Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chester's Publick House: Perfect Stop on a Perfect Riding Day

The gorgeous back roads of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties beckon motorcycle riders from April through October, and when a perfect Autumn day occurs, two-wheel time is compulsory. This past Sunday was just one of those days, and the Borough of Chester, where Rt. 206 intersects with County Rd. 513 was chock full of visitors, most using four-wheeled conveyances, however.

That would account for the fullness, at least in part, of the parking lot of Chester's Publick House. What the old building, which offers lodging, has inside would likely account for the fullness of the House itself. A decent beer list, a varied (if somewhat pricey) menu and some great ambiance attracted tourists, pumpkin pickers and day-trippers galore.

After eighty miles or so of two-lane twisty blacktop roads, it was time for a P&P stop. Already jammed with people, with more coming in, I doubted there would be space. There were, however, two seats at the bar, where the barmaid Victoria was busily trying to meet the food and beverage demands of the guests.

I ordered up a beer I had never tried--Erdinger's Oktoberfest--because, well, it's that time of the year. It did not look like any Oktoberfest beer I knew of. Pale yellow in color, with the distinctive characteristics of a classic German wheat beer, I asked Victoria if she indeed had brought the right one. She allowed that she had. It was tasty, if atypical, but it did go extremely well with my Lentil Soup. 

As would the house-made bread I ordered, had it come out with the soup--which it didn't. But Victoria explained that as it was made in house, its delivery would take a bit longer. When it did come, it was totally worth the wait. It was one of those breads that you eat so much of before your meal, that you might not finish your meal at all.

You can read the history of this old pub here. That it has some haunted history as well makes it even more appealing to those whose interest in spirits goes beyond the liquid variety.

After lunch, an Alvarez in the sunny parking lot under cloudless blue skies readied me for the second half of my perambulations. There's just something very therapeutic about motorcycle riding on blacktop roads ablaze with Fall colors that seem to permeate the senses, already primed with the comforting growl of 1300 cc's. It's called Wind Therapy for a reason, and may be why you rarely, if ever, see a motorcycle parked at a psychiatrist's office. 

Unless it belongs to the doctor.

The Publick House is a lot less crowded during the week, according to Victoria, but on this day, Yogi Berra's classic comment made perfect sense: "Nobody goes there any more; it's too crowded."

Apparently, "nobody" was not familiar with it.

The PubScout

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