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We love downtown Fredericksburg. The antique stores, the restaurants and pubs, and the unique shops make for a great day trip from Williamsburg. This trip, I finished up our annual store inventory in the morning and we hit the road.
It was pouring rain, so we didn’t go to as many places as we usually do–it was also New Year’s Eve, so a lot of places were closed, or were closing early. Luckily, the places we wanted to go to the most were open–including the Colonial Tavern. It was our first visit to this wonderful bar/restaurant, but it won’t be our last.
We started with a Guinness for Stephan and a Harp for me while we looked over the menu. December 31 is the anniversary of the day in 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease for the St James’ Gate Brewery, in Dublin, Ireland. Naturally, this anniversary had to be observed!
There was one server working, but only a few tables were occupied at that time of day. They were expecting a large crowd for the evening’s festivities, including live music on the stage that we were seated next to.
We both ordered mugs of the Potato and Leek soup (which I didn’t take photos of because we both INHALED it! The soup was full of chunks of red potato, leek, and cream broth, and came with a mini loaf of Irish Soda bread and some cranberry butter. I’m not kidding when I say that it was the best potato and leek soup I’ve ever had. It was served in a large coffee mug and was extremely filling, but worth every calorie.
For our entrees, Stephan chose the Corned Beef and Cabbage, and a pint of Smithwicks, and I chose the Fish and Chips. The corned beef plate had several slices of beef, boiled cabbage, and boiled red potatoes, with a pat of butter on top. Stephan wished there had been some mustard seed or something similar in the boil to give it a little more of a kick, but said that it was delicious. The fish was tilapia in a Smithwicks beer batter, and came with fries (chips) and tartar sauce. The batter was light and well-flavored, and the fish was tender and delicious. It was a little greasy, but nothing out of the ordinary. After finishing the whole mug of soup, I could only eat one piece of fish, so our server put the second one in a box for me and we heated it up to make a fish sandwich that we split that night for dinner.
The Colonial Tavern calls itself The Home of the Irish Brigade, in honor of The Irish Regiment of Georgia and The Irish Brigade of Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, who fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. It was a lovely place to spend an hour on a cold, rainy day, and I’m sure it’s just as enjoyable when the weather is more cooperative. You can check out their menu on their website at https://www.irishbrigadetavern.com/our-menu
What’s your favorite place in Fredericksburg? Leave us a comment and you might see a future Foodie Traveler review about it!