We found that every one working there seemed happy and willing to please the clients. They were all friendly but very polite and helpful, without exception. They seemed to derive satisfaction from the clients' approval.
Flaherty's is a fairly recent arrival to the front line at the Sotogrande Port. It cannot be missed; it is right on the corner at the front as you come in. Although the name would seem to suggest that this is a Public House, offering typical "pub grub", one could not be more mistaken, the food and the choice is excellent and commensurate with any good restaurant. The atmosphere is simply great, it is like walking into an up market Irish Pub/Restaurant in Grafton Street, Dublin. I liked the idea of being able to see what happens in the kitchen.
The menu is extensive and it includes a traditional Irish breakfast and sandwiches which are served all day long until midnight. The charcoal grill section is particularly yummy and it doesn't overlook fish eaters or vegetarians. Starters, Salads, Main dishes, Charcoal BBQ, Side Orders and Desserts are the main sections of the menu. Offering a fair variety of choices at sensible prices.
Of course, the bar is well stocked with beers and other spirits. The table wine list is quite adequate, offering a selection of Reds, Whites, Rose and Spanish Cavas as well as Moët & Chandon.
Seafood Chowder. Creamy seafood chowder made with a selection of fresh fish, served in individual small china bowls. FBA - Very creamy, I am sure I could taste the flavour of fresh cream subtly blending with the flavour of the different types of fish: prawns, mussels, white fish. Very, very good, try and stay away from the bread or you will have no room for more. Team Score - 9/10
Nachos. Tortilla chips piled high with melted cheddar cheese, onion, tomato and jalapeños, served with guacamole dip in the centre for every one to help himself. FBA - Slightly spicy but nice, the dip and the melted cheese subdued the jalapeños making the whole experience rather pleasant. It can be addictive, especially if you have an appetite. Team Score - 8/10
Garlic Bread. French bread halves served hot and spread on top with a light garlic sauce and a hint of oregano. FBA - Not terribly garlicky and it was tempting to use this with the chowder. Team Score - 6/10
Charcoal grilled and served with mashed herb potatoes and a selection of fried vegetables. FBA - Wow! Was the first reaction at the size of the steak. The lemon of course was the perfect match for the charcoal cooked flesh, very good on its own but the very creamy mashed potatoes blended with herbs and the fried vegetables mix offered alternative tastes to every mouthful. Rather good we thought. Team Score 9/10
Maple Glazed Iberian Pork Spare Ribs.
Served with jacket potatoes and stir fried vegetable. FBA - Excellent! It looked good and it tasted superb! Very tender and very, but very tasty. You can't beat the smell and taste given to food by the charcoal grill; add to pork ribs a tinge of maple and you have the perfect combination.
Team Score 10/10
Blackened Cajún Chiken.
Mildly spiced chicken with a salad and French fries. FBA: The aroma of this plate was incredibly attractive and the flavour was certainly no less.
The crispy fresh salad and fried chips were a good complementary match. You really must try this.
Team Score 10/10
Cod & Chips.
Exactly what it says, it's the classic fish & chips. FBA: It tasted exactly as it should and the availability of malt vinegar says it all. What made up for the pleasant difference is the small crispy fresh salad that was served beside the chips.Team Score 8/10
There is a fair selection of side dishes including fresh vegetables of the day, although all the courses are served with their own vegetables.
Chocolate Capuccino Mousse. This is the only dessert we tried and regretted not trying any of the others. FBA: If only it were possible to give it more than 10! It really was out of this world. The Cream topping and mousse below just melted in the mouth and exploded to fill the palate with a lingering taste that just screamed for more.
Team Score 10/10.
We rather liked the idea of trying this establishment which is clearly successful in other parts of Spain including Seville. Overall it makes a most pleasant change from the usual bar meals and conventional restaurants that are everywhere. You can have your pint and Pub atmosphere if you wish, or you can sit outside looking at the view offered by the Sotogrande Port, but you can also have a pretty good meal in an environment that reminds of home and that is often missed. There is nothing quite like it that I know of from this side of Marbella to Sotogrande.