Thursday 21 November, 2013
We all have our own weird Christmas food traditions. Mine is cream soda, a vile fizzy drink that makes me nauseous any other day of the year but somehow seems like honey from heaven on Christmas day. And we all heartily consume Christmas pudding, a stodgy and sticky and plodding lump of a dessert that would be a slap in the face if served outside the festive season, but bewitches us with deliciousness during it.
My sister has a Christmas craving for Miracle Whip. Remember Miracle Whip? Made by food giant Kraft, it’s kind of like mayonnaise in consistency and contains almost identical ingredients, but it is much sweeter and tastes a bit like salad cream (bleurgh). My dad, who puts a lot of effort into making Christmas perfect, is desperately trying to get his hands on this Kraft product so my sister can have it with her smoked salmon starter. He’s tried all the local supermarkets, to no avail, and now he’s even considering buying it from Amazon (who knew that Amazon sells third-rate salad cream?), but this is an expensive option.
It seems Irish supermarkets have stopped selling it. Has anyone seen Miracle Whip anywhere? And what peculiar foods and drinks do you associate with Christmas?
Wednesday 20 November, 2013
Special offers at Aldi
Special offers at Centra*
Special offers at Dunnes
Special offers at Lidl
Special offers at Londis*
Special offers at Mace
Special offers at Spar
Special offers at Superquinn(click on the “value instore” tab for the latest offers)
Special offers at SuperValu*
Special offers at Tesco
*Offers available in participating stores only
Monday 18 November, 2013
Ballsbridge, in the heart of Dublin 4, is an affluent area with fancy houses, and thousands of office workers looking for lunch every Monday to Friday. But until relatively recent times, it was crying out for as much as a decent sandwich. Roly’s Cafe and Bistro is a prominent option, but there’s a much better deal to be found.
Last week, I met my sister in Ballsbridge on her one-hour lunch-break. She took me to the Baan Thai, situated above a row of shops near the American embassy.
The small, relatively dark space was packed, but we were served very quickly, and the food arrived within a few minutes. It was, as my slightly smug sister had proclaimed, extremely impressive for the €7.50 price tag.
We both chose Ginger Chicken, which came with plenty of rice. Thai food is often, frustratingly, toned down for the Irish palate, but Baan Thai – I’ve also eaten in the Leopardstown branch – is definitely one of the more authentic Thai restaurants in Ireland. We were both struck by the freshness of the ingredients, the clear but not overpowering ginger and soy flavours, and the generous portion sizes. We were fed and watered within an hour – so crucial at lunchtime – and both agreed that we will happily return.
Next time, I might try the curry. Recently, I had a Thai green curry in Koh, and felt as though I was drowning in a salty ocean, so I have higher hopes for Baan Thai’s effort.
Monday 18 November, 2013
In today’s Irish Times Pricewatch I, along with Joanne Cronin from the excellent Stitch and Bear blog, highlight the difficulty of getting cheap eats outside Dublin. Yes, says Joanne, there are gems out there, but they are the exception rather the norm.
The article includes recommendations for the best cheap eats in Ireland, with contributions from various bloggers, including David Meredith of eatforafiver.com, Billy Lyons of corkbilly.com, and Aoife Cox of The Daily Spud.
Get on over to The Irish Times and add your own suggestions to the list.
Wednesday 13 November, 2013
Cork has the English Market. The closest thing we have is Fallon and Byrne, the food emporium on Exchequer Street which also happens to do one of the best lunch and dinner deals in Dublin.
Today, from 4-9pm, Fallon & Byrne host their annual Christmas extravaganza. It’s a chance to meet producers, sample lots of food and wine, and get a sneak preview of new food products. F&B chefs will also be giving out samples of house products, such as F&B’s own house pudding, and there will be tips from head butcher Brett on how to cook your Christmas meats.
- Second Floor, Fallon & Byrne, 11-17 Exchequer Street, 4-9pm