at the irish village…

As of today, I’ve been in Australia for one month, can you believe it? Some days, I think it’s going by quickly, and some days it seems to go slowly. At times, I think I’ll be able to see and do so much, in a year… and then I think it’ll go by in a flash, and I’ll never see enough. Well, the latter is definitely true, that I will not have enough time to see all that there is to see in Australia. If I had a year of nothing to do but travel, maybe I would see a sizable chunk of this country. But while my forays outside of Emerald will, hopefully, add up, it isn’t likely that I’ll get outside of Queensland more than once or twice.

This week also marks my second trip to the Irish Village Pub, except this time, we went to the restaurant in the back. It’s still relatively new, the Irish Pub, so quite a fun and special outing, with other friends and coworkers joining us. There’s also a kids’ room, so the kids had a ball, most of the time. They’re also supposed to be having real Irish bands come and play, but until then, they play a good selection of Irish/Celtic music. I recognized several of them, including The Clancy Brothers. Their waiters are Irish, too… at least, ours was.

This time, I was able to order a lemon-lime ‘n’ bitters (instead of boring ginger ale), and I’ve really come to enjoy them. I was looking at a bitters bottle, the other day, and spices are in the ingredient list. I think that’s what sets the taste apart from just lemonade, soda, or an a lemon-lime drink. There’s a spicy taste to it that just puts the icing in the cake, so to speak.

One of the older gentlemen enjoyed talking to me a bit about the U.S., as he’s been there several times, and later, he talked to me about some Australian history. It was quite interesting, what I could hear of it, though the Irish music was loud enough and everybody was talking, that I had trouble keeping up with his accent. He was also somewhat amused by my camera tendencies, especially when I was taking pictures of the menu. But since everybody hadn’t arrived yet, I was trying to take enough pics that I could look at the menu again, later. Some of the items were more Irish, and some seemed more Australian (I think), and I was trying to tell which was which.

While we waited for the late arrivals, and to keep the kids (and grownups) from starving, we ordered some appetizers. These included chips with sour cream and chili sauce (yum!), garlic & cheese bread, and bruschetta. I helped make a serious dent in both the chips and the bread. Sour cream and chili sauce seems to be a favorite condiment for several foods down here, and I’ve really enjoyed it, both to dip chips in or to spread on a bun to go with a chicken burger.

I ordered the Northern Territory Barramundi, as I’d heard of this Australian fish before, and my friends know I’m always keen to try new kinds of fish. A “barra” was mentioned at Kids’ Club, the other week, and I had no idea what they were talking about, so they laughed and explained it to me. It was really good.

While I enjoyed my barramundi, some others ordered the Guinness pie or the lamb shanks. I tried the lamb, and that was really good, too. At the finish, we had a chocolate and caramel cheesecake. It was good, but I’m trying to figure out if cheesecake is different over here or not. The once or twice I’ve had it, it’s been a different taste or texture than an American cheesecake. Is this another case of pumpkin and squash? I’m not sure.

All in all, we had a great time, even if the kids and I were all wiped out when we got home. It was way past my bedtime.

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