outdoor table with a tasty meal and a good drink, it’s a great place to go.