A sudden rain shower chases me into the nearest restaurant and, as luck would have it, it is none other than Tir Nan Og, an Irish pub occupying one of the oldest buildings in Kingston. Given the late lunch hour (it’s past 2:30 PM) I’m the only customer in the dining room and I command my waiter’s undivided attention.

I order a chicken curry “boxty” and a side of sweet potato fries. I’ve never heard of a boxty before, which seems to me like a good reason to order it. Graham (my waiter) explains that a boxty is a seasoned potato pancake, with different hearty fillings. I choose the Chicken Tikka Masala boxty for $13, which consists of a filling of chicken and onions simmered in a medium-spiced curry sauce and drizzled with sour cream. The boxty comes with a side salad, but I decide to order the sweet potato fries (an extra $3). I figure that with all the walking I’m doing exploring Kingston, I probably need the calories.

Other items on the menu are meat pies, regular curries (served with jasmine rice and nan), sandwiches, burgers, salads, and main plates such as fish & chips, roasted chicken and maple cider salmon.

Graham also suggests a craft beer called Ephemere, which hails from Quebec. He describes it as a fruit beer with 7% alcohol. I’m sold. The craft beers (which are $5 a pint on Thursdays) come from Quebec and Ontario, including Seigneuriale, Steam Whistle, and a few others.

Ephemere has a pleasant orange colour, and sure enough, it tastes fruity, with a spicy aftertaste. The food arrives, and it’s also orange. A happy orange meal! The boxty is really tasty and the fries are to die for. The sweetish beer complements the curry and fries perfectly. True comfort food.

Graham comes by to chat once in a while and gives me a few more restaurant recommendations. He’s a pleasant lad and very patient with all my questions. By the time I’ve worked my way through the big beer glass, the rain has stopped and I’m on the roam again.


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