Most Authentic British Pub 

Schmidt's Tobacco Trading Co. & Pub

If you can't make it to the Eagle and Child in Oxford, take a trip to what most people simply call "The Pub" on Solano Avenue. Walk up the stairs and through the front door and you'll enter what appears to be a lounge room (and is, in fact, as the pub is located in a house), complete with oak floors and tables, small library lamps, and comfy, if a bit threadbare, couches. In California, where smoking in public places is a crime, Schmidt's sells more than fourteen blends of tobacco -- including an American blend -- and a healthy selection of pipes, lighters, and cigarette holders. A small card advertises "roll your own cigarettes" for 35 cents. Tap beers include Bass, Fullers, ESB, Guinness, Boddingtons, and Harp, and if you ask for a pint, the bartender wonders whether you would like American (500 milliliters) or imperial (600 ml). If you ask for a half-pint, the owner just might give you a pint glass that is three-quarters full. Here, bartenders wash the glasses by hand, guests gather on the back porch for a smoke, and old English beer trays decorate the walls. If you're feeling nostalgic -- or homesick -- peruse the house selection of Monty Python's Flying Circus videos before heading back to California through the inevitable cloud of roll-your-own smoke on the front porch.

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