Lollipops and whiskey at Dougherty's

I was at Dougherty's the night that chef R.J. Van Stockum was adding Irish Leprechaun Lollipops to the menu. Lucky Leprechaun Lollipops. Irish Lollipops. The name had not yet been decided, but the prep had: a wad of Irish cheddar wrapped in prosciutto, cooked and stuck on the end of a breadstick.  We demolished two plates of the perfect, pure guilty pleasure of melty cheese wrapped in ham.  Nothing good for you about them, but definitely nothing bad, either.  I waddled over to Van Stockum on the patio to talk about the lollipops and soon heard about the pea soup he'd been working on all day, laboring over, building up from the basic blocks.

"How many of you are there?" he asked.  "Let me send you over some."

Dougherty's, which I review in this week's Westword, is a half-Irish pub/restaurant and total neighborhood bar -- a bar any neighborhood would be lucky to have. It's located at 5 East Ellsworth Avenue, about ten blocks away from the Fainting Goat, another half-Irish joint at 846 Broadway that I also write about this week.

Between visits to those two local polestars, I tried a different kind of neighborhood joint: Pho-Yo, a combination pho shop and frozen yogurt stand that just opened in Aurora, and is so much better than such a simple description makes it sound that you'll just have to read all about it to understand.

Which you can do tomorrow, right here at www.westword.com, or out on the street holding a newspaper in your sweaty little hands, just like god and R.W. "Johnny" Apple intended.

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