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This article was prepared for the June 6, 2001 edition of U.S. 1

Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Out to Lunch: Pipers Pub

Light and cheerful, with high ceilings and team jerseys

on the wall, Pipers Pub has a huge bar and plenty of video screens

generating low-volume white noise from ESPN. Lunchers can have a

private

discussion by settling into one of the man-sized high-backed booths

that run along two sides of the room — or enjoy a solitary meal

with sports TV for company.

This spacious spot was for many years home of the successful County

Line Inn — since then it has had several permutations, with the

most recent being Dakota Grill and Casabona. Now it offers American

cuisine with an Irish and Scottish touch. Pipers Pup caters to the

after-work crowd (it’s just a few minutes’ drive from Bloomberg and

the Research Park area) with a food and drink specials during a 5

to 7 p.m. happy hour. It also features an eclectic blend of live music

— from a string instrument jam session on Tuesday evenings to

Celtic music on Thursdays to full-fledged rock bands on Fridays.

(Coming

up: Friday Night Fling on June 8.)

And to entice the lunchtime crowd from the workplace it advertises

a "speedy lunch" — drinks, food, and check delivered

within

30 minutes or it’s all free.

On the day we went, a grilled chicken breast sandwich with Monterey

jack cheese, bacon, ranch dressing, and fries ($7.75) met

expectations,

but we were surprised by the sauteed soft crabs ($14 with rice and

vegetables). The crabs were crispy but had a rich sauce, rather more

elegant than we expected. Refills of iced tea ($1.50) were free.

The Scottish theme is not emphasized in the decor, unless you count

the beer taps — Sam Adams, Guinness, Harp, Killian’s Irish Red,

and Killarney’s for example. Also on tap: Bud and Bud Lite, Coors

Lite and Amstel Lite, Pete Summer and Pete’s Regular, Yingling,

Caffrey’s,

Bass, Woodchuck’s Cider, and River Horse.

Celtic and Scottish specialties are offered Thursdays, but the menu

regularly features a Scottish ale soup, with tangy cheeses and rich

cream ($4.25) and British-style fish & chips, $9.75. Appetizers from

$5 to $8 are on the fried side — chicken strips, onion crisps,

calamari, or cheese sticks. Hearty salads and pub sandwiches run from

$6 to $8 with a 12-ounce burger for $9.75. Grill choices might be

salmon with lemon vodka sauce ($13.75), and baby back ribs with Black

and Tan barbeque sauce ($18).

Our lunch took 45 minutes from start to finish, not the advertised

half-hour. But it turns out you need to notify the staff up front,

when you order. Then, if they don’t meet the 30-minute deadline, you

get your lunch free.

— Barbara Fox

Pipers Pub & Restaurant, 1736 Route 206 South, Skillman

08558. 908-431-4233; fax, 908-431-4379. Private rooms of various sizes

(up to about 100 people) would make this a good choice for a farewell

lunch or shower.


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