Itís a bit ironic that the Thirsty Scholar Pub is named for those pursuing academics, because much of what goes on inside the pub relates more to whatever students do (drink, watch TV, flirt) when theyíre not studying. Sure, there are books on the shelves, and a soundtrack that includes Radiohead, Massive Attack, and Badly Drawn Boy might resemble a typical college studentís CD collection. But the books never leave their dusty slots, and a busy nightís din quickly drowns out the music.
Although the pubís extensive beer selection is its main draw, the food menu is exceptional, either for snacking or for a satisfying meal. The thickly sliced, beer-battered onion rings ($6.25), properly greasy and piping hot, make a good starter. An order of nachos ($6.50) is good for its size, if not for its Tex-Mex authenticity.
The entrées feature plenty of Irish staples mixed in with some fancier concoctions. Bangers and mash ($7.95) is a hearty plate on which a pool of baked beans and a mountain of chunky mashed potatoes occupies any space not taken up by the sausage. The penne alla vodka ($9.95) is likewise huge, and surprisingly spicy ó thankfully, it comes with two large pieces of Italian bread to quash the fire. The sandwich menu is excellent from top to bottom, but donít forget the specials; the fish sandwich is often the best thing not on the regular menu. Each sandwich comes with seasoned wedge fries ó the perfect edible accompaniment to procrastination.
The Thirsty Scholar Pub, located at 70 Beacon Street, in Somerville, is open daily from 11 to 1 a.m. Call (617) 497-2294.