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Donohue's and The Subway Inn

I don’t eat steak a lot, but I’ve been craving it all week. One place I’ve been meaning to go to is the legendary Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn. I tried to get a reservation, but they were all booked up. Maybe next week. Then I thought I’d try Keen’s Steakhouse here in Manhattan, I’ve eaten at the bar, but never at the main dining room. I thought I’d eat at a table and then have a few beers in the bar afterwards. I called for a reservation, but no dice, they were booked all night too. Everybody else must be craving steak too! So I racked my brain and then thought of a classic place I haven’t been to for quite a while now, Donohue’s Steak House on the Upper East Side. There’s usually a seat at the bar if you go after 7pm, so that’s where I’m headed tonight to get my steak fix and have a few beers too. But first, a few appetizers at the home base here.


Okay, three beers and a quick subway ride uptown and here we are at Donohue's.

It's crowded tonight, but there's a seat at the bar, so I hang my coat on the barstool and settle in.

And friendly bartender Maureen serves up a beer and an award-winning smile!

Maureen's not only the bartender here, she's the owner. Her last name is Donohue and her father and grandfather were the original owners and opened Donohue's over 60 years ago. When Maureen's father passed away 12 years ago, she took it over. Here she poses with a photo of her father behind the bar. Maureen's keeping it all in the family, several of her nieces work here.

Johnny was seated next to me at the bar and after I told him about my 365 bars blog, we discussed the New York bar scene and it turns out we both were regulars at the old P&G Bar.

The multi-colored lights behind the bar, always give the place a festive feeling.

Maureen told me this is the original cash register from when Donohue's first opened the doors. Very cool!

Obligatory bar mirror shot!

A long shot of the classic wooden bar and some of the patrons gathered around it.

There's tables and booths in the back dining room...

But you can also eat at the bar, which is what I chose to do. I came for a steak, but saw they had honey-dipped fried chicken on the menu and decided to go for that.

And I'm glad I did, it was delicious! Some of the best fried chicken I've ever had. I left the carrot and parsley so the empty plate picture would have a little color.

I thanked Maureen for the hospitality and headed out the door for the Subway.

No, not that subway...

This Subway, the Subway Inn. I'm taking Jeremiah Moss' advice and stopping in here for dessert, since it's just a couple blocks from Donohue's.

Nice and dark in here, a classic NYC dive bar.

And here bartender Will poses with tonight's dessert, a bottle of Budweiser.

Here's the back of the bar.

Above it, Marilyn laughs with hard hats and various tchotchke's surrounding her.

A shot of the bar from the opposite end. Being it's Sunday, it's a little low-key in here, which is why I like going out on Sunday's.

I love the nuclear green lighting in the booth's in here, it's perfect!

Okay, one last look out the neon-tinged window...

And it's down into the actual subway we go. Thanks for tripping out with me and we'll see you all tomorrow.

Further Reading: Ev Grieve, NY Eater and New York On Tap.

Green Onions.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

References (6)

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  • Response
    855 You will require nine darkish strips and eight white strips with the weave. The sole steady that remains inside our kid's life, year in, yr out, louis vuitton international wallet looks to always be their pretty much phobic distaste for strolling.
  • Response
    trippingwithmarty - (Almost) Live, From New York City! - Donohue's and The Subway Inn
  • Response
    trippingwithmarty - (Almost) Live, From New York City! - Donohue's and The Subway Inn
  • Response
    Response: dream essays
    The Donohue pub in Brooklyn is very popular and it is one of the oldest pubs in that area. Every day hundreds of people visit and enjoy the interrior and lighting. It is also considered the best in the world.
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Reader Comments (23)

I’ve must have walked passed Donohue's thousands of times, but never went in.

“And here bartender Will poses with tonight's dessert, a bottle of Budweiser.”
Doesn’t Will look cheery? I’m guessing he’d rather be surfing….

I’ve only ever been to The Subway Inn on a Saturday afternoon, while shopping with my wife and daughter at Bloomingdale’s. It usually went something like this:
My Wife: “We need to go to the Ladies Shoe Department”
Me: “I’ll be at the Subway Inn”

@ Marty – Have you ever tried The Palm Steakhouse, 837 Second Ave at 46th Street ? It’s a very cool old school place with great steaks; a New York classic.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

I love Donohue's. One of my favorites anywhere in the city. Long live Donohue's!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEV Grieve

Nice stops ! I would have gotten the steak though. I'd imagine it's hard to find a good steak ? -- whereas, you could find fried chicken everywhere ?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Martin: I'd say you made the right choice as far as your shopping expeditions go! And Will was cheerier than the picture suggests, a nice guy and great bartender. I'll try the Palms if I can't get into Peter Luger next week! Thanks for the suggestion!

