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Toast of the Town

By Melanie Moffett
In Bayou Eats
Feb 25th, 2014

Enoch’s Irish Pub

article by Michael DeVault | photos by Joli Livaudais

If you’re looking for a touch of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day, drop into Enoch’s Irish Pub on Louisville Avenue in Monroe. But you’ll want to get there early. St. Patrick’s Day marks the biggest party of the year.

And it’s all for a good cause, too, according to proprietor Doyle Jeter, who has operated Enoch’s with his wife, Yvette, since 1980.

“We don’t open the doors unless we’re raising money for charity,” said Doyle of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Over the course of the day, more than 2,000 people will make their way through the establishment, where they’ll have their pick of traditional Irish beers and whiskeys – and a feast fit for an Irishman, with bread pudding, Shepherd’s Pie and other traditional Irish offerings.

Proceeds generated from the party go to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy, which Doyle says provides a vital service to the community and falls perfectly in line with the mission of the patron saint of March 17th.

“You can’t get any closer to the mission of St. Patrick than St. Vincent de Paul,” Doyle said.

But St. Patrick’s Day is but one day of the year. The rest of the time, Enoch’s is a full-service restaurant and pub, as close to an authentic Irish pub as you’ll find in these parts. When you show up, though, expect there to be a certain touch of “Laissez les bon temps rouler” thrown in for good measure.

“This pub was designed off the feeling we get in Irish pubs when we’re in Ireland,” said Yvette. “We kind of took the feeling of what that was, but we really wanted to stay true to our Louisiana roots, too. So we try to keep it a real combination of the two.”

To that end, Enoch’s isn’t just a pub. It’s also a live music venue that frequently highlights local, regional and even national musical acts in genres ranging from Celtic folk music to bluegrass. Every October, Enoch’s hosts the longest running John Lennon birthday party. Over the years, Doyle and Yvette have grown Enoch’s Irish Pub into the region’s premier live music venue.

And then, there are the burgers.

“We’re known for our burgers—even before we veered farther into the Irish feel,” Yvette said.

Enoch’s menu features eleven different burger variations, starting with the Eddie Collins—a plain hamburger without cheese, though at Enoch’s, “plain” is relative. Order the Collins “dressed” and you’ll still have a flavorful, challenging meal complete with fries and Guinness gravy, a savory take on a traditional gravy with just enough kick to make you want more. If you just can’t stand the thought of a burger without cheese, don’t despair, though. Because the County Cork with its ounce of cheddar is just what you need.

Enoch’s burgers don’t stop there, either. With each additional topping, you’ve moved on to a new stop on your tour of Ireland. Sautéed mushrooms get you a Galway Mushroom Burger. The Chieftan features chili and cheddar. If cheddar’s not your thing, consider the Irish Channel Burger, complete with provolone cheese and Enoch’s signature olive mix. If you ask Yvette, she’ll recommend right away her personal favorite—the Blarney Stone, a dining destination that includes bacon, provolone and bleu cheese dressing.

Another favorite for those without fear of cholesterol is the Full Irish Breakfast Burger. This monster comes topped with ham, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar and a fried egg for good measure. Be sure to save room for fries and a pint of Harp Lager to wash it all down.

Burgers aren’t their only fare, though, as Enoch’s also offers a selection of delectable nachos and cheese fries. Their most popular basket of fries is the Conly’s Full Irish Cheese Fries, which come topped with two cheeses, bacon, jalapeños and sides of ketchup and ranch. For an interesting kick, ask for a side of curry sauce or whiskey sauce. It doesn’t stop there, either. Yvette noted that Enoch’s continues to feature a number of dishes that cater to the vegetable lovers among us, as well. ”

We’ve always done our vegetarian items,” Yvette said. “The Roselawn is the original ‘Very Veggie.’ Older customers still come in and ask for the Very Veggie.”

Other vegetarian offerings include the Auburn, a grilled Portobello mushroom, provolone, grilled onions, parmesan and a hearty marinara. If mushrooms aren’t your idea of a good sandwich, though, try the Forsythe, with a healthy serving of avocado, rich cream cheese, provolone and olive mix.

Whatever your culinary tastes, you’re sure to find something that will sate your appetite on the Enoch’s menu. While you’re there, be sure to check out the “snug”, featuring more than thirty years of Enoch’s musical history. It’s just one small touch of atmosphere in an establishment steeped in history and regional folklore.

Among the stars smiling down from the walls, you’ll see Willie Nelson and Marcia Ball. Blues musicians join Zydeco master Michael Doucet. And there are more than a few local favorites, with Kenny Bill Stinson, Doug Duffey and others. The musical wall of fame underscores Enoch’s place in Monroe musical history—and reminds you pretty quickly that this is a functioning, working neighborhood pub. What would a pub be without a few spirits?

Regulars start arriving for happy hour at 4 p.m., and the earliest of them are usually sitting on the patio waiting for the doors to open. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with drink specials varying throughout the week. Monday nights are pint nights. Tuesdays are two-for-one burger nights. Wednesday, you can enjoy all-night happy hour.

If traditional Irish and Scottish spirits are what you’re looking for, Enoch’s is the place to be. The bar is stocked with more than a dozen Irish whiskeys and scotches, ranging from Powers and Bushmills to Middleton. Have a Guinness on tap or try the more recent addition of Smithwick’s (pronounced Smid-icks), an amber ale. Harp is also available if you prefer a pale beer.

A well-stocked selection of other spirits is also available for martini drinkers, bourbon sippers and even wine lovers. If you like your beer but the Irish drafts don’t appeal, Enoch’s maintains a cooler filled with the most popular brands out there.

“It’s probably not the biggest,” Yvette says of the Enoch’s beer selection. “But it’s certainly one of the best.”

Domestic stalwarts such as Pabst and Bud Lite feature along side selections from Abita, Sam Adams, and Rolling Rock. A host of European imports also call the beer rail home, with frequent visitors from Belgium such as Chimay joining residents like Stella Artois and Heineken.

Yvette said the pub loves its “eclectic” beer selection.

“We’d love to have a wider selection of it all, but space is the dictator of what we can and can’t have,” Yvette said. So, they rotate stock, bringing in Fat Tire and Strongbow, or the occasional Angry Orchard seasonal variety.

And at the heart of it all, the Jeter family operates the pub just like pubs from the Old World. Doyle and Yvette both continue to work at Enoch’s, but as time moves forward, a new generation of Jeters is taking their place beside them.

Daughter Molly will continue to work the bar while, as is the tradition back in the old country, Doyle’s son John will take over as owner when his father finally decides to hang up his apron.

Until that day comes, though, you’ll find the entire Jeter clan at the pub, waiting to pull a pint and chat about the day’s happenings.