According to Thomas Cahill’s seminal book, “How the Irish Saved Civilization” the patron saint of Ireland was born in Wales in the early fifth century, about the time the Roman Empire was coming apart.
He probably spoke the Welsh form of Celtic and Latin too, Britannia having been a Roman colony for centuries. He was captured by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and taken to Northern Ireland, where he was enslaved.
He was of the Roman Catholic faith and had studied the language of the church and he must have had deep thoughts working as a shepherd on the chilly hills of Eire.
He received a vision from god, telling him that he should return to Britannia. He escaped and managed to talk his way onto an Irish vessel, a curious thing made of staves and rawhide.
The sailors liked the boy and took him on board, offering him their hairy breasts to be licked, as was the custom. The boat missed the British isle and ended up somewhere on the Continent. The starving sailors and the prayerful young man went inland to find food. The sailors chided the boy, “Well Christian, let’s see what you can do.”
Patrick prayed and brought about his first miracle, a herd of wild pigs was hunted down and the boys celebrated with a feast. They made it to what is now England and Patrick found his way home to his family in Wales.
He threw himself into studies forthe priesthood and eventually received permission from the church to return to Ireland. There he faced the wild pagans, who were impressed by his fearlessness and piety.
He baptized them in droves and the Irish returned the favor by establishing monasteries in Ireland and across the seas on the continent. The word- loving Irish reveled in the ancient texts of our civilization, the works of the Greek poets and philosophers, the Romans’ histories, satires, plays and biographies. Irish monks copied the books that are the bones of western culture.
So what does this have to do with St. Patrick’s Day in Escondido, California?
But here follows a guide to celebrating the saint’s day of the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, which whiskey occasionally restores in hallucinatory form.
St. Patrick’s Day is a three-day event at O’Sullivan’s and it has to be the most popular venue for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, by far. The pub at 118 E. Grand Ave. has a great ambience.
According to bartender Jennifer Anichowski, the pub will be standing room only with lines to get in going down the block.
“It’s going to be all hands on deck” Anichowski said. The pub makes more money on Paddy’s day than it does on New Year’s Eve, she added.
She said the pub’s popular house band, Highland Ways, will play from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. on the holiday. Tavern Rogues, will perform from9 p.m. until closing on Friday. Leroy performs on Sunday from 9 p.m. to closing.
The bar has Guinness, Harp and a wide selection of 14 different beers on tap. Also, Bushmills, Jamesons and Tullamore Dew plus 19 single malt scotches, and 18 Irish whiskies.
The restaurant serves a variety of American-style appetizers, from fish tacos to large sliced onion rings and Irish stuff such as bangers (sausage) infused with Guinness stout.
The main menu includes Bangers and Mash (beans), Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, Corned Beef Boxty and Guinness Irish Stew. A selection of burgers and sandwiches are ready for the ultimate sacrifice.
There will be a $5 cover charge on the three days and starting at 4 p.m. all patrons must be 21 years or older.
Offbeat Brew Co. release new stout
Offbeat Brewing Company is releasing a new stout in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and offering special extended event hours from noon to 8 p.m.
Screaming Pete’s BBQ will provide the food, theme appropriate foods such as smoked corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and other Irish fare.
On Tap at Offbeat will be
• El Gaucho De HaHa Coffee Pale Ale
Bear Arms Brown Ale w/ sour cherries
• Bear Arms Brown Ale w/ coffee Other
• M.C. Ester Belgian Style Double IPA
• Lunarcopter Belgian Style Blonde Ale Belgian Blond Ale
Offbeat is located in the Harmony Grove area at 1223 Pacific Oaks Place, Suite 101.
The Burger Bench, 237 E. Grand Ave,is offering special St. Patrick’s Day fare, an Irish Burger, Irish Tots (not children) and Mike Hess Hooligan Stout on Nitro in addition to its menu of Angus-beef burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches (Brie and Fig Melt, for example), Truffle Parmesan fries and Tots, Beer Battered Onion Rings and salads.
Orfila Vineyards & Winery
Orfila Winery offers $4 Irish Craft Beers, $5 wines by the glass, and $6 wine tasting on St. Patrick’s Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Shea Webster will perform a relaxing afternoon of free live music on the Orfila Terrace.
Orfila Vineyards & Winery is located at 13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido.
Call (760) 738-6500 ext. 22 for details.
Bernardo’s will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on St Patrick’s Day. Wine tasting is $12 per person and comes with 5 tastes and a complimentary chocolate pairing.
All of the shops on property will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well.
Bernardo Winery is located at 13330 Paseo Verano Norte, near Pomerado Road in Ranch Bernardo.
Churchill’s Pub and Grill (San Marcos)
Known for hearty pub food such as bangers and mash and burgers with a wide range of toppings, this restaurant is a great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Churchill’s has an enormous beer selection, including Newcastle on tap.
Irish Pipers will be playing festive tunes all the day long.
Churchill’s Pub is at 887 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos, phone: (760) 471-8773. See churchillspub.us