As a Gallagher by marriage, I have come to learn the importance of St Patrick's Day. Basically: The Irish love the a good party and don't differentiate between close relatives and the stranger sitting down next to them at the pub with a pint and a corned beef sandwich.
My Jewish mother used to say everyone is Irish on St Patricks day. We all wore green each year on March 17, and my mother loved the boiled corned beef and cabbage dinner she prepared each year. (Unfortunately, at age 10, I did not exactly share her enthusiasm about the meal or the aroma of that boiled cabbage and corned beef left in the air.)
So, to honor my Irish husband and his clan and maintain a little foodie edge, I've compiled a few great food finds to help you celebrate locally.
The best Irish soda bread is at Morton's Market. Pick up a few bars of Kerrygold butter and toast the bread to serve with corned beef hash and poached eggs.
Save your newspaper for wrapping up fish and chips, which you can serve with homemade tartar sauce with extra relish juice to add a green hue.
Fresh Market has a good selection of aged Irish cheddars and shamrock-shaped shortbread cookies. For a cheat version of shepherds pie, purchase Fresh Market's baked stuffed potatoes and top with a mixture of browned ground beef with chopped onions and gravy.
Reuben sandwiches are trending, and if you are heading out to eat, try the versions at World of Beer, Lucky Pelican or Mandeville Beer Garden--but you may also want to wait until Saturday or Sunday due to crowds.
If you are looking for an all-out party, Pub 32 has a huge one in its parking lot. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and the restaurant makes enormous batches of a corned beef and cabbage and shepherds pie, with nice salty mashed potatoes baked on top.
And remember: whether you're home, downtown or enjoying corned beef on rye at the beach, make it a safe one. Erin go bragh!