When you combine a group of women, a good book, Moroccan food, nice wine, and a colourful ambience, it is likely that a great night is in store. Last night, this was the plan exactly. The monthly “supper out” Book Club with the women in the American Women’s Club was scheduled to happen at El Bahia in City Centre and we had a great book on the agenda: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.
I left straight from work to head over to the restaurant around 6:30, ready to do some book dissection. I’ve never had Moroccan food before, so I was stepping into a pallet adventure. There were 10 ladies in attendance, so they put us in our own little room with colorful cushions and drapery. The music was a little too loud for our discussion, but once it was turned down, it made for beautiful background noise. Luckily, we had a new member join who is married to a Moroccan man, and was attuned to the best flavours and dishes on the menu. Not that we ended up needing her advice, though, because everything was so delicious. I had a chicken cous cous with raisins, nuts, and other spices that left both sweet and spicy tastes on my tongue. The other dishes enjoyed by the women looked equally as good and I have no doubt that I will be dragging Matt back in the near future for dinner.
As for our book discussion, for anyone who has read The Help, you know that it is a fabulous book. We talked about the entertaining characters, the well-done dialect, the obvious conflicts, and the inspiring way the women in the story handled the prejudice and problems that constantly came their way. Of course, the discussion led us into a digression of other novels with similar plot structures and conflicts, leaving me with a short list of other stories I need to read soon.
Following dinner with the ladies, I made my way around the corner to meet Matt and some of his work buddies for music trivia at The Porterhouse Central. The Porterhouse Central is a pub that specializes in brewing its own beer and I believe it is an extension of The Porterhouse in Temple Bar that I mentioned in a previous post. This location is ideal because it’s not as far from the LUAS and it is very generous with open seating. Also, it hosts music trivia night every Tuesday, which I think we will become frequenters of since Matt’s friends love to go. I had a great time listening to the 5-10 second music clip and then trying to figure out with the group what it was that we were hearing! Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but I didn’t mind, as it was an entertaining way to spend a Tuesday.
Something I am learning the longer I live here in Dublin is that every night of the week can be host to an evening out. Nothing deters the average Irishman (or woman) from having dinner followed by late night drinks on a weekday. Quiz nights are popular, and often occur in the middle of the week. I think this is a lifestyle I can definitely get used to!