Irish restaurants need to have Irish dishes. Am I crazy for thinking this? We’ve been to three places this month, and out of them the only thing Irish about them has been the name. Oh sure, you can get shepherd’s pie and corned beef sandwiches at each one*, but that’s the only thing like it. At one, calamari and risotto were far more featured, and at the others, it was pizza and burgers.
Now, I may not be an expert on the smelly, drunken, cheap Irish laborers who make up that part of my family tree. I do know that strangely, those funny talking louts are the more reputable members of my lineage. See, my French ancestors had a habit of leaving town one night with the silver and the landlord’s youngest daughter. Charming, roguish, criminal fucks. The Welsh/Irish side didn’t get into crime until they came to America, and then got out pretty quick because they were dumb and we hang horse thieves here. Yeah, our strain of the Colliers almost went extinct because they weren’t smart enough to blame someone else for their horse thievery. They never made it up to family silver and young virgins I’m afraid.
THE POINT IS(!), while I may not be an expert, I’m pretty sure my Irish ancestors were too busy trying to figure out if potatoes were categorized as an offensive weapon or livestock to bother with poncey things like risotto. Not really an Irish tradition. Also, not a hell of a lot of squid eaten that far north as I remember. Maybe I’m wrong, it could be deep fried squid is as Irish as drinking your way out of poverty** and being beaten up by the English***. I’m fairly certain though, that someone would have mentioned it by now. Pretty much the only thing I really remember about Irish cooking is that potatoes are used in the way other nations use meat… and salt… and flour… and vegetables… bricks… cars… shoes… second wives… those fucking people have a REALLY unhealthy relationship with the potato.
Obviously pizza and hamburgers aren’t traditional Irish fare, we couldn’t afford that much meat in one place. Pizza has an Italian name, like risotto, which leads me to think that these are probably Italian dishes and not Irish. I don’t wish to make a big deal out of this, but it would be like going to a Mexican restaurant and finding sushi on the menu. Any connoisseur of Mexican food would stand up and say “Excuse me, I don’t wish to be rude, but what the seven day, six night, you and friend package fuck is going on here?” Besides, pepperoni is something only French thieves that come down from Canada can get their greasy, smell, French hands on. In other words, the more charming, roguish, daughter stealing, criminal bastard side of my family.
So now we’re going to go on a quest. Syd and I are going to find a decent fucking Irish restaurant. I’ve been to one, The Asgard. However, that’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bit of a long haul for some stew and potatoes. The problem is, the longer I look, the more it becomes clear that the Olive Garden is more traditionally Italian than these places are Irish. I know being loud, drunk and obnoxious is traditional Irish behavior, so most of them being at least partially bars is going to be par for the course. However, finding most of the menu to be pasta and or pizza? No, not going there. Also not going to bother if the only way I can view your menu is to download a PDF. It’s 2008 guys! I’ve got better things to do than watch Adobe update again because I started the PDF reader****.
*Seriously, why those two dishes? Were “Trod Bog” and “Peat Moss Sandwich” considered too culturally sensitive?
**One day, that will work!
***Who are all fuckers by the way. Nothing personal to my friends from Albion, but you are.
****Seriously Adobe, every fucking time I open it you want to update nine or ten other things. Just fix your broken ass software and quit bugging me.