Pub reBlog 1: Irish Times
Ok, so I’ve been meaning to bring these over here for awhile. They’re my pub reviews of places mostly in Victoria, but I’ll do some in other places as well. So ya, I’m kinda reusing these as word fodder for this blog, but I know not many people read it, so it’s kinda new, right? And I’ll update and edit them as well (editor’s note: You should hire an editor).
So I have to say I have a history with Irish Times. It was the first pub I ever hit, I’ve spent countless hours there (some memorable, some memory-less), and I’ve memorized the tap selection.
Ok, well, they’ve changed some of the kegs recently, so I can’t say I know what’s up right now, but I used to have it down.
Styled as a stereotypical Irish pub (on the fancy side), it’s over the top in “authentic” paraphernalia, but it’s well done. The taps are polished brass, everything is wood, there’s book shelves, fireplaces, nooks, and a stage. It’s a sort of “dream pub” or something off a movie set, right on the edge of being too much.
On this particular trip we had an upstairs table (yes, there’s an upstairs, it’s two stories of Eire goodness). We overlooked the bar and central clock. The entire thing is a giant decorative structure, probably something turned into a bar. It’s now got mirrors, shelves and other alcohol related gear on it.
The band wasn’t playing yet, but as with every other day of the week there’s someone scheduled to take stage. U2 or some other band related to the emerald isle was on the speakers.
We knew it gets busy later on, so we ordered pints and food promptly. Luckily it was still a slow period, so we all got the suds quickly.
There’s a decent selection of pints, with a mixture of local micros and some big names from over seas. They do provide a couple of the crap beers, though I never knew why until I witnessed a man actually order a Coors Lite.
Who goes to an Irish pub to order American swill?
Anywho, Guinness and all his friends are there, as well as a reps from Driftwood, Phillips, etc. A bonus is that almost every type has it’s own specific glass. The Hoegardens show up in their massive glass buckets, the Guinness in the recognizable wide, curvy glass, etc.
Unfortunately, this is one of those places that really goes with a full crowd, but when it’s undercapcity it’s a little underwhelming.
But, the service was friendly and since they were used to crowds, having only a few to serve kept them nearby. The kilts don’t hurt either (don’t worry girls, ALL staff members wear kilts).
The food was the usual fare and while it was solid, it wasn’t spectacular. They’ve taken some of my favourites off the menu, which disappoints. There also isn’t much in the way of traditional stuff, and what there is is expensive. They do do a good job of combining west coast into the plan though, making traditional Atlantic dishes Pacific.
All in all it was a good time, though I know they can do better.
Since I wrote that I’ve a) become a better writer (I’d like to think so at least) and b) been back. They’re still a solid pub, even winning a local popularity contest. Prices are still high though and while I’d like to go more often, it just can’t be a regular spot. They’ve also created an online presence as part of the Victoria Pub Company (a couple “destination” pubs owned by the same people) with a blog and other stuff. My blog is better though!