Dublin – Back at it!
Yes, I’m back at it in Dublin trying new spots and a few throwbacks! I can’t get enough of this wonderful city for two reasons: my sister lives here and people are just so darn nice. Well except for this one asshole who yelled at me and gave me the finger (or maybe I did after he yelled at me hahaha) because I had to run in the bike lane for literally one minute due to the fact that the sidewalk was jammed packed and I didn’t want to be rude pushing folks out the way. Anyway, I arrived in Dublin after four days in Amalfi Coast (I’ll tell you about that later). I needed a detox from all the pasta I devoured. And luckily, I brought my running gear to clock a lot of miles in before my marathon in May that I didn’t get to run. Dublin is a great running city because it’s flat and there’s so many areas to run, such as along the canal and at this large park called Phoenix Park. I spent most of my runs around St. Stephen’s Green — literally around and around and around. I got in a 20-mile run at Phoenix Park. Alright enough about running…let’s get to the good parts that you really give a shit about — the food!
Wishbone: I’ve been craving chicken wings for a while now, so decided to try out Wishbone as recommended by my sister. I ventured out for lunch. Walking in at first glance, the atmosphere seemed pretty cool from what I could see. There’s a bar downstairs and more seating upstairs. You can see the kitchen through a cutout with a counter and this cool dude was frying up the chicken. It was packed for the lunch periods. A bartender greeted me and I felt sorry for him because he was going to get a ton of questions from me. I couldn’t make up my mind which flavor I wanted and could tell the bartender was getting annoyed. I admit I’m difficult when ordering because I have so many damn questions. Only because if it’s not good, I’m not nice about it and you’ll see it on my face. And I’ll tell you straight up that it sucked! Anyway, I ended up ordering buffalo wings with chili jam sauce and fries as part of their lunch special for €9. It took about 20 minutes for my takeaway order which I didn’t mind because it was freshly made. The chicken was plenty and delicious; and the fries were on point! It was like I was eating a common dish from the states. Good wings are hard to find on this side of the world!
Box Burger at Eatyard: I had the pleasure of blessing Eatyard with my presence. It’s a street food venue with about 20 vendors who rotate, which range from burgers to baos. During my visit, there were about eight vendors on a Friday. There’s a bar onsite that accepts debit/credit cards, which is a plus. And I believe most of the vendors accepts debit/credit cards too. I ordered the burger meal deal for €10 from Box Burger, which includes any burger plus regular fries. My burger was the bacon cheese. It was meh, but the fries were amazing only because they politely made them crispy as I love and they were hand-cut. The meat itself was well done, which I detest. But at least the beef was 100% local and on a brioche bun. I without a doubt prefer Bunsen’s burgers. But do check out Eatyard! It’s a hip venue that I’ll check out again to try the other vendors.
Dillinger’s: I was so excited to go to Dillinger’s as I was dreaming about it since the last time I was there about a year ago. We walk in closer to 3pm and it was not as hopping as the last time. My sister ordered her usual — the Shakshouka with baked eggs, Merguez sausage, feta, Swiss chard, tomato sauce, and spinach. She said it was decent but tasted more like a Spanish dish rather than North African. The presentation wasn’t as nice as the last time. I had the chicken & waffles that was supposedly Louisiana-style spiced chicken with buttermilk waffles. So, my dish comes out and I could tell right away I was going to have something to say. The chicken batter was very dark and crispy…one would say burnt. I bit into it and almost broke a tooth or three. The chicken itself was over fried making it oober dry. The waffle itself tasted fine but was quite thin for a waffle. My mimosa was awesome, so that helped to get the dry chicken down. The staff could tell I wasn’t too happy with my meal because of my facial expression and the chunks of dry chicken I left on the plate. They were quite friendly and empathetic about it and apologized on behalf of the chef. This visit was a let-down and I’ll have to remove it from my must-visit list for Dublin. It may have just been an off-day…good luck to the future visitors of this establishment. Maybe you’ll have a better meal!
