Drink of the week:
A pint of Guinness at Glascott's
, 2158 N. Halsted, on a Wednesday night.
The damage: $3 for a pint, discounted from $4.
Thousands of bars in Chicago, why this one? Why is it that everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day but not Polish on Kasmir Pulaski Day? Both take place in March, when anyone who has braved a Chicago winter is desperate for something to look forward to, but only one gives people an excuse to get drunk midday for two weekends in a row. And that is why we all love St. Patty's Day—because Irish or not, we get to celebrate it not only on the holiday, but with two weekends of colorful-float-filled fun.
However, for people who really take posing as Irish seriously, Glascott's offers Irish Night every Wednesday. With $3 Guinness, Bass and Harp, Irish Night was too tempting for my one-quarter Irish self to pass up.
How it went down: As any good bartender knows, there is a right way and a wrong way to pour a pint of Guinness. Some "Guinness experts" say the pouring process should take about two minutes, letting the first half of the pint completely settle before topping it off. While the bartenders at Glascott's certainly didn't wait the full two, they let my half-filled pint rest for a minute before finishing it off with an inch of frothy head. I raised the pint to my mouth and took a large gulp (Guinness isn't meant for sipping). A creamy white mustache lingered on my top lip, and as I licked it off, I relished the stout's surprisingly smooth finish. Guinness' dark color comes from the roasted barley, which also adds a rich coffee aroma and slightly smoky taste. While most beers are only carbonated with carbon dioxide, Guinness also contains dissolved nitrogen, which cuts down its fizz factor and makes it a highly drinkable beer. Naturally, I ordered another.
Would I want to become a regular? The Lincoln Park corner bar began serving drinks in 1885 and has been owned by the same family since 1937, so it's clear that Glascott's isn't going anywhere...and neither am I. Most pubs in the neighborhood have gone the way of college hangouts, but Glascott's caters to an older crowd (from mid-20s to midlife) with its authentic feel. Ireland flags suspend from Glascott's tin ceiling above the massive mahogany bar, and framed photos of the homeland along with a proclamation of Irish freedom hang on the walls.
Of course, Glascott's goes all out for St. Patty's Day. On March 17, bagpipers, an Irish band and "Dwayne the Leprechaun" will entertain anyone taking part in the fun; for people who like to celebrate on the Southside, Glascott's offers a bus trip to the rowdy parade on the 11th. I'm going to get my tickets any day now—as soon as I figure out how to stretch out my Pulaski Day festivities for another weekend or two.
Dana Kavan scours the city for drink deals so good you'll offer to buy a round and creative libations that outshine your average on-the-rocks concoctions. Want to give Dana tips on where to rack up a bar tab? Share your finds before her next night out.