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D'Arcy's Pint

661 West Stanford Avenue, Springfield, IL - (217) 492-8800
Posted By Lew Friedland on December 8, 2013 10:48 PM
Only a few people have rated Kerstin Brown's review highly, but if you know anything about horseshoes or Springfield, you'd know that the fact that her great-grandmother and grandmother worked at the Leland and knew Wayne of Wayne's Red Coach Inn means that she knows what she's talking about. I grew up in Springfield, actually in the Leland when I was a baby when my folks just moved to town. I ate hundreds of horseshoes over the years. D'Arcy's is very good. Not sure if it quite makes the Leland/Wayne's grade, but nothing else does either. Closest thing to the original around.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Horseshoe Sandwich

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Posted By Bill LeGallee on March 12, 2011 8:19 PM
Definitely worth stopping in if you're in the area, and not just for the crazily sinful horseshoe. They've got some great Irish and English beers on tap!
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Horseshoe Sandwich
White Cheddar Cheese Nuggets

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Posted By Jim Ellison on March 3, 2009 1:26 PM
This family-friendly Irish themed bar/restaurant has only been around since 1998 and moved to it’s new, bigger location in May of 2005. The place offers lots of good pub grub, but the thing to come for is a horseshoe sandwich, also known as a heart attack on a plate.

A horseshoe is the signature sandwich of Springfield. D’Arcy’s serves up over a dozen varieties of shoes. The base sandwich is two pieces of Texas toast with meat placed on each slice, served with either a traditional or spicy white cheese sauce and what seems like a pound of crinkle cut fries. Meat choices include corned beef, walleye, Italian sausage, and breaded pork tenderloin. The customer favorite is the Buffalo chicken horseshoe which is served with a side of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing. If someone in your party is afraid of ordering a pint (horsehoe) or half-pint (pony shoe), the menu also features traditional Irish favorites, bar food, and other famous sandwiches including breaded pork tenderloins, muffalettas, New York-style corned beef, and Reubens.

Here is a little more background on horseshoes: local lore generally places the birth of the horseshoe at the Leland Hotel (closed in the 1970s) in 1928. A few sources name other spots, among them the (Wayne’s) Red Coach Inn, as the originator. The original horseshoe was an open-faced sandwich consisting of two slices of thick, toasted bread with ham placed on top of each piece, and a pile of fries, with the whole heap drenched in cheese sauce. The sauce is typically a closely guarded secret and varies from place to place but most published recipes use a variation of Welsh rarebit sauce. Typical ingredients in the sauce include beer, egg yolks, butter, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, and a combination of spices. Horseshoe history decrees that the original sandwich used ham steak, which looked like a horseshoe after it was cooked. The French fries are supposed to represent horseshoe nails. The plate is an anvil and slices of bread represent hoofs. Today, there are many variations in the meat part of the sandwich and a few restaurants even pony up an occasional vegetarian version.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Kerstin Brown on March 12, 2008 12:07 PM
Darcy's is about as close as you will find in a restaurant to getting an authentic horseshoe. They are great! My family has been in Springfield and the restaurant business since the late 1800's. My great-grandmother worked with the chef who invented the horseshoe at the Leland Hotel. My grandmother worked at the Leland several years later and was also very close to Wayne of Wayne's Red Coach Inn over the years until he passed.

The reason there is some debate over where it was invented is because one of the sous chefs at the Leland was hired by Wayne, the owner of the Red Coach Inn, in order to get this particular recipe. My grandmother made them for us for years and the original recipe does not contain beer. Everyone has a slightly different version of the original. Wayne's served the original for years after the Leland closed. It was originally served on a metal hot plate to represent the anvil.

Bravo Darcy's; your horseshoes are plate lickin' good!
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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