Having been to England, I get the impression that this…
…is the first thing Europeans picture when they think of America. And I don’t think I’m being paranoid. When my college class and I went to see a movie one afternoon in Oxford, everyone besides me had a fish hook on the bill of their Gamecocks trucker hats. And it didn’t help that we went to see Elektra. If you went back in time to the beginning of film to hand Thomas Edison a reel of Elektra, every movie since then would be Twilight, starring Chris Tucker.
Vengeance, in any case, is wrought by Americanized pubs like Claddagh, an Irish “pub” chain apparently run by people who think of Ireland–a land steeped in in-fighting, bloodshed, mystical pre-Christian faiths, and timeless song and literature–and come up with this:
Which, really, is fine. Authentic Irish pubs, I’m told, are characterized mainly by the peerless conversational skills of their patrons and proprietors. Most Americans don’t go to pubs or bars to meet new people they don’t intend to mix fluids with, so we compensate with Irish proverbs “carved” into rafters, too-cold Guinness, and heavy Gaelic Storm on the playlist.
It sounds like I had a miserable time. I didn’t. The food was decent–the cabbage was a disappointment, but the corned beef itself was spot on–and even the Guinness we get stateside beats hell out of Miller Lite any day. But we’ve cooked better Irish fare in our tiny apartment kitchen, with little more than a few potatoes, leeks, and the right freaking spices.
Like Michelle said, barring a kick-ass trivia night, there’s little reason to go back. The food is so-so, the service is serviceable, and the whole thing had a sort of Epcot vibe to it, only more gloomy. Fortunately for us, and for you if you live in the Madison area, we’ve got no shortage of truer pubs. Which we’ll post about later. That’s called a
folks. Sorry, it’s that kind of blog.