The myth is true. It is no longer a myth, but a fact, truth, honesty. The myth that I’m talking about is “the closer you get to Dublin, the better the Guinness.” I never made it to the factory itself, which I’m sure was “well worth it” but I did make to the “smallest pub in the world” in the heart of Dublin to enjoy a hearty pint.
It has really been these past few rainy days that have gotten me to thinking about that small pub. Because, during these grayed afternoons, all I’ve pined for is a cozy place to sit with friends and to enjoy a drink. Not coffee, but a pint of Guinness. This may be contradictory to my personality, but hear me out on this one.
By the time I made it Dublin, I had been living out of my backpack for three weeks in the dead of European Winter. I had had an amazing time, but to make it to Dublin – my last city of the trip – and to my dear friend, was so relieving. I had seen a lot, and I’m sure a lot of it will come up in this blog, since my experiences were shaped so heavily by food. But I got to Dublin, saw nothing but clouds and couldn’t get enough.
My friend, Bex, as a good tour guide, tried so hard to show me around, but soon became distracted by her insatiable desire for a good pub lunch. It was 2pm. We had left her apartment at 1pm.
It turned out to be a good plan of action to start looking, since we didn’t end up sitting down until about 3:30pm. First, we had to meet up with her friends who were visiting for the weekend. After some introductions, “Hiya, yeah, this is my mate from the States,” “Yeah, hi. My name’s Josh,” “Oh, the States. You don’t look like you’re from the States” “Yeah, I get that a lot.” You know, formalities.
After the introductions, it was on to finding the perfect pub. We were in Temple Bar, searching for something not in the artsy district, but artsy enough to not be touristy. Perfect: delicious, cheap, original, lots of Guinness.
Bex had her ideas and so did her friends – I seemed to be the judge of whose ideas were better. I think we decided on one pub, when Bex’s best friend showed up, almost randomly, to throw a kink in the whole process.
Forty minutes later, now an hour and a half, we found our way into a pub just closing up, but still willing to serve us. We got our meal, real quick, but no Guinness. The meal was a good old fashioned pub meal – greasy, fatty, meaty, and with lots of potatoes.
Two blocks away, and now at 5pm, we found the “smallest pub in the world.” I still don’t know if I believe this, but it was good a drink. The Guinness, unlike the Guinness in the States, is dark, thick, creamy, almost chocolatey and heavy. They say it’s a meal in a pint. It is nearly more. It took me about twenty minutes to steadily sip, in a socially acceptable way, my way through the pint.
By the day’s end, that was the best tour I could have received: a couple pubs, the artsy district, the river once or twice and a pint. No better.
This is where I give you a recipe, or instructions. But all I can really say is this:
1. Go online: Buy a ticket to Dublin (www.aerlingus.com is great)
2. Spend three hours in a pub with a good friend over a pint (or two) of the best Guinness you’ll taste.