Monday, September 17, 2007

Festivals of Baltimore: Baltimore Irish Festival

As you may know, there are two Irish festivals in the area: the smallish, more intimate Baltimore Irish Festival in Canton, and the massive Maryland Irish Festival* at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium. The one that just happened was the one in Canton. Last year it replaced the Maryland Irish Festival, which moved - something about it being cheaper in Timonium, or maybe they had a falling-out with then-mayor O'Malley, or something (I don't see O'Malley's March performing at the bigger one, that's all I'm saying - yes, folks, our guv has his own Celtic garage band).

I spent a very short time at the Festival. Didn't get much to eat either. It took about 15 minutes to look around. The usual culprits were there: Maggie Moore's, Tír na nÓg, James Joyce, the nameless booth selling corned beef and cabbage, and a newer place I hadn't heard of called Ryan's Daughter*. I grabbed a Guinness (naturally) and looked at some of the other booths, some from afar, others up close: the "Reunite Ireland" folks, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Irish Shrine and Railroad Worker's Museum, vendors selling photos, crappy T-shirts and other green-colored crap.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm with Tír na nÓg in the past, theirs was the best food offering for what I wanted to spend - yes, I went cheap this weekend, at least at this festival. Their Irish bangers and mash in whiskey sauce cost me a mere $5. The bangers were soft, the mash was smooth with chunks of cabbage and onion, and the whiskey sauce was tangy and sweet, but not in an orange chicken sort of way. I liked it. But my sister, who declined to go, asked me to bring something back for her. So I ate half the bangers and mash and brought the rest to her. $2.50 for a meal - not bad.

* Why do some Irish pubs have to embed music and video in their pages? It only slows it down and makes it tougher to look at when you're at work.

Other photos:

Hmmm. I seem to have forgotten something but I can't place what it is...

Green-colored crap. Why does every other festival devolve into this?


Rachel said...

Ryan's Daughter has the worse food ever. We went there once and it was good, but the second 2 times were horrible. HORRIBLE as in alternatly sickening and burnt.

danielle said...

You didn't see any of the bands play? I know Jim (fiddle) and Sean (button accordion) in O'Malley's March, so I always like to see them.

Dan said...

LOL, we were driving away from the fest on Saturday and saw somebody decked out into the "green colored crap" as you so eloquently put it. My wife turned to me and said, "What exactly goes into that decision?"

John said...

Rachel: So I think I'll cancel those dinner reservations at Ryan's Daughter then!

Danielle: Nope, I went during the early afternoon and left long before the performances.

Dan: The only reason I could see to wear that stuff is to celebrate Mardi Gras. And it ain't Mardi Gras!

Anonymous said...

So you charged your SISTER $2.50?? For a cold, half-eaten, left-out all night two item on a paper plate meal nonetheless?

Or did you mean you paid $5.00 for half a plate of mediocre food? I'm guessing it is the latter.