Thursday, March 31, 2011

Red or Green

Esteemed blogger Carol Anne of Five O'Clock Somewhere is running one of those group hug writing challenge thingies. She want us to write about food. Apparently she teaches English at a community college and is currently torturing delighting her students by offering them a series of essay titles on that topic. One of the more cryptic essay titles on Carol Anne's list of foodie topics is "Red or Green? Explain."

Huh? Can she read my mind? How could she possibly know that "Red or Green?" is the food related question that I most frequently have to address, at least during the sailing season. Every Tuesday night in the summer it is the question of the moment.

Let me explain. Last summer some of my most enjoyable and memorable sailing experiences were doing some informal racing with a group of like-minded friends in Bristol Harbor on Tuesday evenings. I wrote about some of those evenings in posts such as The Rabbit and the Old Dog and A Man with a Goat and a Stick and a Cessna.

As the sun sets and the wind dies we sail back to the beach, pack up our boats on to our trailers, change into our street clothes, and then ask the question, "Red or Green?" We have a decision to make. Where are we going for the most important part of the evening's fun, the après-sail?

Actually we don't pose the question in quite those terms, "Red or Green?" But that's what we mean. There are several excellent drinking and eating establishments within walking distance of the launch area but we only consider the best two...

Red? Red is Redlefsen's a small town European style restaurant which draws the best from several countries with German food being the primary focus...

... or Green? Green is of course the color of Ireland and represents Aidan's Pub, the quintessential Irish pub just down the street from Redlefsen's.

It's a tough choice.

Redlefsen's has an excellent selection of European, mainly German beers on tap. Such choices. Should I go for the Ayinger Celebrator or the Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier this week? Or the Warsteiner Dunkel? Mmmm. Often it's the Pilsner Urquell that is the choice of the majority of our crowd, You just can't go wrong with that.

On the other hand Aidan's has Guinness (of course) and a vast range of mainly American beers on draft. Vermont's Long Trail Ale tends to be my après-sail beer of choice here.

Red or green? The food is a factor too.

The main dinner entrees at Redlefsens tend to be a bit too large and fancy for an après-sail snack, though I have been known to go for the Grilled Wurst Platter. But most of the sailors are satisfied with a pasta or a hamburger. The Fettucine a la Bolognese is always a favorite with me.

Aidan's on the other hand has the traditional pub fare. When Tillerwoman and I go there, often in the winter, for lunch I will usually go for something hearty and filling such as bangers and mash, or fish and chips. Probably nostalgic for the food of my childhood. But on a warm summer's evening sitting on one of Aidan's outside decks, nothing seems more appropriate than a burger with melted blue cheese dripping down the sides. Yum.

Red or Green? The two establishments have very different ambiences. Somewhat formal European style restaurant with eclectic decorations. Or out and out Irish pub atmosphere.

Red or Green? I think we pay a bit more each for an evening in the Red than we do in the Green. The kids (i.e. under 40's) in our group tend to favor Aidan's, perhaps for that reason. On the other hand the elder statesman of our fleet and his wife (who does sterling service for us every week as our trolley dolly) do prefer Redlefsen's. I think they even have frequent flier cards for Redlefsen's.

And so that's how we decide between Red and Green. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, so much worth seeing after an evening of Laser sailing than your launching trolley neatly lined up with everyone else's at just the point on the beach that the tide has currently reached. Our trolley dolly is a gem. And if she prefers Red that's fine with us.

But on the nights she's not there we go Green.

Now how did Carol Anne know about Redlefsen's and Aidan's?


Baydog said...

I've covered each eye and both times I see a five. Do I win a hat?

Tillerman said...

Do you want a green hat or a red hat?

O Docker said...

I see a chocolate chip cookie.

I like cookies, but my web broswer doesn't. It tells me you are trying to send me cookies, but says that may be a bad thing.

I don't see how it could be.

Baydog said...

I'd like a Magic Hat, or a Long Trail, and then I'll decide.

Jerry said...

It's a rich man's problem: should we go to the great bar or the other great bar? Good times.

Just so there's no confusion, the good folk of Plzň would rail mightily if they thought you characterized Pilsner Urquel as a German beer. After they were done railing, they would tell you stories about the mighty George Patton who liberated them from those same Germans, and the wimpy politicians who stopped Patton from driving on to Prague.

Patton didn't get the green light, and Czechoslovakia turned red. Ad somehow that justifies this pedantic comment.

Patrick Hay said...

As every sailor knows,

"When ahead is Red and Green,
In perfect safety,
Steer between."

Or something like that!

Tillerman said...

Oh yes Jerry. We Tuesday nighters are well aware that Pilsner Urquell is a traditional Czech beer.

Having said that, the city council of Pilsen actually commissioned a Bavarian brewmaster to invent what is now Pilsner Urquell for them. And the company which makes it is now owned by SABMiller which is headquartered in London, and they also now brew Pilsner Urquell in Poland and Russia.

So is it Czech? Or is it Czech/ German/ Polish/ Russian/ English?

Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem. Like the rights to build Lasers.

Anonymous said...

Fred said...

Red/Green. Good you have choices and multiple beers and different food to choose. After a Wednesday night racing, in our club, we can choose between a Curry Wurst and pommes (red/white) or a so called "La Flute" which is a baguette with salami, tomatoes and cheese. This is it. Of course beer is on offer but I do not know the razor edge in beers as I prefer my "Apple Schorle".

Anonymous said...

Somtimes I wonder if I could live in the US. Among several advantages the food and beers are usually the disadvantages to me. How much do you pay for a Pilsner Urquell? How much money should I make to eat my favourite food and drink the beers I like...?

Tillerman said...

Great questions Anon. A 400ml glass of Pilsner Urquell at Redlefsen's will set you back $5.50.

As for how much money you need to eat your favorite food and drink the beers you like, that rather depends on what you like.

44 million people in the US don't make enough money to eat as much food as they would like, so the government gives them food stamps but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can eat their favorite foods or drink the beers they like.

To be safe you're probably better off planning to be in the top 1% of household incomes and be making over $350,000 a year. I have no personal experience in this area but I suspect those folk can and do drink as much as they like of all the beers they like. And the wines they like too.

My personal philosophy is to like what I have which also means that I have what I like. That, and to die while I'm living rather than live while I'm dead.

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