Race to my Place: Fish N' Chips

Race to My Place: Lilly O’Brien’s vs. Biddy Early’s Fish and Chips

Race to my Place: Fish N' Chips
Lilly O'Briens vs. Biddy Early's: Who was faster?

For each installment of the Race to My Place, we will be pitting two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times, and prices against each other and see whose delivery reigns supreme!  We will compare delivery speed, packaging & presentation, quality & taste, and value.  For this Irish pub race, our contestants were Lilly O’Brien’s and Biddy Early’s.

One thing we are lucky to have in downtown Manhattan is a decent amount of Irish pubs.  You probably frequent these places for the Irish charm, a mug of Guinness, but today, we are sampling some pub grub: Fish and Chips!  And because the fish and chips alone wasn’t enough to satisfy the delivery minimum, we also ordered some bread and butter pudding, a quintessential Irish/UK dessert.

Delivery Speed: Biddy Early’s
Biddy Early’s only took 27 minutes to deliver, while Lilly O’Brien’s took 40 minutes.  The two restaurants are basically right next to each other, so that shouldn’t make a difference in delivery time.  Biddy Early’s won this category fair and square.

Packaging & Presentation: Tie
Both restaurants served their food in the same plastic bags and tin containers with cardboard tops.  They both included tartar sauce and lemon wedges.  Biddy Early’s Fish and Chips was presented better, but Lilly O’Brien’s bread pudding looked more legit, so this category is a tie!

Quality & Taste: Biddy Early’s
I was surprised at the outcome of this comparison.  I’ve been to both pubs before, and compared to Lilly O’Brien’s, Biddy Early’s is a bit of a dive; I expected their food to pale in comparison.  When I opened the containers of food and saw their dinky bread & butter pudding, which didn’t look like any bread pudding I’d ever seen, I didn’t have very high expectations.  Their fish and chips, however, were expertly battered and fried and arrived still crispy!  The fish was soft and flaky, and didn’t taste fishy at all.  Their bread & butter pudding tasted a lot better than it looked, although it tasted more like really awesome french toast than bread pudding.

Lilly O’Brien’s offers a malt whiskey bread & butter pudding, which is much denser and bread pudding-like than Biddy Early’s.  You can definitely detect the malt whiskey, although the flavor isn’t over powering.  Unfortunately, their fish and chips did not live up to my expectations.  The batter came out oddly flat and was extremely greasy and soggy.  The fish was just as fresh and flaky as Biddy Early’s but the bad batter completely ruined the experience for me.

Value: Biddy Early’s
Here’s the price breakdown:

Biddy Early’s
Dublin Style Fish & Chips:  $9.95
Bread & Butter Pudding: $3.25

Lilly O’Brien’s
Beer Battered Fish & Chips: $10.95
Malt Whiskey Bread & Butter Pudding: $6.95

Both restaurants gave the same amount of fish & chips, and Lilly O’Brien’s was not worth an extra dollar.  Although Lilly O’Brien’s did give a substantially larger serving of bread pudding, I’m not sure it was double the amount of Biddy Early’s.

Winner: Biddy Early’s

Overall, Lilly O’Brien’s cost $4.7 more than Biddy Early’s, and that’s before tax and tip.  I understand why you would pay that extra price if you were eating on the premises, because Lilly O’Brien’s is a classier establishment.  However, if you’re just ordering in, the faster delivery, better tasting food, and better value make Biddy Early’s the clear winner!

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About Jenn

Jenn was raised in Battery Park City and as a child one of her favorite places was Picasso Pizza. Being older and wiser, she now is a connoisseur of all the fantastic restaurants and bars in the area as the food/culture writer for BatteryParkCity.com.