On The Road: Irish Celebrations

By Liz Horton - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  Saint Patrick's Day has come and gone, but Charlotte isn't quite done celebrating yet.

This weekend, thousands will crowd uptown to watch the parade, and one local pub has been busy preparing for the rush.

"We brought in a thousand pounds of potatoes, we brought over a hundred fifty pounds of lamb just for shepherd's pie, and we brought in over 200 pounds of beef in just for cottage pie," said executive chef, Tom LaFauci.

He the master behind the Irish flavor at RiRa.  "We do our best to get it as close to the old country as possible."

That's something Irish native, Aoife Kavanagh, agrees with. She has been in Charlotte since June, working for the restaurant.  "It's authentic Irish food," she said.

I asked a few diners to tell me their favorites.  "I love the fish and chips and the shepherd's pie... It's a tossup," said Jerry McKinney.

"I normally get fish and chips," Stacey Moorman said.

Kavanaugh agrees.  "They definitely need to try the shepherds' pie and cottage pie."

I headed to the kitchen to get the secret recipe from LaFauci.  First, you brown vegetables and lamb in butter. Next, add a sauce made of tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, and let simmer. Then, you ladle the meat in the bowl, top with potatoes, and bake.

It was delicious.  They make it easy to pay homage to Ireland's patron saint, Patrick.

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