A local pub named after paradise: Tir Na Nog

After a long day of talks and soaking up all of the great science being presented, it’s always fun to enjoy one of the local treats the city has to offer. For all of you new to Baltimore, you’ll be happy to know that the convention center is located in a hopping part of town, so there are plenty of places to choose from.

One of my favorites happens to be an Irish gem located along the water at the intersection of Pratt St. and Calvert St. called Tir Na Nog. If any of you have seen the Irish movie Into The West, you’ll recognize this as the name of the magical horse that plays a prominent role in the film. Tir Na Nog actually hails from Irish mythology and is a land of youthful paradise where its residents never age. The story tells that a mortal man names Oisín falls in love with a mythical woman Niamh who takes him to Tir Na Nog atop a magical horse that can walk on water. Oisín eventually becomes homesick and Niamh sends him back with the warning to never touch the ground. Once home, Oisín realizes that 300 years have passed in Ireland and, as you can probably expect, he falls off his horse. Well, then he rapidly ages as time catches up with him and he dies. Not a really nice ending, but I promise this restaurant is far more pleasant than that old folk tale! That’s just a bit of trivia you can use to impress your fellow biophysicists should you choose to take them here!

This little restaurant is decked out in Celtic decorations with a menu littered with an assortment of Irish delights, like Shepard’s Pie and Guinness, as well as local fare. Yes, this is one of the nearby places where you can enjoy a famous Maryland crab cake! Not a fan of trying crab that’s been pressed into a ball? Well, you can try their crab soup or my personal favorite: the crab and artichoke dip! There really is no wrong choice with their menu. Their plentiful beer list sure doesn’t hurt, but just make sure you save room for dessert! They offer a number of finger-licking treats, including creme brulee that comes in a different flavor every day.

A group of us Hopkins grad students decided to celebrate the end of our first day at the Biophysical Society Meeting here and I would encourage you to give it a try. If you stop by for lunch, you’ll even get a nice view of the Inner Harbor!