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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A TASTE OF IRELAND IN THE MIDST OF A GREEK BAZAAR

The James Joyce Irish Pub,  Monastiraki

I was strolling around Monastiraki Flea Market one afternoon last August when what should my wandering eyes see but a Paddy green awning with "The James Joyce Irish Pub" written on it.  Imagine that!  An Irish pub in the midst of Athen's most famous Greek bazaars. I had passed by there the day before while exploring Thission but this time I decided to check it out. Friends had told me about it and guaranteed it was worth a visit.  It's located on a side street just between Thission and Monastiraki Metro Stations. You can spot it right behind the fences that block off a new archaeological dig on the street running by the rail tracks. 

It was afternoon, so still early for the rowdy crowd that I'm told jam the place in the evening, but I was hungry and thirsty after my long walk around in the mid-day heat, so I went inside.



It was like stepping back into Ireland,  dimly lit, dark wood, tables with stools and a long bar - and air-conditioned!  I checked out the menu. and it had a mouth-watering list of dishes to choose from including such dishes as Sausages and Mash and Dublin pasties. Of course there is Guiness on tap!

Naturally, the first thing I ordered was a tall glass of Guiness.  After all, this was an Irish pub, so I passed on my usual favorite beer, Mythos.


I ordered steamed mussels. The mussels were stewed in white wine and lemon with bacon bits and were absolutely fabulous! Some dark bread accompanied them to sop up the 'soup'.

I spent a quiet, relaxing hour or two at the James Joyce. Next time I'm in Athens I'll go by in an evening when the places is hopping with good cheer and Irish music.  It's unique to find such a place in the middle of the traditionally Greek market area and it topped off my afternoon wanderings.




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