Beef Stew at the Church
I’m grateful for my safety today. It’s not always guaranteed. New York is a city of dreamers, and mothers, and comedians, and dancers, and stock brokers, and pizza rat. It’s everything mixed up into a weird smoothie and today I feel lucky to live here, even when it’s scary. But enough about how it is here, I’m actually leaving next week. Just for a week. I’m going to Ireland by myself because it’s the only place where you can access season 3 of Derry Girls before it airs on Netflix in a few months. If you have been to Ireland and have any recs, please send them my way! I like fish and lamb and music and theater and picturesque landscapes.
Traveling usually freaks me out. I don’t trust things I don’t understand, like planes and boys who do bad accents in improv. But I’m going on this trip because we have a week off from work and it was either go on a trip or rearrange my couch cushions for 5 days. If you’re worried about the repercussions of me taking a week off from stand-up, fear not. My friend connected me with a lovely man in the “Dublin comedy scene” and I’m performing Tuesday night. I’m excited to figure out if laughter really is the universal language. Or maybe that’s sex. Let’s circle back.
This was mostly an impulse decision. Time off doesn’t come very often in Hollywood. Until you get to Pete Davidson level, and then you just get to hang out and eat pasta with your girlfriend while the world burns.
So you’re wondering, how did I plan a trip so fast? What am I going to do there? And every good plan starts with a Google search, so that’s how I found out about beef stew. I knew beef stew existed, but it wasn’t until I Googled “Best things to do in Ireland” that the number two hit was “eat beef stew at the church.” The number one hit was going to the Cliffs of Moher but I have spent my fair share of time staring longingly at the sea so that’s not a priority. This guide told me that I should make a point of eating beef stew at the church when I visit. Is it at one church? Does every church have beef stew? Is “the church” the name of a restaurant?
Story time, there’s a restaurant in post-colonial Williamsburg Brooklyn called Diner. You might think it’s a diner that serves foods like pancakes and omelettes, but you’d be wrong. It’s a trendy small expensive establishment that simply takes place in an old converted diner. One of the silver ones that looks like it’s from a high school production of Greece. My friend and I went to Diner one night because we were hungry and looking for the aforementioned pancakes and omelette when Google led us into this trap. We sat down, realized the mistake we made, and politely explained to the waiter that we could not stay for $21 poached salmon.
What I’m saying is, you can’t always trust Google. In my experience, any restaurant in a converted diner or gas station or dentist’s office is bound to charge you $18 for their take on a deconstructed Caesar salad.
And I don’t like stew that much. So if I’m flying across the ocean for some sort of eye-opening experience, I’d rather do the things I like, like meet people and tell jokes in a dark bar. I hope to eat a full Irish breakfast while I’m there too. An Irish breakfast is where you eat toast, fried eggs, black pudding, tomatoes, and baked beans all while a kind man named Declan tells you that you’re beautiful. You met at the pub last night, and fell in love instantly. He sees the world the way you do, and agrees that pineapple belongs on pizza but that blue cheese belongs in the trash.
So be diligent out there, dear reader, and get your advice from humans. Maybe beef stew at the church really is the second best thing to experience in Ireland. Or maybe it’s a euphemism for a sex party. Sláinte!
The best thing I ate this week:
Was a virgin piña colada from my local diner. It tasted like it did when I went on a cruise to the Bahamas in 1st grade. I got it without rum because I was about to drive to see some friends perform comedy while holding reptiles in Williamsburg. Anything can happen in Williamsburg. It tasted like no homework and no period cramps and no concept of unrequited love. A piña colada is god’s gift to mortals. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s refreshingly chilled. The maraschino cherry garnish? A treasure. Did you know that as an adult you can just get a piña colada at the diner if you want? Happy April, stay safe out there, I love you!