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D'Arcy's Pint

661 West Stanford Avenue, Springfield, IL - (217) 492-8800
Posted By Jim Ellison on 3/3/2009 1:26:00 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.

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4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The fried chicken in the Buffalo shoe is good and crisp and its cheese sauce is plenty gloppy. What a mighty meal! Note the abundance of blue cheese and red sauce in the ramekins on the plate.
"The fried chicken in the Buffalo shoe is good and crisp and its cheese sauce is plenty gloppy. What a mighty meal! Note the abundance of blue cheese and red sauce in the ramekins on the plate."
Michael Stern





Yet another variation of the popular Springfield specialty: the pork tenderloin horseshoe.
"Yet another variation of the popular Springfield specialty: the pork tenderloin horseshoe."
Cliff Strutz


An unusual horseshoe variation, topped with crumbled sausage, green onions, and tomatoes.
"An unusual horseshoe variation, topped with crumbled sausage, green onions, and tomatoes."
Michael Stern


Springfield, Illinois, likes to think of itself as America's chili capital. While nothing like the chili of the Southwest or, for that matter, of Cincinnati or Green Bay, Wisconsin, this stuff is a satisfying meaty stew.
"Springfield, Illinois, likes to think of itself as America's chili capital. While nothing like the chili of the Southwest or, for that matter, of Cincinnati or Green Bay, Wisconsin, this stuff is a satisfying meaty stew."
Michael Stern


Buffalo horseshoe sandwich (to go).
"Buffalo horseshoe sandwich (to go)."
Jim Ellison


This is the place.
"This is the place."
Jim Ellison


D'Arcy's sign.
"D'Arcy's sign."
Jim Ellison


It was a foggy, cold February evening when I found D'Arcy's Pint -- an ideal time and climate for digging into horseshoe sandwiches.
"It was a foggy, cold February evening when I found D'Arcy's Pint -- an ideal time and climate for digging into horseshoe sandwiches."
Michael Stern



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