Celtic as Sushi

by Dark Starr




I’ve got a good chunk of Irish ancestry in me, so I’m always game for a good Celtic Restaurant. That’s why I was pleased when I found out there was one in nearby Rockton , Illinois . It even has the word “Celtic” in the name. Well, it’s so wonderful that upon visiting not only did I get a meal, but also a lesson in my own cultural identity. See, I always thought foods like Corned Beef and Shepherd’s Pie were Celtic foods – I was so wrong. Those aren’t on the menu at this joint. Well, OK – you can get some corned beef in your Reuben sandwich, but otherwise, totally missing in action.

So, what is the predominant type of food you’ll find at this place? Well, it appears that, despite what I always thought, Marco Polo was Celtic. Who knew? I say that because they’ve got a great selection of pizzas and pastas on the menu – but not any damned Corned Beef or Shepherd’s Pie. Oh, and the pastas – at least from the one sampling I tasted are pretty lousy, too. Of course, who the hell orders pizza or pasta at a Celtic restaurant anyway? Oh, yeah, it’s about all they have on the damned menu.

I also found out that Ritz Crackers are Celtic, too. How do I know? Well, they’ve got a baked Cod dinner – and then they’ve got a Celtic Baked Cod. The difference? They put some Irish Butter (yeah, that IS Celtic) and crumbled Ritz Crackers on top and bake it. It’s good, but it sure as hell isn’t Celtic.

Let’s delve into the atmosphere in the joint. First off the chairs – they’ve got damned lawn chairs set up in this dump. You know, the kind with the little straps of vinyl as a seat – only they seem like they bought the cheap version where they skimped on the number of strips and you feel like you might fall through at any given moment. That’s nice! Oh, and you want to get a “arf and arf” to go along with your dinner? Then I guess you are going to have to buy a can of Guiness and a can of Harp and mix em yourself at the table cause this Celtic joint doesn’t even have any Irish beers on tap. Again, that’s nice. I also should mention that the waitress had an accent. It certainly didn’t sound like any Irish accent I’ve ever heard before – and, in fact, if I had to guess I’d say it was someone pretending to have an Irish accent – but I don’t know that for sure.

All in all, this joint is a pretty average restaurant with lousy chairs, terrible Italian food and nary a bit of Celtic anything. Why the hell they chose to call it “Celtic” anything is beyond me. Only in the Rockford area would you see a dump like that getting by with calling a place “Celtic” when they are all about the pizza, pasta and sandwiches. Of course, if Taco Hell can win for best Mexican restaurant in Rockford , these guys are a shoe in for best Irish food.