@EV Grieve: I agree! To Donohue's! A true NYC tradition!

@GENE: It was a great night. The chicken there is deep fried and honey dipped, really good fried chicken, I highly recommend it!

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I’ve been in Donohue's plenty of times, and vice versa!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarlo Thomas


February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReggie Thistleton

Marty, You have to get your ass to Ireland, for some of the best Pub's in the world. I don't think you can get a subway to that Island though.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

Every time a picture of your refrigerator is posted, I get a chuckle. I was going to say it's a fridge of a man living the high life, but you'd need some Champagne of beers for that one. Let's say you're living the life of a king, with the King!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl Czervik

Did you know that Peter Luger and Dick Lugar are related. Not by blood or anything, just related.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

.... and now I sit here in Central PA staring at places to eat in NYC, whilst rocking out to Green Onions.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

That's the best before & after dinner comparison I've ever seen! You killed it, Marty! Donohue's looks like a really nice place and I think it's so great that Maureen is keeping it in the family. That, to me, shows a certain commitment and pride that's lacking in so many businesses these days; and it can really make a place shine, as it has here. I'd love to spend an evening at Donohue's next time I'm in town. And a nightcap or six at Subway Inn sounds pretty sweet too.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Marlo Thomas: Ha ha ha! Say hi to Phil for me, I miss his show!

@Danny: I'd love to go! Are you sure the L train doesn't go there?

@Al Czervik: Glad you're enjoying the fridge photos! It's good to drink the King! Cheers!

@csp: I think I saw that on TMZ!

@roadsidewonders: Good to hear you rocking out to "Green Onions," you need to take a trip to New York soon!

@Biff: Thanks, Bifferoonie! I too love the fact that Maureen is keeping it family owned! It's a great spot on the Upper East Side. When I win the Powerball and fly you in here, it'll be the first stop! And we'll definitely have a nightcap or seven!

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Donohue's is super cool. I love how Maureen took over the family bar business 12 years ago. That's awesome. And that fried chicken looked pretty delicious.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@Meleah: Maureen was super nice and really cool! Donohue's is a great restaurant and bar! And the fried chicken is out of this world!

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@MAD: TMZ already ran that joke? Well fuck, looks like my odds of meeting Harvey Levin at the People's Court just went up exponentially.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@csp: Say hi to Judge Judy for me!

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Almost had steak last night! What's up with eating the same food as Marty all the time? I swear I'm not a food stalker. Had the steaks tonight instead. YUM! That friend chicken looked AMAZING though.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

@Isabella: I'm going to go for a steak next Sunday, feel free to food stalk me all you want! And the fried chicken was amazing as is Donohue's!

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow, that chicken looked damn tasty. Also, as per @Martin, I second The Palm as well. Go to the original location on the west side of Second Avenue.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

@CSP and Marty.. I dont get it...
laugh at me later please...
whooo over my head.

anyway that place looks awesome.. i'll grab biffie and we'll get there soon enough.. its what 10 hour drive?
i cant count...but i have a cool car for long drives:)

i love family run places.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Dunceter: I'll check out the Palms this Sunday, let me know if you want to join me.

@ Gidget: It's a 10 hour drive, when you get here I'll take you to Donohue's for sure!

February 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Sunday may have been 'The Day Of Rest' for God, but not with you Daddio.
What a great journey you had!
It warms my heart to know that family tradition continues on with Donohue's.
Sadly, it's becoming a rarity these days.
Love the old cash register, and Maureen indeed possesses a classic smile.
As genuine as the place she owns.
Now you will have to go back for a steak sometime.
The Subway Inn has a greqat look and feel to it as well.
I think Peter and Dick are also both related to Sheriff Lugar Axehandle.
But then again, 'Everything I Know Is Wrong'.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" I agree both about Maureen's smile and the cash register...but then again, "Everything I Know Is Wrong" too!

February 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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