Saturday, May 21, 2011

BEERhunting ~ Kelley's Irish Pub

As a Vero Beach native, there are still an unfortunate amount of local haunts whose thresholds have not been crossed by yours beerly.

Tragic! Heresy! Pepe-le-pew!

And so I find myself bellying up to the bar with good company – Chris Martin takes a bow – and settling in amidst generations of d├ęcor as inviting as the neighborly generations seated around me. Wholly unassuming from the outside, possibly even intimidating, don’t be fooled for inside warmth invites and smiles welcome. Not large by any standard, what Kelley’s dismisses in largesse it more than makes up for in cozy service and comfort food that is all Irish.

Being my inaugural visit, all the faces were new but Chris recognized one of the bartenders who also apparently knows my Lovely from the days of Pearls Bistro. Pearls Bistro?! Now hold on there! I used to eat at Pearls Bistro all the time growing up. It was a family favorite, so much so my sister even had her wedding reception there. It’s a small town after all… When in Kelley’s be sure to belly up to the bar, ask for Stella, and know you will be treated right.

But enough of memories past, it’s liverwurst time. That’s right. Braunschweiger or Liverwurst or whatever you call it, if the name doesn’t give away some of the artery-clogging gout-inducing ingredients, that just means more for me. With a Guinness Draught in hand and a Harp in Chris’, the good times kept rolling. While Guinness on draft doesn’t woo me as she used to, the right time and place gave these five senses plenty to revel in.

On the downside, my Liverwurst sammich with onions arrived, well, without onion. A minor mishap, twas quickly resolved with a generous side of onions which I generously lavished on each bite. Equally lavished was tastebud-tingling sinus-clearing spicy mustard. Yowza! All sandwiched between two slices of rye bread for a savory jaw-stretching indulgence with chips and a side of pickle for company – lunch has arrived yesindeed. Finishing up our session was a dram of Tullamore Dew. Untasted before that afternoon, notes were forsaken in favor of simple savorance.

As Chris and I relaxed for just a little bit longer, a new Seagrams 7 bottle caught my eye. A taste later, I was reminded once more why stiff white suits in cold shiny buildings should stick to polishing their name plaques and leave the sacred nature of spirits to those who appreciate and those who honor. Crap is crap, after all, no matter what pretty name it may posture.

But I digress…

One thing which is not crap is Kelley’s Irish Pub. I wholly enjoyed my first expedition with plans for many more. A Vero Beach staple for a multitude of reasons, I encourage all looking for homely Irish fare to stop in for a pint, a dram, a bite of grub, and memories irreplaceable. When you do stop in, tell Stella that Kristyn and Laura say “Hi.”

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Draft Expansion Kick-Off @ Inlet Wines

**Featuring Tequesta Brewing Company's Der Chancellor (kolsch-style) and Gnarly Barley (american pale ale) along with many other fine examples of craft beer tastefulness. Stop in Friday to savor a beer or three and help support Good Beer, especially our Florida brewed brothers and sisters.**


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BEERhunting ~ Mr. Manatees

It’s been a long while since this beer ambassador and burgundian extraordinaire has been on a beer hunt. Always in my deepest regards and utmost respect is the modern Beer Hunter (and Whisky Chaser) himself, the affable Michael Jackson. In my own humbly-bumbly way do I aspire to in some way open eyes, broaden minds, and curious tastebuds create. And so into the summer of 2011 do I once more test waters near and far for hidden jewels ripe with moments unforgettable wrapped in endless joy.

As a Vero Beach native (2nd generation thankyouverymuch), there are many landmarks that define our relaxing shores. A staple of natives and seasonals alike, Mr. Manatees has been serving the Treasure Coast for almost as many years as I have been alive. That’s thirty-something of my thirty-three years with no doubt that the Manatee will be around for at least another thirty-something. A steady formula and a commitment to being, well, Mr. Manatees, has created a Royal Palm Point staple I’ve visit via land and water. Fancy? No. Revolutionary? No. Totally local? Yes. The moment is what we make of it, so make of it I happily did.

It had been a few months since my last visit but I had faith little had changed, and I was right. If anything, yours beerly has changed in that long while since. One with the moment, I waltzed into Mr. Manatees with a hankering for her unique je ne sais quoi.

And just what would that be?

Domestic beer and comforting fried niblets of surf, turf, and gator tail. Gator tail notwithstanding, I wasn’t exactly there for the beer, but a recent munch had revealed a familiar staple – Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Occasionally on draft though easier to find in the bottle, she was a welcome sight for these beer geek eyes. As our waitress placed two bottles (sides checked for date freshness) along with two glasses on the table, frosted for Chris and non-frosted for me, happy days were here again.

But a far cry better than my choices behind macro doors number 1, 2, and B.O.R.I.N.G.
Speaking of our daily bread, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale would be a most refreshing addition.
Just saying…

With one Boston Lager sitting happy in my belly, along came another just in time for Manatee’s special of the day: coconut chicken sandwich. In fact, make that two coconut chicken sandwiches ala Boston Lager as Chris and I sat opposite each other in mirrored burgundian reflection. I’ve had coconut encrusted fish but never chicken and as my barren plate was taken away, I’d say the tastebuds indubitably approved. The chicken was tender, the coconut flakes golden and crisp, and together with the usual condiments and fries, the moment came, tasted, and conquered.

Bellies full from Boston to Florida, Chris and I slowly savored our time on the patio overlooking the Indian River and her adjoining canals. A landscape surely changed over time and circumstance, windows have replaced open air while A/C took the place of Mother Nature’s soothing breath. All in all though, the beer was good, food satiating, view nostalgic, and service pleasing. And while I am at it, be sure to preclude any and all meals with Mr. Manatee’s melt-in-the-mouth teriyaki steak bites. Medium-rare is my desire. Yours?

The verdict? You will just have to visit Mr. Manatees of Vero Beach and taste for yourself. Leave the day behind, even if only for a while, and enjoy the expected. I did.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tequesta Brewing Kickoff @ Hurricane Grill & Wings VB ~ Friday May 13th

**See you all there!! Congratulations Matt and thanks JJTaylor for bringing this fine brewery to the Treasure Coast.**