Let’s (Sham)rock

“Onward we went on our venture of alcohol: Yuval started to show signs of weakness, and challenged himself with a mere beer. I decided to go for broke and went for the I.R.A., the top secret house cocktail…” Nadav Avidan tries to remember his experience at Shamrock, an Irish pub in Netanya.

On of the things that characterize student-life is moving from apartment to apartment. Somehow, the number of dwellings that a student goes through during his schooling seems limitless. And every move naturally entails setting up the furniture, fixing up the new place, etc. – you always start from scratch. This time around, it was a friend who was on the move, and I dutifully accompanied him to the Netanya-based IKEA to help him carry all the knick-knacks he was to buy. Since we were out of the Tel Aviv area, and since it had been a while since we had a chance to talk, we decided to find a place to sit and relax. Cruising around for a few moments did the trick – Shamrock. An Irish pub, rock music, reasonable amount of decent-looking people – we stepped inside.

The d?cor is quite interesting, the attention to detail apparent. We chose the most strategic seat for two eligible bachelors such as ourselves (at least that is what we would like to believe), and we quickly found ourselves in a centralized location, in armchairs, surveying the huge space of the pub. We were ready to eat and drink.

First up were a roast beef sandwich for Yuval and a smoked duck sandwich for myself. What can I say? For a moment there I forgot we were in a pub. The food is of a high level of quality, and aside from the contents of the sandwich, the bread itself was wonderful, and won complements from Yuval, as well – Simply terrific.

We also ordered two cocktails for starters – an audition of sorts for the bartender. I got the vanilla apple, an easy going evening drink, and not being a cocktail man, I am proud to say that I finished it all. Yuval, for his part, had an amaretto dolce - reddish, sweet, and definitely tasty.

At this point, we were starting to get noticed. Hey, when you put two theatre-majors in a place with good music, and give them some booze, well then somebody will face the consequences. And this is not to say that we were drunk, we were really not, but the uproar of laughter from the table quickly brought over Eyal, the happy owner of Shamrock, who wanted to see what was going on. This is how it works here: Eyal sits next to you, talk for 5 minutes, leaves, comes back with chasers for everyone, chit-chats some more, and then moves on. This is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. He is a great conversationalist, easy-going, friendly, unobtrusive, and a short chat with him is worth the visit. To top it off, he runs a great pub. He is one of the reasons we want to go back there.

Onward we went on our venture of alcohol: Yuval started to show signs of weakness, and challenged himself with a mere beer. I decided to go for broke and went for the I.R.A., the top secret house cocktail (they don’t reveal the ingredients, but I detected absinthe among them). Ignoring Yuval’s warning that this is a serious drink for serious drinkers, I ordered the Irish Underground cocktail. After all, I am a big boy, I can take it. I downed the shot. I did handle it just fine. For about six minutes, that is. After that the room started to spin a little bit, and I was content in leaning back, smiling a slightly nutty smile, and listening to the conversation between Yuval and Eyal.

“What is a Shamrock, exactly?” asked Yuval. Eyal explained that it “was simply a cloverleaf, and one of the symbols of Ireland. The conversation soon became philosophical, or what men would consider philosophical, as we turned to the subject of women. Eyal has a wonderful girlfriend, whereas Yuval and I are single. We each took turns throwing out pearls of wisdom, which could only be the product of a fun guys’ night out and quality drinking and we finally agreed upon some basic rules the following of which would make our lives easier.

So we left (after I had another beer), merry and content, with the promise to return to Shamrock from distant Tel Aviv. I was also comforted that our newly drafted rules on dealing with women will help me