Often there are musicians up in the front corner playing a session of tunes. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, up close to the music if you’d like, a bit farther away at the bar, and at a range of tables near enough and far away to either of those things to enjoy a chat and a drink of one of the many beers and ales available on draft or by the bottle. In the back room, there might be a singing session going on, or perhaps someone hosting a private vent such as a wedding reception or a family party, all adding to the atmosphere of the place, which is both festive and relaxed. Where is all this? The Burren in Somerville, Massachusetts. It may not be that TV made famous and rather touristy bar where everybody knows your name, but there’s always a feeling of welcome at The Burren.
The burren, in Ireland, is s a distinctive landscape of rock said to have been formed by glaciers passing over west Clare in ancient times, with stone formations built by giants, fairies, ancient people, or geology, take your pick. The Burren in Davis Square just a short way from the center of Boston is warm, friendly, wood toned gathering place that is both Irish and American.
That idea is carried out in the food served at the Burren, too. At weekend brunch you could order a full Irish fry with eggs, black pudding, and Irish bacon. You could also have a classic American breakfast of eggs sunny side up with American bacon. Eggs Benedict is on the menu as well. Lunch and dinner menus offer the same mix of Irish and American fare, with, as is not so common in Irish pubs, quite a few dishes that will suit vegetarians well and plenty of fish from nearby New England coastal waters on offer too. It’s all quite tasty and, Irish expats and lovers of a true Irish pot of tea take note, they know how to brew a proper cup of tea at The Burren as well — and they use Barry’s Tea.
It’s a good place to sit of a quiet afternoon over that pot of tea, and equally entertaining to stop in with a group to enjoy a drink, a chat, and a meal. Often, there is music from artists who write their own songs as well as local and international players with tunes of Ireland to offer as well to go along.
Update: The Burren is still going strong winter and summer. There may be changes coming to its neighbors in Davis Square that you will want to keep aware of, though.
Photograph front window of The Burren during the Christmas season is by Kerry Dexter. Thank you for respecting copyright.
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