Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Week 27 of the 52s...O'Toole's
I wasn't sure what my adventure for this week was going to be, until my neighbor--eight houses around the bend--called me yesterday about meeting for lunch today. It's funny how that works, isn't it? I went out to lunch last week with one woman I know up the mountain, then this week the other one called. I haven't talked to either of them in months, then both connect in a week.
So, this afternoon I pick up Bunny (and one of these days I'll write a post about nicknames...a thing I have always wanted), and as we're meandering down the road, we toss around a few places to go, though this being a small town, the choices for something new are getting really limited.
Then I remember seeing this little Irish pub one day when I had to go downtown to the Post Office. After leaving the PO, I turned at the Courthouse and took this little side street that would take me over the river toward home. I noticed the pub, and drove home reminiscing about Dublin and thinking some day I might pop into the pub to see what it was like.
I mentioned O'Toole's to Bunny, and way cool, she's never been there either! The adventure begins...
The building looks small and intimate from the outside, but when you open the door and walk in, it's a surprise to find that it's not small, but long and narrow. The booths were full, so we went down a couple steps to the bar area and took that first table on the left. The sign on the rafter says: He who enters here is a stranger but once.
A portion of the bar...and a lovely portrait of Mrs O'Toole. I meant to ask the waitress what the story was, but never got the chance. We must have arrived at just the right time because within a few minutes of sitting down, the place was mobbed.
There was a great selection of beers from several regional micro-breweries and when I couldn't make up my mind, the waitress brought me little shot glasses of three brews I was trying to choose from.
I ended up with an IPA called Magnetic Meridian from Base Camp, a brewery in Portland. I don't really like India Pale Ale, but this was orangey and spicy and...oatmealy instead of malty. Okay, it's pretty hard to describe, but it was different and good. And went really well with my Parmesan & Spice chicken strips with homemade potato chips--which I forgot to take a photo of...
My ale is on the left, Bunny's beer is that pale watery brew on the right.
I also got something extra to take home for dinner. I love these. I saw them on the menu and nearly burst into tears. I have eaten many of these delicious Scotch eggs and though I didn't want them for lunch, I had to have some for later. I like to eat them plain, with salt and pepper, though at O'Toole's you get three choices: maple syrup, honey mustard, and vinegar (contents of those little containers).
Scotch eggs, for those of you who don't know, are a meal in a perfect ball: An egg is wrapped in sausage then covered in a fine breading. They can be fried, though at home (Edinburgh) I used to bake them instead, which is what I will do with these tonight. They are a very portable meal, and though Alan liked to eat them cold, I couldn't. It's all about what you're used to, I guess. Plus, I really like the crispy crunch...
So, after two hours, a great lunch, tasty beer, and dinner in a box, Bunny and I walked out into the Summer inferno and decided O'Toole's was a great find for the 52s this week. It's a cozy place where I would feel comfortable going by myself, taking a book, and trying another interesting brew.
Now, if only they had whiskey...