An Irish Lunch With Friends

September Sunrise

A busy week—one filled with deadlines—the mother type, wife type, writer type, friend type. Geesh, that’s enough to keep me busy, but I started out sick with some kind of bug. All that made accomplishing those deadlines a bit tougher.

Okay, for a moment or two, I even considered bailing on a few.

But I couldn’t do that. So everything just took me longer, like I was working encased in cement.

And that’s my excuse for not dashing out of the gate this morning ready to dazzle you with, well, with SOMETHING.

But Saturday afternoon made those cement-filled days fade away.


Because the day dawned clear, cool, and with an autumn crispness in the air. Even better my hubby and I were meeting dear friends and former neighbors we hadn’t seen in at least 6 years. They were back in town for a granddaughter’s wedding and we met for lunch at an Irish pub/restaurant on the shore of Lake Michigan, named Ashling on the Lough.

A Harp chaser–Jim got that. A hunk of cheese, spicy sausage stick, pickle, lime, lemon and 2 olives.

The restaurant was humming and everyone was enjoying food, conversation, and the beauty of the day. When our friends walked in, we spotted them immediately and after the hugs and kisses all around, we got down to business. Talking. Which of course makes one thirsty. Nancy and I ordered a bloody Mary as she said her son insisted we must try them.

Let me say this. That drink could have been my lunch as well as my liquid refreshment. Well, except for the dessert. We ordered one with 4 forks and that dessert tea and coffee were the perfect way to end a delightful and much needed visit between old friends. Ones who never age. Ones you can commence chatting as if you’d spoken with them yesterday.

And talk we did. Through ordering: Jim—Irish stew; Sam—hamburger (recovering from surgery so he’s forgiven); Nancy and I shared—the best sweet potato fries and a grilled chicken breast on sun-dried tomato focaccia bread smeared with pesto, topped with grilled brown tomatoes, smoked provolone, thick sliced bacon and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Absolutely fantastic. Oh and we all had a cup of the BEST Irish root soup. That came garnished with a shamrock of heavy cream. Oh my, to die for great.

But remember that dessert I mentioned? Nancy insisted plus coffee, but I had an excellent tea.

She chose a homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream cheese cake (they make it on site) on a graham cracker crust and perfect glaze of chocolate ganache.

So now you’re asking wondering, where are the photos of such a perfect dessert, or that delicious root soup, or the incredible sandwich or fantastic stew?

Our leaves are dropping and their changing color.

In my mind and lingering in my taste buds. Remember that bloody Mary I mentioned to begin this story about the lunch?

Yeah, well, that and all that talking, that eating, that hugging and being so joyful to be with friends—I forgot about the camera. Oh, wait. I have the perfect solution.

I’ll just have to go again on a perfect September Saturday afternoon. Who cares to join me?

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16 Comments on “An Irish Lunch With Friends”

  1. Virginia McCullough Says:

    You have a second career as a food writer waiting in the wings…or as a travel writer. I love lunches with friends and good food and hours of conversation…oh, wait…you and I have shared lunched like that. Perfect.

    Cool this morning, and so I thought of changing leaves. Like your photo

  2. Sandy Says:

    Casey, the kind of friends where you can pick up like you’ve never been apart are wonderful to have. It sounds like you had a wonderful few hours together. I have been sick this past week, too.

  3. Virginia,

    You’d probably have to forego the cheesecake but that Irish root soup would have been perfect for you and it’s a meal in itself which I usually have when I go there with my hubby. I miss our lunches and I wish we could lunch at Ashling on a day such as we had yesterday with our neighbors. I’m looking forward to October and hope you’re feeling up to a good long gabfest.

  4. Sandy,

    We had a marvelous day and the weather was perfect. Oh and I forgot to mention the music, tradition Irish pub type and it was live. One could go into this place on a day like Saturday and just watch the people walking along the walkways and greenspace surrounding the area.

  5. Donna Marie Rogers Says:

    Sounds like a lovely visit, and I would LOVE to try that soup. Though I don’t care for balsamic vinegar at all, so I think I would have tried that Irish stew. 🙂 Now I’m hungry…LOL Any chance you’re going to be in Green Bay Friday?

  6. Donna,

    What’s going on in GB on Friday?

    I am planning on being up there for the Schneider event. I guess I better find some lodging somewhere pretty soon.

    Well, and that cheesecake, sweetie. We could share that cheesecake. Ahh, that cheesecake…can’t get enough of cheese. 😉

  7. Edie Ramer Says:

    My mouth is watering! I’d love to join you for lunch there some day.

  8. That sunrise picture is just amazing! I had one the other day I’ll have to share soon. I’m glad you had a wonderful time with your friends and it sounds like you needed it.

    I would be up for a trip to Milwaukee for lunch. Now that the kids are back in school, I have time. Lots of time! 🙂 We should plan something in late September or mid-October.

  9. Edie,

    Wouldn’t that be wonderful? We could talk books we’re writing, those we’ve read (oh, wait I don’t have time to read anymore…) and enjoy getting in touch again.

    Until then, I’m sending you thoughts of cheesecake and tea lakeside…

  10. Stacey,

    Milwaukee for lunch sounds great and remember I’ll be in GB in a few weeks for the Schneider event. I think I will be able to come up a day early so maybe dinner?

    Oh, I guess that also means I better get a room.

  11. Delightful, Casey … I’ll join you any Saturday … in a virtual sense that is 🙂 Sounds like fun, Bloody Mary and all … what is better than good food, drink and the company of good friends ?? Don’t know !!

  12. Florence,

    I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve put you in my virtual date book for two weeks from Saturday. 😉

  13. That, my friend, is the best reason for forgetting a camera that I can think of: you have to do a replay! Excellent post!

  14. Lorna,

    Thanks for the compliment. I intend to do a repeat visit soon. 🙂

  15. Elle J Rossi Says:

    That sounds like the very best of days!

  16. Elle,

    It was definitely one of them. Congrats on your big day today! 🙂

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