(Guest Blogger - TomV)
Late October in New England brings certain inevitable things, fewer bikes and less people willing to ride (including my old lady). That doesn’t stop me though as my IQ is lower than the high temps this time of year (45-50 degrees to be precise) and I own a pair of Long Johns so let’s frickin ride.
This weekend, I went out alone. Well me, the bike and my camera. Had no plan, other than to head to central Mass in search of funky colored leaves and perhaps a new watering hole. I did not time it very well, missed peak foliage by about a week but I did manage to get a couple of pictures.
Even though I nearly struck out on the leaf peeping, I did come across a great find in Belchertown, a little Irish Pub called McCarthy’s Pub. Bikers don’t normally think “Irish Pub” when they go looking for hot spots but the lineup of H-D iron out front told me that this place was different.
I must admit, I did get a few eyeballs when I walked in but that was probably because Belchertown is a lot like Mayberry and they knew I was from out of town because I don’t look like my mother married her own cousin.
The owner is a charming woman, who also works behind the bar. She was busy getting all excited about setting up the guy on my right with a friend of hers who was in her words “super hot” (you know cause most single women who can’t find a man without their medaling best friend’s help, usually are “super hot”).
The guy on my left was a fellow rider who has an 01 Road king with 80,000 plus miles on so we had a lot to talk about. He showed me pictures of his bike (on his I-phone mind you) like an overly proud grandmother shows you a wallet full of grand kids while you sit on her plastic covered couch eating hard candy out of a fake crystal bowl.
I felt like a regular instantly. Everyone wanted to know what brought me to their sleepy little village. So after a beer and a few introductions, I took a gander at their menu. Ahh…..all the traditional Irish fare. So what did I order? Bangers and Mashed…. don’t think so. Corned Beef and Cabbage….not on a frickin bet. Sheppard’s Pie perhaps, fuck no! I ordered the Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy, like any red blooded American Boy would. It was very good. 4 crispy pieces of finger-frickin-lickin goodness.
I did get a few more looks when I was snapping pictures of my soon to be devoured deep fried fowl. So I told everyone I was the Phantom Gourmet hoping to get a free beer or something but it did not work. They just asked more questions about who I was and why I was there. Several of them kept making funny gestures that I assumed were local gang signs. Turns out they were trying to point out that I had a spot of gravy on my nose.
I will definitely go back again. It was a very friendly place, they had Keno, they had plenty of bike parking and the food was good and cheap. Next time I might be a little more adventurous and try something a little more traditional like the Pizza.
Next time you find yourself in the Pioneer Valley, head to McCarthy's Pub in Belchertown. Think you'll like it.