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    Thursday, April 18, 2024

    Local restaurants serving up corned beef

    It’s a big week for well-intentioned but poorly informed activists who will demand to know how many ears of corn had to die so that area restaurants can celebrate St. Patty’s Day with corned beef dinners.

    For the record, “corn” has nothing to do with corned beef; it refers to the brining salt employed to flavor the brisket.

    Probably no one local knows corned beef better than Lou Mallett, head chef at Mr. G’s in New London. Mallett has overseen the restaurant’s St. Patrick Day corned beef feast for 32 years — an event so reverentially anticipated that, each month on the 17th, Mr. G’s rocks the corned beef all over again.

    For the actual day Friday, Mallett and the Mr. G’s crew have been/are preparing 1,000 pounds of brisket and anticipate serving 350 full dinners and 200 sandwiches — which doesn’t include special holiday meals they’ll supply to the Waterford Senior Center and the Eastern Connecticut Center for the Blind.

    “Friday, it’s all hands on deck, including my mother,“ Mallett says. “Every year you remember how many things you DON’T need to run out of. Other than pizza, we shut the rest of the menu down. It’s a nonstop corned beef assembly line.”

    Among other local restauranteurs confirmed for corned beef-ness Friday: Christopher’s Café, Groton; 40 Thieves, Groton; Sneekers Café, Groton; Birdseye Café, New London; The Spot Café, Groton; Lyme Tavern, East Lyme; Dutch Tavern, New London; Hot Rod Café, New London; Friar Tuck’s Tavern, Mystic; Rustic Café, East Lyme; CC O’Brien’s, Pawcatuck (Saturday instead!); and Ryan’s Pub, Groton.

    As for how many cabbages will perish for Fridays ’celebration? That’s a different story.

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