Traveling to the shores of Lake Michigan, in late Spring, can bring an assortment of weather conditions. Being from the Midwest, we are familiar with the saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Our first day of exploring Kenosha had been filled with a cool breeze and occasional drizzle. While we had prepared for any conditions, we were looking forward to our plans for a Happy Hour stop at Ashling on the Lough. The chance to sample an authentic Irish pub experience was sure to warm us up.
We want to thank Visit Kenosha and Ashling on the Lough for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
Shaking Off the Chill
Our exploration of the area had included tours of two nearby museums. Afterwards, we attempted a stroll along the Promenade, that is lined with statues. With a chilly wind blowing in from the lake, it wasn’t long before we decided to forego this walk. Fortunately, the Happy Hour at Ashling on the Lough starts at 3:00. It was a bonus that the restaurant is easy walking distance from the park. As we made our way there, we enjoyed the view of the Southport Marina.
Avoiding the Crowd
Our visit on a weekday meant that when we arrived many people were still at work. The interior of the restaurant is filled with rich colors and plenty of wood. It has a welcoming appeal with an informal atmosphere. The kind of place that makes casual conversation easy to enjoy a couple rounds of drinks. The hostess showed us to a table that offered a view of the lake. As we took in our surroundings, the chill began to wash away.
We decided that a couple of hot drinks would aid in warming up our insides. They have an assortment of warm beverages, so we chose a couple that offered completely different flavors. My Irish Coffee is a well known drink that included a quality Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and some fresh whipped cream on top. Crystal avoids caffeinated drinks in the evening, so she chose the Hot Cherry Pie. A mixture of hot cider and cherry schnapps means that this drink will warm you to your toes. As we sipped our drinks, we investigated the dinner menu.
Now that we were able to take off our jackets and really relax, it was time to pick our evening meals. Since we were dining a little early, we wanted hearty dishes that would tide us over for the night. For me, I couldn’t imagine anything better than a nice baked pie, but then came the decision. Would I pick Shepherd’s Pie, made with lamb or Cottage Pie made with beef? I decided to lean toward the beefy blend, which worked out deliciously. Once I poked through the golden crust of mashed potatoes, I discovered a hearty filling inside. The shredded beef was tender and moist. Combined with tender vegetables, this substantial dish packed plenty to hold me until morning.
Irish Tradition at Ashling on the Lough
Here is where I point out that only one of us has Irish roots. Crystal’s maiden name is McCoy, so I’m pretty sure she felt really comfortable in an Irish restaurant. When I had researched this place, I had even guessed what dinner entree she would pick. Sure enough, she chose the Fish & Chips. At Ashling on the Lough, they serve fresh cod in a beer batter made with Smithwick’s Irish Ale. This adds an amazing undertone to the fillets, which were fried to golden perfection. Toss some steak fries and coleslaw in the mix and you have the makings of an Irish classic. Another bonus is the homemade tartar sauce, which Crystal enjoyed heartily.
Warming Up to Kenosha Weather
Now that our bellies were full, and the chills had been run off, it was time to head back outdoors. The gray skies were still there, but the winds were beginning to die down. We had still a few more stops to make, before bedtime. If you have followed us for very long, you realize that we pack a weeks worth of sights into two or three days. With hearty meals to fuel us, like the ones we had at Ashling on the Lough, we knew that we would have plenty of energy to keep going. For now, we were just glad to have found a great way to chase off the chill. What are some of your methods to warm up on chilly days?