Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Icing on the Cake: Anna Liffey's

Anna Liffey is one of those places in New Haven that you just happen to walk by, ignoring it, because it is not a specific destination on your radar. There was a time in Hans and Mendez's past when they frequented The Liffey for its famous trivia night. Since the infamous night when an enraged Mendez threatened the mc's life for saying "Floggers" instead of "Bloggers," they haven't returned. Hungry stomachs and the promise of air conditioning brought them to Anna Liffey's doors.

The wall leading to the subterranean basement bar is lined with pictures of various patrons, bartenders, and Irish literary celebrities showing a hall of fame of what once was , and perhaps what is yet to come. Haircuts and clothing change each step down, but once you reach the bottom, the color T.V.s bring you back to reality. Anna Liffey's was quiet, but with hell raising blood swirling inside, the bloggers sat at the bar. The gray stone walls add to the coolness (both temperature and otherwise) of the bar. Scarves once worn by soccer fans line the stone walls like woven tapestries of long ago. Senior citizens dine on bangers and mashed.

Mendez ate here once before during his lunch break from jury duty. "I know we're not supposed to talk about," He said once his veggie burger was ordered, "But did you notice the marks under the witness' eyes? I think he wears glasses." Upon re-entering the courtroom Mendez was asked to leave the jury, something about a conflict of disinterest.

The beer selection was good, but not great. Like one of Ireland's great folk heroes, "Nothing Compares" to Liffey's selection of flavored vodka. The most interesting is an Absolute collaboration with Spike Lee called Absolute Brooklyn. The bottle is beautiful, but the sour apple/ginger flavor was nothing to throw a trash can through a window about. If Brooklyn is the new Manhattan, we'll stick with gin martinis.

The menu is home to typical Irish and American pub fair. Some very impressive salads and burgers have made the bloggers agree that additional research will be needed at some time in the very near future. On a recommendation from an old friend, Mendez ordered the Shepard's Pie. Hardy and flavorful, the combination of mashed potatoes, beef, pees, and gravy, made Mendez pardon the crimes against humanity committed by Bono's hairdresser.

Hans ordered one of the specials, a dijon chicken sandwich served with steak fries. It had more appeal than other specials, such as, the Irish Spicy Thai Salmon Salad and Chicken Gumbo Soup. A blanket of swiss melted just fine on the chicken. The hard roll too was a nice touch, slightly toasted and adding a crisp bite. Whoever spread the dijon is more of a mustard fanatic than Hans is. The mustard spice tickled his nose and in need of relief he ordered a beverage. "I need something light and sweet...I'll take a Smirnoff Ice."

"Are you going to Ice someone?" the bartender asked skeptically. Confused, Hans asked for an explanation. The bartender pulled out a laminated sheet explaining the rules and regulations of Icing. We respect Gary's tact in not answering Hans final question: "Can't I just spin the bottle?

Hans "iced" himself and the two bloggers turned their attention to a rugby match. Like "Icing" the rules made little sense, the objective was blurry, and the participants where predominately fratty.

Anna Liffey's is a destination for good, solid pub food. It's a relaxed environment and our bartender Gary really added to it. He was friendly and talkative while pouring drinks. For twenty dollars good food and good drinks can be expected.

Anna Liffey

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