Our Bloggers Recommend post comes to you today courtesy of the lovely Deirdre from theFood.ie – a delightful Irish food blog with a special focus on delicious baked treats.
TheFood.ie’s Favourite Cheap Eats
Eden, Meeting House Square
I love a fancy meal out although have to admit that I hadn’t been out for dinner for a fancy meal in a few months until I realised that I was singlehandedly bringing the economy down around me last week. So off I went to Eden as I remembered that they used to have really good value early birds. Their early bird is only from 6 until 7 in the evening so its a bit of a rush in if you don’t work in town but well worth the stress and a brilliant reason to down a cocktail (definitely to be recommended although will probably help blow your budget) when you get there. Normally a main course in Eden is around the €30 mark so three courses for €29 is fantastic value. The food and service is excellent and you almost feel like you are in another country looking out at the lovely Meeting House Square (assuming that is its not bucketing down like it was on the Thursday I was there). The early bird menu changes with the seasons and is available on their website. If I said the pork belly starter was to die for then the cherry chocolate cake definitely was my pathway straight to heaven (think I must have had cheese for the starter after that line).
Piedescalso Art Cafe, Thomas Street.
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and worth a treat the odd weekend. I almost feel bad recommending this place in case I don’t get a seat the next time I desperately need an amazing breakfast on a Saturday (its not open Sundays) but would hate to see it not recognised. Their KO Breakfast is great value at €8.70 and bigger than any breakfast I have seen anywhere else which comes with the thickest slices of homemade toast I have seen. The french toast at €6.50 is equally fantastic and enormous and served with a bath of maple syrup. Their menu used to offer free hugs which is often something you might feel like on leaving as the staff are so lovely and the place so perfectly chilled out. I’ve been meaning to try the tiramisu as everyone raves about it but so far haven’t been able to make it through breakfast!
I agree with the bloggers before me who have lamented the lack of good Lebanese food around town. Byblos is the sit down solution and is great if you’re going for a group for food. The hot and cold starters (3 between 2 will do you for a meal) all come in at less than €10. The Hommos is great and Falafel yummy. I’d stick away from the Mezze plates if you’re in a group – you’re better off just getting a load of the dishes yourself. Saturday nights they have a belly dancer!
It’s not cheap for a burger when compared to McDonalds but unlike McDonalds you will be rubbing your full belly with glee after eating them. There’s loads of choice of toppings here and of burgers including two chicken, two veggie and one fish burger and there’s a good atmosphere (although you’re probably not going to want to bring along an elderly relative who doesnt like loud music). This place recently knocked Chapter One from the top spot on the Dubliner 100 and has been a bit tough to get a seat in since but is definitely worth the wait.
Madina Desi Curry House
I was delighted to see Maman Poulet mention this place a few weeks ago as it is one of my favourites too. There aren’t too many, if any places around Dublin where you can get good authentic Indian food for around a tenner and you rarely see Indians in any of those places anyway. The food here is great and the service quick so you have plenty of time if you’re on the way to the cinema. I recommend the Dosas (the only place you’ll find them in Ireland) – it took me 3 visits before I plucked up the courage to ask for what the group at the table beside me and half the rest of the people there were having. I would also recommend the Chicken Tikka as its very succulent and tasty.
How is it that there are so few places around Dublin for a good coffee and slice of cake? It’s even nearly impossible to get a nice birthday cake for someone if you’re not into baking yourself. My ideal Dublin would have far more Leons and Cake Cafes; as it is these places are always packed at the weekends so there must be the demand? I would also love to see more bakeries and artisan breads.