Sunday, October 21, 2007

An Poitín Stil

My friend Charles is back in town from London for a few weeks. We decided to meet up at the Maryland Oktoberfest at the state fairgrounds. I thought this was a super idea, especially since he and his partner have also lived in Deutschland and done an actual Oktoberfest. In Germany.

So you can understand my disappointment when we got there around 6pm (the earliest either of us could meet up) and weren't admitting anybody else. Nope. Turns out they ran out of beer (!?). Crazy thought, but what kind of Oktoberfest runs out of beer, even as late as 6pm?

So we regrouped and, on my suggestion, headed for the local Irish still. An Poitín Stil* to be exact. An Poitín Stil is pretty close to the fairgrounds, and was a place I wanted to try out (a place I had little success getting to on St. Patrick's Day), so it was a logical choice.

Or at least it would've been on a weeknight. A half hour wait for a table. I told Charles I was fine waiting if he was, so we decided to wait around. In the meanwhile we downed some pints of Guinness (he downed one, I downed two) while we waited. True, the conversation was good, so I didn't mind the wait at all. And although noisy, An Poitín Stil is at least picturesque. The outside is done up like a famous row of Dublin pubs, and the inside is nice and homey - again, Dublin pub-like. Everything is in warm greens, browns and woody colors, with harp images and other Irish things everywhere. Almost like an Irish pub version of Disneyland right in Timonium. And it certainly seemed like enough people were in there to fit into Disneyland - barely room to breathe (again, I am so looking forward to February 1).

After a while we wondered if half an hour had passed, and Charles went and asked (we never heard our beeper go off). He came back with the maitre'd, who was leading us to a table in a for-now quieter section of the Stil. It turns out we had been waiting for an hour, and the six parties after ours had already been seated! Oh well, at least they didn't give us a runaround and seated us immediately.

Charles has been living off of English food for a few years, and doesn't get much opportunity to eat American food, so he ordered a burger - buffalo, to be exact, and some chicken tenders as an appetizer. For my appetizer, I ordered a fried brie, coated in a beer batter and drizzled with a raspberry syrup with dark salad greens on the side (about $7). I could only finish about half before I had to get a box for it. But holy cow was it delicious! The main course was, in contrast, less memorable. It was just a standard fish and chips with tartar sauce and malt vinegar on the side ($11, one of the cheapest entrées that doesn't come in burger form). The fish and chips were tasty enough, though I have had better. The fish was a little less flavorful than I have had elsewhere, either stateside or in England. I also needed a box for that.

The grand total came to a surprisingly low $38 for two people. I'm not sure, but I don't think I put in enough money. Oh well, I still owe Charles a pint :)

* pronounced on pot-CHEEN still.

An Poitin Stil on Urbanspoon


Dan said...

I might be having lunch at The Still one day this week. I've been there a couple times before (had the buffalo burger and a roast beef sandwich on toasted garlic bread) and always thought the food was decent. Nothing great but good. Last time I was there a couple of my buddies had the fish and chips and it was literally the biggest piece of fish and chips I've ever seen. Simply monstrous.

The best fish and chips I've had in this area was at John Steven down in Fells Point. But it's inconsistent. I ordered it another time I was there and it was terrible... all batter and hardly any fish. Very disappointing. I was also disappointed by the F&C at Mama's on the Half Shell. I had it once but I'm back to ordering the Oyster Po' Boy whenever I go there.

One of my contributors and I have talked about doing a F&C tour of Baltimore but it's a daunting task.

John said...

An F&C tour would be great. I can't think of the best I've had in the area. It wasn't really at the Stil.

Dan said...

If we get the F&C Tour going I'll definitely get in touch. Looks like I'm doing The Still tomorrow or Friday for lunch.

John said...

Cool!!! Please do

Dan said...

Went to The Still yesterday for lunch. We had really nice, large, plump and meaty Steamed Shrimp to start. I had the Rebuen Sandwich with cole slaw on the side. I remembered really liking their french fries but also recalled the sandwich came with what appeared to be homemade potato chips and a sour cream and onion dip. Sandwich was quite good. A little on the greasy side but what the hell. Delicious creamy slaw and a couple pints of Guinness really hit the spot. My buddy had the Mahi Mahi Sandwich which he also gave the thumbs up, along with the apparently homemade fries. A good meal all around and we talked more about the F&C Tour. I'll drop you a line with some thoughts...

John said...

Shrimp and homemade crisps AND Guinness... That sounds great - I only wonder about the price!