Flann O’Brien’s, in Mission Hill, is kind of like a pint of Guinness: dark and somewhat mysterious. You won’t find any cardboard shamrocks or green beer here. Instead, the walls are plastered with pictures of castles and old County Cork postcards. A hand-painted portrait of O’Brien — the witty, satirical author — is mounted above the fireplace and decorated with ’70s-style Christmas lights. Paintings of other blokes — like Beckett and Yates, who knew that a pint of tan was their only man — hang above wooden booths. The remaining wall space in the small, crowded pub is littered with U2 paraphernalia, vintage beer signs, and strange, random objects like stuffed owls and retired rowboats.
If you want to play pool, get your name in early, as there’s always a line around the solitary table. If you’d rather not, it’s quite possible to just sink down low, sip your pint, and go unnoticed. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on the greasy Irish eats. Specifically, the killer curry fries, which come solo or as part of the Flann O’Brien’s Pub Platter ($8.95), an appetizer plate loaded with onion rings, potato skins, chicken wings, and spicy bangers (Irish sausages). Wash it down with a pint of Bellhaven or Boddington’s ($3.75), then move on to the fish and chips ($7.25), shepherd’s pie ($6.95), or Guinness beef stew, served with brown bread and butter ($6.95) — they’re all worth a try. If authenticity isn’t your thing, rest assured you can still eat. Try Flann’s Blue Shamrock burger ($5.95), Cajun chicken ($6.25), or honey-mustard- chicken sandwich ($6.25). And vegetable-heads can feast on the veggie wrap ($5.75) or choose from a variety of salads (all under $6.25). Flann O’Brien’s, located at 1619 Tremont Street, in Boston, is open daily from 1l a.m. to 1 a.m. Food is served until 9 p.m. Call (617) 566-7744.