Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leprechauns Don't Wear Togas

Chicken souvlaki and a Greek salad on St. Patrick's Day? The horror! Sadly, our plans to introduce the boys to the joys of Irish folk music, Irish stew, soda bread and Guinness mustaches proved to be about as elusive as a leprechaun.

Maybe it was naive to think we'd find a table at Kate's Irish Pub on their busiest day of the year. But I was surprised to see the cluster of eager entrants bedazzled in cheap party favors and plastic shamrocks waiting at the door. A sign in the window noted the $5 cover charge, so the party had already begun by the time the man-van rolled to a stop in front of the gaudy crowd and Angie hopped out to assess the situation.

Almost as soon as she penetrated the heaving, green crowd, she was back again. "It's packed and F-bombs are dropping left and right." Immediately we knew our St. Patty's Day plan was a bust. So much for singing along to the Irish Rover with a mouthful of beef and carrots.

Fairfax County has a dearth of bars, especially traditional Irish pubs. Looking back on our neighborhoods in Queens, NY, we really took for granted the plethora of good watering holes found on every block. Real Irish bars staffed by real Irish bartenders were never more than a stumble away.

So rather than return home as my son so adamantly requested, we settled into our usual table near the windows at Saratoga Pizzeria. My son's green, plastic top hat was crinkled and dented from wearing it all day at daycare, but he still received a number of compliments on it.

I guess the night wasn't all bad; the feta cheese was fresh, my chicken was seasoned perfectly, my Greek beer was served in a frosty mug and the pita bread was grilled just right. Still, St. Patrick's Day should be celebrated in a pub with Guinness, Irish pub grub and lots of singing. And, I'm pretty sure no one has ever seen a leprechaun in a toga.

1 comment:

  1. What a bust! Oh, well, there is always next year!