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Bars and Spirits All Hail Halloween in Montery County

Halloween BarmBrak Bread, see the spirits rise
Halloween BarmBrak Bread, see the spirits rise
Kate Mulligan

Irish bars celebrate the spirits every day of the year, but most especially, Wikipedia says, where the end of the “lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", cozy up. You call it Halloween, they call it “The Festival of Samhain.”

This is where the transit between our multiple planes of existence become as as permeable as flavor on a taste bud. And believe it or not, consuming (not just sweets) was in fact an integral part of this Celtic New Year, where both food and drink served to provide the powers of divination. This is possibly why we say grace at meal times.

We all know that food is not just for sustenance, it's practically a religious event ~ connecting us together to each other in a timeless gestalt. So drink up and be merry. And if eating isn't a religious experience ~ you are only half alive! Whatever exists in the hereafter, I hope it tastes good, so enjoy this haunted holiday by living in the sacred now:

Duffy's Tavern and Family Restaurant is a tiny, local place, quoted in as a "must-visit" if you live in or travel to Monterey. Drinks are stiff here, which would be appropriate for Halloween. The food is simple but delicious.

In Carmel, Hog's Breath Inn's Bar (famous for before and after dinner drinking by the fireplace,) will be serving up Pumpkin Martini's on Halloween, though I have been told to eat elsewhere in the neighborhood if you can afford it.

The Mucky Duck, a British Pub, has been voted Best Singles Bar for fourteen years in a row and plans on being the wildest venue in Monterey to rock your bones ~ but food wise? Monterey Weekly calls Duck fare "Pub Grub That's Brilliant.” (One wonders how many of the 26 beers on tap they drank before they reviewed the food.)

Flannigan's Irish American Pub's new owner, Joe Opitz, plans on treating costumed parents a hallowed drink special during the Barnyard Shopping Kid's Halloween Event (from 2 to 5 pm.) FYI: Rumor has it their chips are addictive, and for those hearty eaters, the 'big mick' for big kids will definitely hold you till closing time ~ wow, 2 am!

The Mission Ranch is holding a Halloween contest at 8 pm, Prizes will be given to the best original costume, scariest costume and best group costume. In my latest conversation with Mr. Eastwood, during the kitchen scene at Paulding & Company, while filming, 'Hereafter',  I was able to chat it up with Himself directly ~ and specifically regarding The Mission Ranch's menu.

Thanks to me, you can now safely order The Mission Ranch lamb. No, those little wool clad creatures from the pasture are not dragged into the kitchen to be plated.....nor do they have future plans to harvest them, (or the thousands of seagulls that provide a glorious aerial show at the end of the lagoon.)

Please see Paulding & Company's recipe's from the "Hereafter" kitchen scenes: Braciole of Beef and Baked Apples with Amaretto Sabayon. Better yet, take a cooking class with them, and see what kind of romance you can stir up!

Need a ghostwriter? Contact Kate at for rates and references. 


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