You will not find a place in New York City that makes you feel closer to the Emerald Isle than Mary's, located in a distinctly Irish neighborhood in the far northern reaches of the Bronx. Woodlawn Heights is a place you will hear thick Irish accents and see almost all signage written in green. In the center of this is Mary Moylan, a chef originally from County Kilkenny. If you are not charmed by her friendliness and hospitality (not to mention her cooking), you simply have no soul!
Inside the small primarily takeout/delivery store you will find a couple handwritten chalkboards and seven stools lining a small counter for eating in. The phone rings pretty frequently with orders, and most people stop in to pick up their food and say hello to Mary, delivering gossip and updates on life along the way. She seems to know all of her customers well, and takes care of everything with a precision that revolves around love.
The sausage mash & beans ($8.50, below) is a good combination of flavors for a meal, found under the "traditional fare" section of the menu. We recommend staying on this side anyways, but the place does cater to the usual bar crowd with burgers and nachos and the like. The sausages are fried and retain their juiciness, and combined with the potatoes and a little Chef's Sauce, make for a delectable bite.
The shepherd's pie ($8.50, below), like most places in New York City is actually a cottage pie, made with ground beef and not lamb, but is distinct from your average Irish pub by a long shot. The ingredients are fresh and it is not over-salted like most. It is hard to get a sense of the enormity of this pie from the photo below, but it is far larger than the size of your face, and a smaller portion is available for $5.
A look inside the pie.
I could not help but order a Scotch egg ($2.50, below) from the refrigerated case. It appears as a nice fried globe, and when described as a boiled egg wrapped in sausage then fried, becomes something any meal should not be without. My companion for this meal giggled and proclaimed that this was the "first time a taste made me laugh."
Katonah Avenue and Woodlawn Heights in the Bronx spill a little over the northern border into Yonkers, and the whole neighborhood is an absolute gem. You can follow your meal at Mary's with a pint at one of many pubs that line the street, and if you happen to pull an all-nighter, wake up to an Irish breakfast at The Irish Coffee Shop.