This post was inspired by jlsathre's story today entitled: ICE IN MY WINE.
My parents were not so proper Bostonians. Although dad went to Harvard and he and mom had tickets for the Boston Symphony on Thursday nights, they were uncomfortable with the uppity folks and fancy restaurants. Frankly, I think the cost of white tablecloths was a bit much from my frugal father.We moved to the suburbs.
My parents enjoyed tavern and pub dining. They knew their bartenders by name, and the bartenders, in turn, knew what they liked to drink. Mom had scotch on the rocks, Dad drank Crown Royal. It was a limited libation, but they were always happy when they had a wee taste with dinner.
When I was in college, at the University of Massachusetts, I spent many of my happy hours at frat house bars and rathskellers. Didn't do much for my grade average or my weight. After that it was coffee houses and that shtik. I gained 20 lbs in my freshman year. It was not all about the drink..it was about freedom, french fries, burgers and beer.
After vomiting on mother's sabbath table, end of freshman year, I gave up drinking for a long time. But still preferred pubs to chain restaurants and bistros. I only drink beer on occassion now..hot summer days preferred. Wine with dinner is still a staple.
Fortunately for me, both of my husbands enjoyed the local dining thing and we visited pubs wherever we traveled. My favorite were in Ireland, although I must say that New England has it's share. In order to become a regular you have to show up pretty often, which is not good unless you know when to leave and how to get home. They can become too chummy.
Three of my favorite pubs in the world are pictured below:
The first is the Tan Hill pub..in Yorkshire UK.:
The day we arrived the wind was howling and the rocks were near the color of the sky. Someone was yelling: Heathcliffe!
Rain pelted us and we had to park in the rear of the building in order to open the car door. Two huge dogs (no kidding) were sleeping in front of a massive fire place. It was heaven.
I was thinking of asking you all to go there with me for a writers workshop...problem is that is haunted, as well as nearly impossible to find. But we could arrange it. I am sure. It would be an experience you would never forget.
This of course is the Bull and Finch Pub....aka CHEERS. A Boston Pub setting which was on TV forever. Might still be there in re-run. A place where everyone knows your name. Today it remains as a tourist destination, but the sit-com was delightful. And so I have to give it a thumbs up.
Dan Foley's pub in County Kerry. We stayed in the B & B for the purpose of hiking in the heather. Do not laugh. It is very difficult to come down a hill with a heather blanket hiding nasty holes and rocks. Best part of that trip was stepping out of the pub into a herd of cattle being driven down the main street. Yes, I was sober. The reason Dan Foley's pub is famous is prior to IT, all pubs in Ireland were white (so I am told).
On a more serious note, when the dark days descended on my life back in the 1980s I found that going out to breakfast in local coffee shops gave me a jump start on the day. The comraderie at the counter, not unlike tavern friends...someone to talk to..a destination.It took a while to get past "mornin" to "think it'll rain?" ...but even though months pass between visits, I am still greeted as though I had just been there. The waitress asks if I still want my coffee with cream, my eggs scrambled well, and my wheat toast with butter on the side.
Yup...that's what I like. A place where everybody knows your name.