I must admit that I ate seafood until I grew gills. They are fading now but my memories of Ireland are not. It is a lush with sheep and cow pastures as far as the eye can see. There were roadside stands with carrots the size and length of my forearm along with an abundance of potatoes and onions. The island produces an abundance of seafood that made our mouths water. We laughed about knowing it was fresh because when we asked how big the fish and chips were the waiter said it varied depending upon the day. It was all based on the catch of the day, which for us was hake, haddock and cod.
I hope you enjoy reading about our tour as much as we enjoy being there.
Fitzpatrick Pub (Jenkinstown): This was our first experience eating in Ireland and it was definitely not a disappointment. I learned that soda is called a fizzy. I developed a taste for cider fizzies which I hope I can get in the US. We were served soda bread and butter. The bread was a different flavor than I ever had and I learned that there are many variations of soda bread. We started off with a cauldron full of muscles with a cream sauce and then split the fish and chips. The piece of cod was at least a foot long and I am so glad we split it. This place was charming, homey, cluttered and cozy.
Bushmills Tavern and Inn (Bushmills): This was one of my favorite restaurants of the whole trip. We sat outside just before the rain and were able to move to a table with an umbrella when it started to drizzle. Camille tried a 16 year old Bushmills whiskey which is made in a distillery right around the corner from the restaurant. Smooth and elegant. We started with smoked salmon. I had a seafood pie which contained mussels, haddock, and salmon in a white sauce topped with mashed potatoes and baked. Camille had the cream poached skink topped with a poached egg and side of potatoes and kale. This meal with in one of the prettiest settings and delicious.
Old Castle Bar and Grill (Donegal): Old Castle is a traditional type of restaurant right by Donegal castle. The castle is beautiful and lit up and we had a nice view of it. It’s mostly a seafood restaurant. The food was average and the setting ok. I had a seafood antipasto platter. The mussels were a bit overdone and the crab salad was heavy on condiment and light on crab. The smoked salmon was good. Donegal is not really somewhere that I would want to visit again. It’s dingy with very little to do. The one site that was interesting was the potato famine graves.
An Púcán (Galway). This is a pub in the city of Galway. I wanted to go there and go to the historic area but ended up here. Tis was a great little pub and we were able to have a meal while watching hurling. The place was full of locals and the food was terrific. We started off with potatoes with bacon and cheese appetizer. This was an interesting, different and delicious addition to the potatoes on a smear of mayonnaise. Since I really enjoy mayonnaise with my french fries, this made the dish better. I had a lamb stew which was more of a soup. I don’t eat beef or lamb, but couldn’t resist trying a traditional lamb stew. It was perfect and made me realize why I gave up lamb years ago. This was soft and tender and not the big tough mutton I’ve experienced before. We sat in a pub and watched hurling. during championship game and we followed with our smartphones in hand.
Vaughan’s Anchor Inn (Liscannor): this restaurant is down the street from the cliffs of mower visitor center. After I picked up Camille from her hike, we had it down that way. I saw a sign for Vons and a Pete my interest. We had some of the best clams I have ever had. I also had the fish and chips because the batter this restaurant is down the street from the Cliffs of more visitors Center. After I picked up Camille from her hike, we headed down to Liscannor. I saw a sign for Vaughn’s and a peaked my interest. We had some of the best clams I have ever had. I also had the fish and chips because the batter was made with a 19 years old starter. (The pictures are from Vaughans website)
The Cedar Tree (Dublin): This was one of the best meals I had in Ireland. I had gone to a restaurant around the corner and sat for 20 minutes with no service. I got up and walked around the corner and ducked in after I saw that it was Lebanese food. The menu was pretty extensive and they were a few things on there that I wasn’t quite sure about. The owners daughter was so helpful and nice as she walked me through some of the unfamiliar dishes and cooking methods. I started off with shakshuka because I’ve always wanted to try it (Youtube has a how to make videos). I choose on a chili chicken with a garlic sauce and a side of rice. Camille had a simple kebab over rice and used my chili sauce. I had the opportunity to chat with Anya and she told me that they are opening a wine and meze bar in the basement. They had pre-pandemic plans but were derailed unto now. I truly wish them the best of luck!
Pichet (Dublin): this is a charming fresh restaurant right in the heart of the temple bar district. This place is no disappointment and if you want great food, this is it. The menu is simple and can be taken two ways. There’s an à la cart menu and a prefix menu with 3this is a charming fresh restaurant right in the heart of the temple bar district. This place is no disappointment and if you want great food, this is it. The menu is simple and can be taken two ways. There’s an à la cart menu and a prefix menu with 3, 4 or 5 choices.
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