Cornelius, North Carolina is one of the several small towns lining the banks of Lake Norman north of Charlotte. There are a variety of restaurants but when it comes to Irish cuisine, its Galway Hooker that the residents frequent. Before you start thinking this is some kind of brothel, let me explain a little more about this restaurant.
The Galway Hooker Restaurant and Irish Pub, originally built in Ireland, was deconstructed and moved piece by piece to its current location near the shores of Lake Norman in North Carolina. The pub is named for Galway Bay, which lies on the West Coast of Ireland. Nearly all of the artifacts and décor inside the pub, including an authentic Galway Hooker boat, are from the surrounding Galway Bay. The Irish Pub serves traditional Irish favorites fused with contemporary items all made with fresh, locally grown ingredients.
I wanted to experience the Irish cuisine from the menu featuring a nice variety of menu items and after a brief consult with my server was able to make my choices.
I started with Irish Egg Rolls ($8) stuffed with corned beef, sautéed cabbage, onions and Swiss cheese and served with Dijon mustard and dill vinegar. These were really good with a touch of spice from the mustard and the dill vinegar set it off with a little bite. Definitely order these!
Timing wasn’t the greatest with my entrée coming out soon after receiving my egg rolls. I ordered Shepherd’s Pie ($12) for my entrée and just set it aside for a few minutes until I was ready to eat it. Luckily it was still plenty hot when I did get to it. The Pie is seasoned ground beef, sweet English peas and carrots tossed in a rich brown sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and served with choice of side. I ordered the beer battered asparagus with spicy aioli. I added salt and pepper to the Shepherd’s Pie but devoured the entire bowl. The asparagus were fantastic, they disappeared quickly.
I’m looking forward to my next visit so I can continue exploring this menu. The corned beef and cabbage have my name on’em.
Galway Hooker is also home to The Lake Norman Comedy Zone, which attracts some of the biggest names in comedy, as well as Waterford Hall, a spacious event venue. The Galway motto states that you will enter as friends and leave as family.
Galway Hooker Restaurant and Irish Pub
17044 Kenton Drive
Cornelius, North Carolina 28031