Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sláinte Pub and the Amazing Last Minute Goal

Unless you live in a cave, you've probably heard by now about the dramatic US victory over Algeria in Wednesday's World Cup match. Thanks to Landon Donovan (I used to live in his hometown of Redlands, California, mind you), who scored the game's only goal in the 91st minute of play, the US Men's National Team went from being sent home to being the winners of our Group. Now we advance with England, while Algeria and Slovenia head home. Go USA!

I decided to watch today's match at Sláinte Pub (pronounced SLAWN-chuh in the South, or SLAN-chuh in the North) in Fells this morning, with a lot of men and women who decided to take a sick day today (the malady: World-Cup-itis). To do this, I had to get up pretty early. The hoopla started at 9:30, but unless you got there around 8:30 you were not going to find a seat. Not only did I find a seat but I found one at the bar (okay, somebody else's seat, but he was outside and let me use his seat until I finished eating) in plain view of their biggest TV. Sláinte's motto is "Where soccer is religion." It certainly feels like a tempe to the Beautiful Game: three floors were showing today's games - the bottom two floors had the US-Algeria game, and the top floor had the riveting game between England and Slovenia. Football scarves abound all over the pub. Perhaps they may show other sports here when something soccer-related isn't on, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

In addition to three Diet Cokes and two beautiful pints of Guinness, each with a fat and shaggy head of foam like I have rarely seen, I went ahead and ordered myself some breakfast. Sláinte's regulars swear this is THE place for a good breakfast. Most of these breakfasts are in the $9 to $13 price range, including a mixture of American and Irish breakfast favorites. Some of the more intriguing menu items include the the not-quite-Mexican-or-Italian ranchero fritatta ($15) and the imposing traditional Irish breakfast ($12) of bangers, rashers, scrambled eggs, beans and toast, etc (I may need to order this for Sunday morning's England game - yes, I'm already considering returning). They have more traditionally American offerings as well, including blueberry pancakes ($8) and vanilla French toast ($8.50).

My breakfast was the Boxtie (BOX-tee), a mishmash of Irish-style potato pancakes (like a few large hash brown patties) interspersed with egg, Irish bangers and rashers (sausage and bacon) and topped with what is described as a "Guinness-infused cheddar". The Boxtie is served with sliced potatoes, onions and green peppers, and a slice of melon with a strawberry. This is a pretty imposing breakfast in itself, and it took me a while to slog through it. My favorite part of this meal was the Boxtie itself - the potato pancakes were slightly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and not at all mushy. The flavors melded well with the bangers and rashers. I'm not sure how I feel about the Guinness cheddar. There could have been more of it, because I really didn't get too much of a taste. But overall it's a dish I would suggest you at least try. Perhaps you should try it when the US plays (I think they're playing) Ghana on Saturday afternoon? Or when England next plays on Sunday morning. I mean, Sláinte isn't a church, but again, you are getting their brand of religion! And it's easy to go into a higher state of consciousness when your team scores the game winning goal that keeps you in the whole dang tournament just before the game ends. It is amazing and exhilarating.

Again, GO USA!!!

Slainte Irish Pub on Urbanspoon


Pigtown-Design said...

Julie and I had breakfast there the morning of the Italy/New Zealand game and it was the most appalling breakfast we've ever had - and we've had quite a few. The waiter/bartender was horrible and even came over to pour the OJ at the table from the carton. GROSSSSSSSSSS!

wv: foolif - i am a fool if i ever go back to slainte for the food.