3fe Coffee: Besides having a cool logo, 3fe has great food and fine coffee. The vibe of the café is hipster chick, with tall tables inside and seating outside for those sunny days (hehehe very few of those). You walk into cool folks behind the counter and not to mention a sweet and attentive barista (at the time I was there). Okay well the entire staff is very helpful and attentive. I wanted a dish off the lunch menu, but we were about 30-40 minutes early. So, I ordered a big fruit scone that was staring at me hard in the face with clotted cream and jam and an Americano. My sister ordered scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with greens, parmesan, and sunflower seed pesto. My scone was amazing, especially with the cream. Before my cream could run out, I was brought another. From then on, I fell in love with 3fe. About 5 minutes before noon, I ordered to-go Bang Bang Chicken, which is a veggie salad with noodles and bang bang sauce. As soon as we arrived home, I ripped open the box and dug straight into that salad! It was one of the best salads I’ve eaten from a restaurant (which I do not do often because I love meat but this had chicken so I was good). Next time I’ll try the braised lamb and the green eggs and ham (Um yes both because I’m greedy). I love how simple the menu is for breakfast, lunch, and brunch. This makes it much easier for my picky ass to not take hours to figure out what to devour. I think it’s obvious you must give this place a visit! And by the way, 3fe stands for Third Floor Espresso from when the creator first started serving coffee back in 2009 from the lobby of the Twisted Pepper nightclub.
Dublin Pizza Company: I was very excited to check this place out. I even got there six minutes before opening and the chef served me anyway. He could see the desperation in my eyes to eat his pizza…hahahaha! He was very helpful in describing the options, but of course, it took me awhile to pick something. Then I just asked what’s close to a pepperoni pizza because I was too HANGRY to think creatively. He was so patient with me and suggested the DPC. The DPC has tomato, West Cork mozzarella, basil, and Dingle Whiskey cured salami. Oh and I was able to get the student special (I think it was €9 for a pizza and drink) with my lovely young face. He asked and I said yes and technically I am a student. I ran back to the flat to swallow this great smelling woodfired pizza. It was to die for. It was gone in minutes…even burned the roof of my mouth. When that happens, it means I enjoyed it plenty! So if you need a good pizza fix, get your butt to Dublin Pizza Co.
Avoca: This is a really neat store…well the basement floor at least. Guess why? That’s where all the great food is. As soon as you get to the bottom of the stairs, to the left there is food and to the right there is food and in front more food. But my eyes were fixated on the donuts to the right of me. We purchased two vanilla custard-filled and a salted caramel-filled. Other baked goodies included gourmet cookies, brownies, bars of yumminess, cakes, croissants, and rice krispie squares covered in chocolate. The salted caramel donut was a bit too salty and the custard filled was pretty good. Two days later I went back looking for more donuts and to my sad surprise they didn’t have them. I ended up getting a slice of the lemon polenta cake, which was divine lemony goodness, not too sweet, and moist.
Moro Kitchen by Dada: I decided to try this spot out after passing it a few times. I think it’s fairly new as I don’t recall it from my last visit. Moro is a very cute restaurant with interesting décor and friendly staff. The menu is based on street food from northern Africa and their claim is healthy and fresh recipes. I had a falafel wrap with hummus, Moro slaw, pickles, Moroccan salad, tahini and a chicken skewer. The wrap was tasty but not flavorful, if that makes sense. The falafel and chicken were moist. I wouldn’t run back to this place any time soon. If I had to rate it out of 5 stars, it would get a 3 for freshness and nice atmosphere.
The Rolling Donut: This joint is rolling in the dough! And that’s no joke! The place filled up quickly with what seemed like mostly tourists or newbies oooing and awwing at the rows and rows of sourdough donuts that wrapped around the store. They also serve drinks from what I can remember. The donuts are €3 per donut or 3 for €8 and so on. I purchased a lemon curd filled donut and a “Boston” cream donut filled with vanilla custard. So as some of you may or may not know, I am a donut connoisseur. Therefore, I am very meticulous about the kind, origin, and how they are made. These look nice, not greasy, and plump, which are plusses. But they were barely filled with the filling. They are literally all sourdough with a dab of filler. Okay I may be exaggerating a tad, but seriously there wasn’t enough ooze of the filling when I bit into it. That is my only complaint. If I’m going to eat a lot of calories, I want to eat all the bad that comes with it…meaning pump that donut with a ton of filling!!! If you like more dough in your life, then this is your spot. If I do bless them with my appearance, I’ll just get a plain donut because I do have a thing for sourdough.
