Irish Embassy

Posted on May 13, 2013

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Another group of friends that I am fond of seeing were my classmates from Ryerson. From time to time, despite going our own separate ways, we converge once again to have beer. As I know that the group appreciated robust full-bodied beer, I always look for pubs with a good variety of Irish beers. They are fans of a pint of Guinness or Kilkenny and I am certain one pub by Yonge would pacify everyone’s palette including my need for pale ale. This time around, we all converged at the Irish Embassy.

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I used to always look at this pub as I passed by Yonge, going north on my way to another photography class at Ryerson. I used to wonder how it looked inside, being in one of Toronto’s older buildings. I hurriedly got into its heavy doors, trying to escape that pitter-patter of spring rain. Drenched with my hair pasted to my face, I asked the reception to let me check if my friends were already there. I tried getting a reservation but I was told they only need it if it were for dining past 8pm. Since we were meeting at 7pm, I took the chance anyway that we would get ourselves a table. Checking out the tables for familiar faces, I went first left of the bar and found out that the room goes deeper. This pub restaurant was bigger than what I thought. Handsome wood paneling and hardwood floors, high ceilings that mimic art-deco designs, I was impressed with its old world feel. As I retraced my way back to the door, I found my friend Afshin and EK. After tight hugs and happy greetings, we were then herded towards the right side corner of the restaurant. It was uncanny that the table gave us some separation from the rest of the room as the booth was sharing the wall to the kitchen and the other end of the booth was the window. I naturally sat fronting the window, as it always gives me good lighting when the food arrives.

Waiting for Natalia to arrive, I tried to touch base with my friend EK and Afshin. It was indulgent to have these conversations. It never failed to cheer me up how my friends want updates on how I am doing with my business. I, in turn was just as curious of knowing what’s new in their lives. Sharing pints of Stella Artois, we did not even saw the time pass by as there were so much stories to tell. When Natalia arrived, she asked for a glass of Kilkenny and that was when we saw that they give away those pint glasses with each pint ordered. It was too much for my friend EK to resist and she ordered herself a pint of Kilkenny too.

Paying more attention now to the food menu, I was debating between the Irish Embassy Poutine or the Irish Nachos.  The Irish Nachos won me over as I was most curious what it was to have potato crisps and not typical nachos.  What I did not understand was that Afshin was ordering the same thing.  Natalia. meanwhile, opted to go for Traditional Irish Stew.  If I knew how big a platter the Irish Nachos was, I probably would have chosen the poutine instead.  The mound of potato chips underneath all the garnish of ground beef, cheese and green onions was literally overwhelming.  It was too much for one person.  I am thinking this was meant to be shared rather than be entrée.  Natalia’s stew was very hearty, the tender meat definitely going through a slow-cooking process.  I was green with envy and I wished I opted for the same dish.

What was also an oversight during my planning was that last Friday night was a hockey night with Toronto Maple Leafs hoping for a win.  Because of that, the TVs and the crowd were rather loud side as they cheered and reacted with each attempt to send that puck spinning inside the Boston Bruin’s goal.  With my back turned at the TV, I still clapped when the crowd broke in jubilation with the two goals that the Leafs put through.  I am Torontonian after all.  The excitement was indeed contagious and it was hard to ignore the enthusiasm in the air.  It ended on the perfect note with the Leafs winning over the Boston Bruins, 2 – 1.

We stayed longer after the game, sharing a few more drinks.  I was glad it was one of those places big enough to allow patrons to linger longer.  It was a place to mingle, drink and get really deep into conversation. Deep enough that we started planning about a photography road trip this coming June (Yippppeeeee!!!).   I was right that this would be the perfect place to catch up with my friends.

Update:  Toronto Maple Leafs just forced for a Game 7 against the Boston Bruins, winning game 6 Sunday night, finishing at 2 – 1.

Irish Embassy Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon