An Irish Stay-Cation in Kenosha

2/18/2019 - Trisha Blaine

Ashling on the Lough, Kenosha's Authentic Irish Pub WISCONSIN
Ashling on the Lough, Kenosha's Authentic Irish Pub WISCONSIN
Ashling on the Lough, Kenosha's Authentic Irish Pub WISCONSIN

It has been a long winter.  Between the multiple “Polar Vortex” days and after school activities getting canceled,  I felt like January had been the longest month in history. I think we could all use a tropical vacation.  For some of you that may possible, but as a Momma of three littles (soon to be four!), squeezing in a date night is hard enough let alone sunning away on a beach somewhere sans children.  Thank the Lord I have a husband who can sense that this winter has been trying, to say the least, and that we were in much need of some adult time. So he set up a day just for us!  I’m going to start off with the fact that it started snowing that morning and honestly, as much as we have been stuck indoors, the idea of going anywhere while it was snowing AGAIN didn’t sound like much fun either.  After a little encouragement that I could dress comfortably, the idea of going out was starting to sound better than reenacting every Star Wars scene or listening to “Baby Shark” again. Am I right?

After dropping the littles off at one of their grandparents’ house for the day, we headed for some shopping without kids in tow. It was not long before this pregnant lady started to get hungry, though, so we were off to our lunch/dinner spot.  By this time, it was snowing little balls of ice and I was back to thinking that I could have just made a pot of delicious soup or stew at home…. when my Irish Lad scored big points. His lunch choice was spot on and had me all kinds of excited to be out when he announced we were heading to Ashling on the Lough.  

The minute we walked in, the restaurant’s warm, cozy atmosphere welcomed us and it is not just because it was crummy outside that I felt the hospitality. We were seated close to the little wood-burning stove, the soft Irish music honestly transported me to a completely different place, both mentally – I even felt better physically!  Our waiter immediately arrived to the table but I was so over whelmed with the coziness and friendliness of everything that I couldn’t think of what to order.  After explaining we were having an afternoon without the kiddos and just needed to have a minute or two to order as adults, our waiter totally understood and told us to take all the time we needed. 

It didn’t take long for my husband to decide on a delicious (and might I add famous) Ashling Bloody Mary and Rueben sandwich. Pregnant and jealous, I settled for a nice glass of water, but indulged in the Pot Roast sandwich and a bowl of Irish Root Soup.  Within minutes, our first course arrived and honestly it was too good to be true.  The soup was warm, creamy and sweet, earthy and unlike any soup I have ever had. I shared with my hubby and we both scraped the bowl until there was nothing left! My husband promptly asked me to recreate this at home sometime the following week – he was hooked.  We chatted like we were newly dating instead of a married couple of almost ten years as we waiting for our main course. Multiple times we remarked on how we didn’t feel for one minute like we were in wintery Kenosha, Wisconsin but honestly on vacation in an quaint Irish town.  

Our long overdue honeymoon planning was interrupted by the arrival of our meal - but with one catch. Our server had misunderstood when I ordered a Pot Roast sandwich and had instead brought me the Pot Roast Dinner. I am not the type of person who gets upset by these kinds of things and I couldn’t have gotten upset even if I was that type, because the plate of food he placed in front of me looked heavenly.  Now, I cook a mean pot roast but there is just something wonderful about not having to lift a finger and having delicious food appear in front of you! And truly everything on my plate was just that – delicious and heavenly.  Not only was it tasty but the portions were larger than I had expected. In fact, my husband couldn’t even finish the pile of homemade mashed potatoes on his plate and I was able to have a scrumptious lunch for the next day. That’s a value! Seriously, it was the happiest mistake ever.

The lesson here is that sometimes we just need a day. As Illinois residents, visiting Kenosha for a day makes a great mini-vacation and allows us to reset. I truly cannot think of the last time that I relaxed in a restaurant for a few hours the way we were able to this cold February afternoon. Despite my earlier rants, once we were there, there was no place I’d rather be than that little booth at Ashling on the Lough, in Kenosha, Wisconsin with my husband that day.  So, if this winter has made you a little stir crazy too and you want an afternoon or evening out, kids or no kids, I urge you to escape to Ashling. Just as they boost on their website, “Lose yourself in the taste of Ireland” and the friendliness of the Irish hospitality. There is plenty to enjoy in Kenosha, and it’s an easy escape for a day or weekend. Happy Stay-cationing!  


Community Blog Team 2018

Trisha Blaine

Community Blogger

Former Kenoshan. Lover of musicals, cooking, nature, travel, reading, and all things Disney. Fulltime wife to an awesome guy, stay-at-home momma to 3 kiddos, and home school teacher extraordinaire.