Here are few quick recommendations for places to grab lunch, as captured in recent weeks by my phonecam.
A CityDeal led us to Fafie’s Creperie on Lower Kevin Street (along with every other patron on a recent Sunday near the voucher expiry date). I’m so glad it did. Fafie’s makes Brittany-style buckwheat galettes which are nuttier and heartier than the um, non-buckwheat variety. My crepe with Emmental cheese, ham, organic spinach and sundried tomato was delicious–the spinach and cheese are such a perfect pair and worked well with the nutty crepe. Bill had the Montagnard, an impressive sounding galette with Reblochon cheese and bacon lardons. A rich mouthful indeed, which really needed the nutty flavor of the crepe. (I am at a loss for a synonym for nutty.)
Fafie’s is a cozy and pleasant place, which will serve you dessert crepes even if you’ve just eaten a savory galette. Can you eat both in one meal? I asked. Why not, I was told, it’s Sunday. And so I can assure you that the Caramel Breton and Chocolate and Pear crepes are also delish.
If you’re going to pay upwards of €11.00 for a burger, and in Dublin chances are that you will, it may as well be a good one. I was surprised in my early Irish days that I didn’t like many burgers in Dublin, and have determined the problem is typically the burger patty itself. The trend in Ireland is to use a very low fat mince which creates hard, on-the-dry-side burgers. (This problem also extends to meatballs.) Bill has the butcher grind mince from rib steak/chuck, as the mince on sale maxes out at 10% fat.
Now, about that lunch. The Counter on Suffolk street serves soft and juicy burgers, but we were most impressed by the available toppings, including roasted green chiles. You can build a really tasty burger. Go for the sweet potato fries; the regular fries are so-so. And don’t get too excited when they bring you a decent-sized diet coke with a lemon. You’re still in the land of no refills.
If you can rein in your options and choose one of the set Signature Burgers, a burger and a drink is around €8.00. A great lunch deal.
While not exactly handy to Dublin City Centre, La Cucina is absolutely convenient and worth a stop if you are anywhere near Limerick. On our way to Dingle last month we saw some tweets from icanhascook about stopping by, so I used my fancy phone to look up the location and determine we would be in the vicinity right at lunchtime. Since we were on the road, we popped in for a couple ciabatta sandwiches to go: the grigliatia with roasted peppers and aubergines/eggplant, mozzarella, rocket/arugula and pesto (pictured); and the salumi with parma ham, salami, and buffalo mozzarella. Yum. Terrific sandwiches–a steal at €5.00. In addition to loads of lovely sandwiches, La Cucina serves pizza (I’m still regretting not getting a slice for “starter”) and pasta with tantalizing ingredients. We’ll be visiting the next time we’re nearby, even if it isn’t lunchtime!