I recently travelled to Dublin, which might as well be called, “Could be Boston”.
Dublin is a gorgeous city, built around a variety of narrow streets, a mixture of new and weathered brick buildings, and a large river–sounds a bit like Beacon Hill and the Charles River to me. I am just starting to understand why there are so many Massachusetts State Troopers named Tim Kelly/O’Sullivan in Massachusetts now…
Seriously though, Dublin is a vibrant, bustling, fun place to be. And despite what you might think of the ole Irish “meat and potatoes” adage, Dublin has some surprising culinary wonders behind all of the Guinness beer.
Speaking of Guinness (who knew it had two n’s?), there is much of it to be had in Dublin. If you’re in Dublin for a Guinness mecca, the Guinness Storehouse is your best bet. Imagine a seven story brick building catering to all of your Guinness fantasies–they do what with barley and hops? Slightly overrated to me, this is the place if you want to hear Guinness toot its own horn loudly.
For a more authentic experience, however, I would recommend going to a local bar, say the Stag’s Head Pub, and let a few locals pay for your pints of Guinness. This is exactly what I did. Here is a joke that tells the story.
A tall, blond, very muscular boy/man walks into an Irish pub with a stunningly beautiful auburn-haired girl around his arm. A certain Patrick Finnegan-Begin-Again McShannon O’Malley and his friend Bob Smith are at the pub celebrating Patrick’s birthday when they see these two Americans trying to saddle up to the bar. Sensing their thirst, a very short, a very stout, a very Irish Patrick moseys on up to them and introduces himself. “Where ye be from matey (it’s unclear why he now sounds like a pirate)” he asks. The handsome couple explain that they are English assistants in France but come to Dublin to seek their heritage as O’Connell’s and Durkin’s alike. This seemed to be the magic word–Patrick ordered a first round of Guinness for all.
The conversation then turned to the Americans Irish heritage. The blond said his father’s family are O’Connell’s to which Patrick replied, “Boring, there are so many O’Connells in this ye nation”. The auburn-haired girl said she was a Durkin and Patrick’s face lit up. “Those ye Durkins are clever folk, mostly doctors, and known to lay down a good pint”! Patrick then gave the girl a telephone number of a Durkin he knew in London who happened to be a circus juggler. A clever juggler. Whose second job is performing heart surgery.
In any event, before he knew it, the tall, blond, very muscular boy/man had drank five pints in a very short span of time indeed. After all exchanging emails and a hearty hug, they separated ways. Sensing the tall blonds state of inebriation, the auburn-haired girl sprang into action and forced the boy to eat as much food as he could to soak up the Guinness.
It is there, that I, I mean the tall blond committed serious acts of culinary treason…hamburgers from tasteless factories and many cookies from Subway. This is literally one of the best ways to experience Dublin–with a few locals in a pub, exchanging stories, trading laughs, and scoring a few free pints. Trust me, it beats the touristy Guinness Storehouse any day.