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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Release the McCracken!

Johnnie McCracken's in a Irish Pub in Marietta Georgia right off the square and about an hour's drive from my home in the wonderful metropolis that is Winder. The have an amazing selection beer and the world's best Irish(ish) food, in my humble opinion. It is also where I meet up with my long time friend, collaborator and horrible punster, Paul Littlhale. He is no small part one of the reasons Dex Territory came into being. Our bartender is Bram, as in Stoker, but that's not his last name. It also appears as if he is more comfortable behind the bar and brewing beer (Bram is brew-master) than he would be slaying vampires. The vampires may relax and beer drinkers may rejoice. The reason I bring this up you ask? None whatsoever. It's a shameless plug for Johnnie McCracken's.

I found myself there today and drank three delicious but very different beer and ate a grill cheese sandwich designed by Bobby Flay. Alton Brown has also been know to visit the pub and has used it in at least one episode of Good Eats. I also believe there is magic to the place. Now Paul and I both hail from Connecticut. That's a bit of a drive from Georgia and one day we happened to be there and we met no less than five others from Connecticut. In fact, the seven of us were the only patrons in the bar at that point. Again, you may ask why bring this up? I don't have an answer for you.

I just happen to like the place. It used to be a fire station and there is much firehouse memorabilia and mementos in the bar and is a cheery testament to some real heroes and lifesavers. The place wouldn't look out of place in New York, or Boston, or any place in Connecticut, which may be why I'm drawn there. the food id outstanding as I may have mentioned and I highly recommend the Irish surf and Turf, which is a grilled banger, tempura fried jumbo shrimp on a heaping of parmesan grits, with pesto and a side sriracha, sublime. It may be the best thing I've ever eaten, except for maybe the Irish Boxty, which is potato pancake filled with lamb, onions, peppers and cheddar, happy goodness. Actually, that might be the best thing ever, except maybe for the Bobby Flay grilled cheese combining tomato, bacon and feta and Irish cheddar, it's gooey and is just to die for.

It's where I go to recharge, step away from work, writing, marketing and share a beer with perfect strangers who become fast friends that you may never see again. I don't even mind the second hand smoke and the smell of frying oil that gives the place it's atmosphere, it's glorious. I'm very glad that it's a haul for me to get there, because I'd be a barfly for sure. Funny thing, I'm not even much of a drinker, but there just something about a really good bar that feels like home. Is there a point to this? Still no, but it was great writing about it.

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