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)

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