We've been eating brunch at O'Shea's for a long time, so we knew we'd eventually have to write about it. We gave them "Best Journalists' Bar" last year and a couple of years back, bartender Joey Smith, whose brother Kevin is an occasional CP contributor, gave us the dope about dealing with a hangover. So take this all with the grains of salt you pour on your hand for a tequila shot. But remember, we go there because we like it and, if we were going to lie to you, it would be to say that it is worse than it is, just so you don't take our stools at the bar.
And it is good, damn good. We've gone through several iterations of what we love. The breakfast burrito ($9), served with a tangy ranchero sauce and a piquant picante, comes stuffed with eggs, cheese, and either sausage or bacon. And sometimes it has fresh jalapenos in it. That's when it's the best. More places need to get in on the breakfast burrito game. It is the best for a hangover.
Except maybe for huevos rancheros ($9), which, here, is two eggs (we get ours over easy), refried beans, lettuce, rachero sauce, and two nice steaming-hot tortillas. Use your fork to lift the eggs and scoop 'em under the tortilla, then sling a bunch of beans on top, break it all up, smoosh it around, and you've got a gorgeous, delicious mess.
Even better, along the Mexican line, is the chile relleno, a pablano pepper stuffed with ground beef and cheese with a couple of eggs on the side. It's not always on the menu (which is currently the case), but when it is, don't miss it—a perfect blend of spice and the savory flavor of the meat, the juicy eggs, and the lightly fried batter around the pepper. (Another great special is the fried catfish with biscuits and gravy.)
But lately, we've taken to the breakfast sandwich ($8)—or a specific version of the breakfast sandwich, which we really hope they will name "The City Paper." It is a biscuit with an over-easy egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and a side of ranchero sauce. There's nothing like cutting into the big old doughy goodness of a cat-head biscuit and having the egg juice burst and run out bright yellow to mix with the glowing orange of the ranchero and the cheese.
It also has Irish breakfasts such as Bangers and Mash ($14) and the like, and some of our friends love to get that with Guinness, but we're stuck in our ways, with the above dishes and the bloody mary, which isn't as loaded with pickled stuff as we'd do at home. But they've got a nice horseradish kick that carries us through until it is time for a Boh.