Some tasty treats for St. Paddy’s Day… and that’s no blarney

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By Joyce O’Coronel

It’s that time of the year once again when everyone, it seems, is Irish. Amid the green T-shirts and shamrock-shaped cookies, eateries in Tempe and West Chandler are gearing up for a wee bit of celebration.

Sunday, March 17, known the world over as St. Patrick’s Day, is upon us again.

At Tempe’s Great Harvest Bakery, the day brings loaves of traditional Irish soda bread and another Emerald-Isle-inspired delicacy: Guinness and smoked-Gouda bread.

George Walston, son of Great Harvest owners Leslie and Ward Walston, said the latter features Guinness Beer instead of water, plus the savory, nutty and buttery sweetness of Gouda.

“It’s kind of a throw-back to that good old- fashioned, made-from-scratch bread from the Irish households, particularly with the Irish soda bread being buttermilk-leavened,” Walston said.

Great Harvest grinds its own wheat daily, and most breads take a full five hours to prepare from start to finish.

“We don’t take shortcuts,” Walston said. “So it’s like a leprechaun pops out of a book and is making it himself like in ‘ye old days.’ Except he’s not short— he’s an ornery old man called my father.”

Walston pondered a bit: “Actually, there might be some Irish in there, ornery as he is.”

Beyond the plentiful gastronomic delights that surround the holiday, however, there’s much more to the day that celebrates the patron saint of Ireland.

At Murphy’s Law, an Irish pub located at 58 S. San Marcos Place in Downtown Chandler, patrons can enjoy a pint or two plus a bit ‘o blarney at the Sunday, March 17 Shamrockfest 10 a.m.– 9 p.m. Green beer, live music as well as a cocktail and beer garden beckon.

Bourbon Jack’s, 11 W. Boston Street in Downtown Chandler, will offer up its own version of tribute to the Emerald Isle’s patron saint. Patrons can partake of an Irish favorite, corned beef and cabbage, and also enjoy live music.

A free concert at Chandler Center for the Arts takes place at 7 p.m. March 17.

Recognized twice as Scotland’s “Live Act of the Year,” Skerryvore is a eight-piece band creating a fusion of folk, rock, traditional Scottish music and Americana that represents all of the eight individual band members.

Featured tunes blend harmonies with strong vocals, fiddle and guitar.

Doors open one hour before show time with seating on a first come, first served basis. RSVP to attend.

Information: downtownchandler.org/events

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