Part III: Dublin, Ireland – FEED ME PLEASE
January 20, 2013
January 20, 2013
Know me – know this: I love to eat. I like good food. I’ll plot my days around a meal, fasting so I’m able to gorge myself even more when the time comes.
Also, it’s an ongoing fact in the family that if I don’t get fed, I’ll throw a rager pretty damn fast. Seriously, cue Sybil.
This is generally what I look like after I eat a meal. Really note the candy cigarette.
So it makes a lot of sense that the first hushed argument my husband and I had in Dublin revolved around food. We arrived on December 26th, St. Stephens Day, a holiday that pretty much shuts down the city. Starved, we ventured around and around seeking the perfect meal. When we made it to the Temple Bar area my husband was shocked at the prices.
“$28 for fish and chips?” he had griped, dragging me to the next restaurant menu.
“We keep passing all these beautiful food places. I don’t want any more walking!” I had wailed in response.
We couldn’t decide. We stumbled along bitching at each other until we found THE Temple Bar.
There at the Temple Bar I broke a sweat eating my first meal in Ireland. A corned beef sandwich with red onion and brie.
Enduring angry starvation for this sandwich was well worth it. Which brings me to my next point. I love food, but I’m a food snob. I want to eat meals that are worth the goddamn calories. Therefore, I scoured the city of Dublin for the best places to grab a bite and this is what I found…
I squealed with delight when I found this restaurant. Why, you ask? Because it’s a combo-restaurant AND bookstore. “Named after the Yeats poem, and in honour of its winding staircase…”
The food is locally sourced and not typical Irish cuisine. What I so admired about Ireland is that any locally sourced product was noted on the menu and the farm name was given. The Winding Stair was cozy, intimate and overlooked the quay. To start the meal, we ordered this appetizer: Burren smokery, Terry Butterly, Stephen Kavanagh and John Rogan’s smoked fish plate with our Dillisk bread, crème fraîche, pickled cucumbers and caper-berries.
For our entrees, I ordered venison (in typical Montana fashion) and my husband ordered duck and both were prepared perfectly. I highly recommend this quaint restaurant and great food. I cannot recommend the Instagram photos I took of our entrees and therefore no horrid photos are to follow.
And then the bookstore. It’s the oldest surviving independent bookshops in Dublin. Sigh. What can I say? I went back three times.
This is a restaurant that prides itself on local and organic food and ingredients. On Dawson Street in Dublin, the atmosphere and décor of The Farm was adorable. We ordered from the prix-fixe menu, getting an appetizer, entrée and dessert for approx $50 per person.
The food was good. Not great. It was healthy and tasty but underwhelming for what I expected. However, the service was impeccable and the atmosphere worth it. There was even a buzzer on the table to call for service. THAT is superb.
Yes to all of these.
The greatest find on my restaurant list was this boutique restaurant group that owned four concepts in Dublin. My husband and I dined at three of these.
Crackbird is one of the best names and logos I’ve ever seen in my life.
Serving up delicious wings and sides were the main pros of this restaurant. The cons were the awful 1999-circa Madonna music piped through the place and the out-of-place Asian décor. That said, it was still delicious. I’d eat the face off their chicken any day.
I hunted everywhere for Jo Burger. Finally I found it on Grafton Street.
Their menu is fabulous.
You choose your meat, your bun and your toppings. The pairings are astounding. Caramelized chili banana, bacon & goats cheese? Uh, yes please. Or maybe you prefer Green Thai Curry Mayo, Coriander & Chilli?
Whatever you want, Jo Burger has it.
And it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.
My husband and I stumbled out in ecstasy.
Skinflint, sounding more like a skin tag condition than a restaurant, was located in a narrow alleyway.
Again, like Jo Burger, their menu served up delicious, thin-crust pizzas with insane toppings.
All the pizzas were named after women, making me feel slightly awkward as I ordered. “I’ll have the Dorothy. Ahem. Not like that. The pizza.”
And let me tell you, I ate the shit outta that pizza.
I know. I KNOW.
On O’Connell Street where our hotel was, there were two Burger Kings and two McDonald’s Our first day in Dublin, my husband and I scoffed at all the silly fools eating at these American chains. But night soon fell. It got late. We were slightly tipsy. It was St Stephen’s Day and nothing was open.
We succumbed to McDonald’s. Slinking in, I made my husband order a Quarter Pounder. We ate fast and then bolted.
Another night, traipsing home from Temple Bar we made a Burger King pit stop.
And a few days later, getting back from bar hopping on New Year’s Eve, my first meal of 2013 was eating McDonalds on top of my hotel bed wearing nothing but my socks and underwear.
The lesson learned is that fast food overseas is convenient in a drunken pinch.
A few lessons learned on this dining extravaganza…
And so, this concludes my Ireland Trilogy. I’ll always remember it. I’ll always taste that fresh Guinness in my mouth. And most importantly, I’ll always have a fond appreciation for bartenders warning me against Romanian gypsies.