A Wee Bit O’ The Irish On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

by: Marlene email

Holiday graphics 002It’s getting to be that time of year again, the time when we enjoy a wee bit o’ the Irish here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Neither Hubby nor I have any Irish roots nor have we ever been to the Emerald Isle but we love all things Irish. Well, maybe not all— can’t stand smoky pubs, bitter Guinness stout, carrageen moss in food, potatoes mashed with kale or cabbage, called colcannon, etc.  But I do love the color green— shamrock green, apple green, sea green, olive green, forest green, all great.  The concept of leprechauns and pots of gold at ends of rainbows is truly delightful.  And we both really enjoy Irish hardshoe dancing, the amazing sounds of the bodhran, the Irish frame drum, and of course, the favorite drink of the Irish …… tea ! ( Did you think it was beer ?  Somewhere I read that the Irish are the world’s biggest tea drinkers, with a per person average of 6 cups a day and that, by law,  all restaurants and pubs must serve tea during all open hours.  Little trivia,  just sayin.)

So,  March 17th is fast approaching, the day when I always like to indulge my taste buds with a little Irish cuisine and atmosphere. Haven’t decided yet whether to do Shepherd’s Pie at home or to go out to one of our two Eastern Shore authentic Irish Pubs, Kelly’s Gingernut Pub or The Blarney Stone, both of which serve mouthwatering  food accompanied by live traditional music on St. Paddy’s Day.

Kelly’s, located 3 blocks from the beach on Mason Avenue in the historic district in Cape Charles, VA is always a great choice, with some of the Shore’s best fish and chips served daily. On St. Paddy’s Day they go all out with traditional favorites– Corned Beef and Cabbage, a savory Irish Stew served with soda bread, Cottage Pie, a salmon dish, mussels, etc. , all well prepared and scrumptious. And of course, a pint or two of the good stuff with which to wash it all down would be in order, all the while toe tapping to some real Irish jigs.

In Onancock, on North Street, just 3 blocks from the Town Wharf, the Blarney Stone also offers up some great choices. The Pub Steak is great, served with a medley of pan fried potatoes (which I like even better than chips ).  Bangers and Mash,  Shepherd’s Pie,  Fish and Chips are served everyday. But on St Paddy’s Day, other traditional dishes are added to the menu– obviously Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Salmon with Champ, Coddle maybe even Skirts and Kidneys or Bubble and Squeak ( despite the weird name,  Bubble and Squeak is really quite tasty ).  Plus The Blarney Stone boasts that it has 17 authentic brews on tap, something for every thirsty someone.

So, choices, choices. Good to have, not so easy to make. Home, Kelly’s, Blarney Stone ? ?    But nearly a week  till The Day, so plenty of time to decide where to go, what to do.  As they say, hard choices but someone has to make them.  ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA )

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