BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR--ST. PAUL - 2000
The Dubliner is a spacious, unpretentious Irish pub populated by neighborhood regulars and Irish expatriates. When there isn't live Irish music being performed on a small platform across the room from the long, wooden bar, you can hear the expats jawing away their workaday woes or reminiscing about the old country. Couples usually huddle at tables near a picture window looking out on University Avenue, picking at baskets of free popcorn. Blue-collar folks and college students smoke and sip while throwing darts in the back. The regular bartender--a laid-back lad, comely as a young Van Morrison--pulls the best pint of Guinness in the metro ($3.75); just a tad colder than room temp, its rolling head thick and chocolatey, the carbonation perfectly calibrated. He also mixes a mean snakebite ($4), just in case that Irish whiskey is a wee bit strong.