Pubs are important here. I talked to one of my local friends who hinted that Dubliners navigate to new areas based on their proximity to pubs. "Don't ever give directions by road signs, but go by the nearest pub!" We are lucky (?) enough to have several quality pubs within walking distance of our place. We set out to find the one that would be "our" neighborhood pub. We had several criteria in mind as we began: Proximity, Atmosphere, Price.
One of our first nights in the new place, we walked up to Donnybrook and checked out the pub/restaurant with the biggest storefront and signs. Keily's of Donnybrook, with Rock Lobster seafood restaurant on the second floor (second floor American, that is. In Europe, the ground floor is 0 and what Americans would call the second floor is called the first floor.) The atmosphere was a bit large, it was close to our home, and the prices were ok. We'll come back to this one.
|Frog Enjoying Bulmer's and Smithwick's|
A little bit farther North, but still in Donnybrook is McCloskey's. The pub has a great atmosphere with retro red carpet and cushy seats and chairs. It's nice and quiet, but not too cramped. Prices are a bit higher for drinks here, but a bit lower for pub food. The pub also has an off license (liquor store) attached, so the bartender sometimes has to walk to the walk-up window to sell a bottle to a customer coming off the street. Frog enjoyed a Bulmer's Irish Hard Apple Cider and a Smithwick's Irish Ale here.
Once on our way back from Donnybrook, we saw at the back of the building housing Kiely's the following sign:
Another pub at the back of Kiely's? With whiskey barrels for tables on the patio? We had to check it out. Inside, it was just what we wanted: Just enough space to not be cramped, but not enough to be cavernous, televisions tuned to sports channels, a lively group of regular visitors, and good prices for drinks. On this day, we decided to try the less internationally famous Irish stout, Beamish. Made in Cork, Beamish is a bit sweeter than Guinness, but we still prefer Guinness because the foam is a bit smoother and we both prefer our stouts just a bit more dry than sweet. Ciss Madden's takes the cup... or the glass!
|Beamish on Barrel|