M&L Chinese: M&L Chinese is like your typical Chinese restaurant with your typical meal options. The restaurant is huge with plenty of seating space, especially for large parties. We ordered steamed beef dumplings to start with and they were quite delicious. This was my first experience with beef dumplings and I do not regret it. I have to say this was probably the star dish of the night. We ordered the house special (includes the usual variety of pork, chicken, shrimp, and beef) in the hot & spicy sauce and deep fried sea bass in sweet & sour sauce. The fried fish was doused in the sweet & sour sauce. I wouldn’t say this restaurant is a must try, but if you are craving Chinese in Dublin it is worth a visit.
The Butcher Grill: I’ll just start by saying what you all want to know. Yes, go there if you desire a decent steak! We ordered the 24oz Côte De Bœuf with smoky beans and onion rings, which serves two and is €50 on Mondays and Tuesdays. The smoky beans are black eyed peas with smoked bacon. We added the grilled purple broccoli with hazelnut dressing and house fries because we are greedy like that. The steak was succulent, tasty, and made to order – medium rare. The fries were nothing to write home about (hehehe) but decent enough. The broccoli was tasty, as well as the smoky beans. I’m not really a fan of black eyed peas because of having to eat them growing up (my siblings can attest to that), but I got over that quick when I tasted these suckers. YUM! It is a smallish-medium-sized restaurant, so make sure you make a reservation so you do not miss out.
Arisu Sushi and BBQ Korean Restaurant: Now this is the first I’ve been to an establishment that serves Korean BBQ and sushi. But I rolled with it! The place was the usual Asian restaurant with smiley staff. We ordered the Bulgogi beef marinated in soy sauce for our BBQ which came with the common sides at a Korean BBQ spot. We also ordered for each of us the Dol-sot Bibim-Bap—soy marinated beef, kimchi, mushrooms, carrots, radish, and courgettes topped with raw egg and seaweed flakes on a bed of rice. The beef was flavorful and moist. The Bibim-Bap needed more meat, so good thing we ordered the BBQ first to add to the bowl. I’ll have to return to try the other meats to really judge the place, but I’d say it’s worth a try…just don’t hold me to it.
Two Boys Brew: Walking into this spot, I knew it was going to be either really bad or really f-ing good. It was really f-ing good! Sorry Dillinger’s, I have a new brunch spot (for now). The place looks like and has the typical hipster vibe. This day was busy but we were seated within 15-20 minutes. There aren’t too many options, which makes it easier for me to choose something because we all know I can be a pain in the ass. The one thing that stood out was the beef tongue eggs benedict. We tried ordering two for the table, but there was only one left. I was heartbroken and you could tell on my face hahaha. I attempted to order something else but I was too hurt to make a decision. And of course my sister was getting annoyed with me. Anyway I chose the hotcake with a side of bacon. Both dishes look absolutely yummy and weird at the same time. The hotcake didn’t look like what I expected and neither did the eggs benny. We split each plate so I could have the chance to eat the eggs benny and not be miserable during the entire meal annoying my sister to death. Everything was amazing down to the bacon morsels left in the bowl! Get there early for brunch so you don’t miss out on the popular dish(es) on the menu. And if they serve that beef tongue benny, someone PLEASE let me know. I want my own damn plate next time!
Ice cream shops: I checked out two ice cream shops – Murphy’s Handmade in Dingle and Scoop Ranelagh. Scoop serves gelato and other fun gelato concoctions. I had my favorite two scoops of mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone. It was creamy goodness! Murphy’s serves ice cream with interesting flavors. The flavors had cool names to hide the boringness and the ice cream itself was alright; not as creamy and rich as I prefer it and as they claim. I think I had something chocolate in a cup that obviously wasn’t memorable. Unfortunately for ice cream shops, I always compare them to Amy’s Ice Creams located in Austin originally, Houston, and most recently San Antonio. Amy’s is the best ice cream E-V-E-R!