For over three years now, I’ve politely declined when people suggested eating in Gruel, on Dublin’s Dame St. I’d been put off by some shockingly bad service and vowed never to return.
But the word of mouth mill won’t stop going on about how great Gruel is, so I thought it was time to try again. Jean and I went for a working lunch there last week and it was excellent value.
Jean’s Cajun seafood stew (€7) was a big, hearty, and filling meal. I had the lunch special – a half sandwich and half bowl of soup for just €6.40. Gruel are famous for their lovely roasts in a roll, and my salt beef was as delicious as the reports said. The tomato soup was very good: chunky, fresh, and more like a stew. Gruel’s half and half offer is very substantial; despite being an absolute pig, I only needed a small dinner later.
Ah Gruel, welcome back to my life. Please don’t let me down.
Friday 14 August, 2009 at 4:51 pm
Has anyone ever tried sitting downstairs in Gruel? It smells like the inside of a fake leg.
Friday 14 August, 2009 at 5:33 pm
How would one know what the inside of a… oh never mind. I went to Gruel once. Delicious food, terrible service. So utterly terrible. Ugh. Still, nice food but I didn’t tip.
Friday 14 August, 2009 at 7:39 pm
Ah yes, I should have added that I was upstairs, and ordered from the counter – so I didn’t encounter the service this time. Wonder if it has improved?
Saturday 15 August, 2009 at 11:10 am
I’ve been eating in Gruel regularly for the past three years and have never encountered this mythical bad service. At lunch you can only order from the counter and your food is brought out to you. I don’t really see where there is much of an opportunity for bad service with this arrangement. Dinner is different of course.
Anyway, the fact is that the food is consistently excellent in Gruel and if the atmosphere suits you, it is a very deserving addition to your lunch repertoire. Don’t forget to try the excellent sticky cinnamon buns and the Illy espressos are among the best I’ve had in Dublin.
Monday 17 August, 2009 at 9:22 am
Sarah has just revealed herself as really being Paul McCartney!
Gruel make the best brownies in the world; slightly bitter with walnuts, just how I like em.
Is Gruel still associated with the Mermaid Cafe? If so that may explain the bad service. I have eaten in the Mermaid Cafe twice and both time have only paid for the wine as the service was that bad!
Sunday 6 September, 2009 at 3:28 pm
Love the food in Gruel too, but the bad service completely put me off – found the staff among the rudest I’ve ever encountered, was so incensed after one incident that I went back in and complained, apparently they hadn’t realised they were being rude. This was a couple of years ago tho, so might have to give it another go!.
Wednesday 21 October, 2009 at 2:59 pm
Just had the “half & half” lunch deal in Gruel and it was great! I used to eat there regularly but the rude staff & the compulsory service charge put me off. I am stuffed to the point of sickness with a yummy spinachy soup & a mustardy gammon roast in a roll. The staff have had an attitude makeover too. Delighted I can now put Gruel back on my list of eating options!
Thursday 23 September, 2010 at 3:38 pm
[deleted for trolling]