Sweet Chocolatey Treats at Butler’s Chocolate Cafe

Sweet Chocolatey Treats at Butler’s Chocolate Cafe

The sweet aroma of chocolate will draw you into Butler’s Chocolate Café , where you can order cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes. They’re even served with a complimentary Butlers Irish Handmade Chocolate! If that’s not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, feel free to order a decadent slice of chocolate cake or other tempting baked goods!

Pro Tip: If you go to Butlers and do not order their famous hot chocolate, we can’t be friends anymore. Heaven in a cup!

Image credit: www.butlerschocolates.com

Cead Mile Failte from the Flight Deck! It’s St. Patrick’s Day!

Cead Mile Failte from the Flight Deck! It’s St. Patrick’s Day!

With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching and many festivals and parades already over the weekend, I thought I would spread some Irish luck your way and some tips to help you celebrate in style. First some Gaelic 101: “Cead Mile Failte,” pronounced “Kay-da May-la Fall-cha,” means a hundred thousand welcomes. “Slainte!” is what you say to toast before drinking, and it is pronounced “Slahn-cha.” You are now armed with a greeting and a toast to make this the most festive St Patty’s Day ever. I was hoping to share a list of Irish pubs in airports in case you are celebrating in transit, but I never set foot in airport bars (the uniform gets funny looks), and I’ve only seen one Irish pub that looked about as Irish as a taco. So instead, I countdown for you:


The Aviator’s Top 5 Irish Pubs (from my travels)


  1. The Irish Oak MG_6165-e1352754296879

Chicago, Illinois

Nestled a block from Wrigley Field sits a place I always hit up when in the Windy City. Chicago has one of the most famous St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world with a river dyed green to show you they mean business! The Irish Oak hits all the main points for a fun pub any day of the year though if you can’t make it there for the biggest green party of the year, with solid food, properly poured Guinness, and friendly staff. With a city full of pubs and Irish heritage it’s hard to stand out and yet they succeed-I can’t resist popping in on an overnight.


  1. James’s Gate

Boston, Massachusetts

A few minutes out of the downtown bustle in the Jamaica Plain district of Boston sits my favorite neighborhood pub and an Irish treat. Come here hungry! The food is really tasty and I recommend sitting at the bar to get to know the crowd. Every time I enjoy a pint here, I make a new friend and hear some great (and sometimes crazy stories). “This one time at Fenway…” has started more than one tale that left me needing another pint of the dark stuff with a smile on my face.


  1. The Chieftain

San Francisco, California

There’s something magical about a slightly grungy pub that screams ‘locals only’ before you even walk through the front door. A post-Giants baseball game stroll led me to this gem. Unless it is March 17th, don’t expect 375px-McSorley's_Old_Ale_House_001_cropa rowdy scene. Come for a cold one and top-notch people watching. In my experience visiting this bar was more memorable than the baseball game that night and has been each time since.


  1. McSorley’s Old Ale House

New York City, New York

Oh man! When I first heard a pilot friend of mine describe McSorley’s almost a decade ago I knew I had to go. Hop on the subway to the village, walk the few blocks through crisscrossing streets and find yourself stepping back in time. Here are the basics: It was established in 1854 and there are 2 types of beer (dark and lite,). It’s often crowded so don’t be deterred by the ambiance. There’s a funk of dish soap and the floor is covered in sawdust. But once you anchor a spot at the bar or share a table with some soon-to-be-new-friends this place has marked its spot in your heart. This place is old school: cash only, and women were only allowed in as of 1970. It’s a pub; it looks almost exactly like what my great grandfather saw a hundred years ago when he first visited New York after emigrating from Ireland to Philadelphia. It’s as real as it gets without the 7-hour ride across the pond to the homeland.


  1. Ha’penny Bridge Inn image-hapenny-bridge-2

Dublin, Ireland

You didn’t think I was going to give you a list of favorite Irish pubs without naming one in Ireland, did you?! Ha’penny Bridge Inn sits on the River Liffey in Dublin next to the Temple Bar district. Do yourself a favor and see Temple Bar. See all the famous names and pretty facades. Then go here and get your drink. I was fortunate to have a local recommend that to me. I now buy that local a pint of Magners any time I’m in Dublin. He isn’t just a friend, but my patron saint of great pubs with low tourism and a high local vibe. Thanks Finn! I won’t describe this place at all.

Just go. Enjoy the real Ireland. Don’t be a loud American with a million questions. The Irish hate questions. They love stories and having a good crack. That’s slang for jokes and teasing your friends.


Slainte from the flight deck!

The Aviator

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 2

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 2

Hello Lovers! This week, we are exploring unforgettable (and unique!) Valentine’s Day food adventures. In the last blog, we explored the tempting and tasty Florida Keys. This time, we are heading to Europe for a bit of that Irish luck. Leave the Russell Stover chocolates at home and come along with me to the Emerald Isle!

Option #2: Dublin. Ireland is one of the most stunning places on Earth. I envy those shades of green! But it’s also an undercover gem in the food world, gaining accolades for its gourmet gastropubs. And is there a more romantic drink to share with your partner than Guinness?

The romance can begin before you even leave the airport. Stop by the Chocolate Lounge in Terminal 2. This “grown up” chocolate shop features chocolate sandwiches, fondues, sundaes, and cocktails. There’s also a cool conveyor belt around the bar, showcasing delicious cakes and pastries right before your eyes. Toast your lover with a shot of Aztec Chili Chocolate.

Tour the Guinness brewery! Besides being super interesting, you’ll end up on the observation deck of the factory with a stunning panoramic view of Dublin. You can also visit the Old Jameson Distillery for a tour and tasting. Tipsy love is the best love!


A thing of beauty.

Check out Dublin’s emerging gastropubs. Located in the city center, The Exchequer is both an award-winning cocktail experience and a high-quality eatery. The food is elegant yet essentially Irish at its core. You can order Steamed Cockles and Mussels with Spiced Sausage, or share a plate of Pan Fried Lamb’s Kidneys. For your main plate, try the Venison Pastie.

Meat Pastie at Exchequer

Meat Pastie at Exchequer

Your next step for romance? Rent a car and explore the Irish countryside. The best food finds are yours to discover along the way in charming village pubs and seaside restaurants. Ask the locals, be adventurous, and let you hearts and tastebuds be your guides!

Design your custom Valentine’s Day food adventure around the tastes of your significant other, and you can’t go wrong. Wishing you butterflies in your stomach and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: Impress your date by ordering the Chocolate Fondue at Chocolate Lounge at the Dublin Airport. Featuring dark, white, or flavored chocolate and seasonal fruits, marshmallows, and brownie cubes for dunking. You had me at fondue.

Image Credits: Top photo- http://www.chocolate-lounge.co.uk. All other photos: Lara Pasternak

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