World Cup Madness

The World Cup is a great time to get into soccer (or in many parts of the world…football).  The World Cup occurs every four years.  It is almost addictive on some levels.   I enjoy that the people and teams from around the world come together in one country to celebrate their love of the sport. 

Recently I watched the movie Invictus.  It is a great time of year to do it…a history lesson and hits home with the World Cup happening now. 

We have watched the Cup at a number of pubs in the Renton, WA area.  1)  Pickled Onion – this is in the Renton Highlands area as is your typical neighborhood, strip mall pub/tavern.  Their website says they are “the Eastside’s Only Authentic English Soccer Pub”.  They specialize in dart tournaments, have a pool table, pull-tabs and TVs to watch your favorite match.  I did question whether everything I touched was actually clean though.  We tried the Freedom Dip (roast beef, swiss, onions) and the Cod and Chips.  Below average I would say considering all was too fried or too toasted.  The beer selection was very good.  2)  A Terrible Beauty – located downtown Renton, this Irish pub has changed hands/names a number of times but it looks like they might have it right this time.  We visited for St. Patrick’s Day and it drew quite a crowd.  And for the World Cup, a nice crowd showed to view the game and grab some Irish grub.  A Terrible Beauty is currently working on their website so there is no link to provide at this time.  Recommendations: 1) Bangers & Prawn Skewers (Sausage and Prawns on skewers served with mashed potatoes) and St. Killians Cheese Bites as starters…crispy fried wedges of Camembert cheese served with homemade Cumberland sauce 2) Houligan House Dip – roast beef, swiss, homemade ground mustard on a baguette served with ATB’s Guinness gravy dip  3) The Dubliner or Belfast Burger.  A gentleman next to us ordered The Reuben “soon to be famous” sandwich – now this is a huge sandwich (2-3x the size of the norm)…just a note.  There are many other items on this menu that I would like to try.  A Terrible Beauty is also open for weekend brunch from 9 am – 3 pm.  UPDATE 1/13/11 – Macaroni & Cheese and a Guinness Stew, a nice hearty dish for these cool nights!  It was trivia night on this night, which always draws a big crowd.  Join in the fun!

“Invictus” is a poem written by English poet William Ernest Henley in the 1800’s:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

World Cup Final July 11, 2010 – Spain vs. Netherlands – Spain won in extra time 1-0

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