Let’s see how good Irish cuisine really is… with Colin Sweetman

With so many people telling me they think I have a meditterrainean complexion, I reckoned I was the best person in the otwo office to examine whether our cuisine is really for the foreign pallet.

Gallagher’s Boxty House, located in Temple Bar, is a place for Oirish-American tourists to get back to their questionable roots, with its wooden (but comfortable) furniture, the backing track of Irish traditional music, and its apparent lack of foreign staff (which is vital for that all-Irish setting).

For these reasons, any Dubliner would automatically know that Gallagher’s is specifically catering to eaters of a non-Dublin origin. So, being shown our tables by the tremendously polite waiters and waitresses, we took our seat to dinner on a post-Paddy’s Day evening.

The proof of the staff’s politeness is in the pudding. I overheard some Americans sitting beside us say, “Excuse me waitress, what’s that Oirish drink that young man is drinking? Can we have some of that?” “Ehm, yes, it’s Heineken. I’ll bring some right away,” was her response. I know if was working there at that time, there would be no possible way I could refrain from laughing. So to me, that’s good service.

For starters, myself and partner-in-crime/roommate-to-whom-I-owed-a-dinner ordered Soup of the Day and potato cakes – the latter being something I am particularly good at eating. Needless to say, they were extremely tasty – the only problem being that there weren’t enough of them. Soup was good too.

The main course had to have been one of the strangest meals my eyes have seen. Imagine a pancake wrapped around beef steak, covered in gravy. I’ve eaten ham wrapped around fudge before, but this topped the lot. For the most part, I thought it was tasty and flavoursome, but towards the end I eventually admitted defeat because there was simply too much. Again, my date ordered the salmon, the verdict of which I still need to get, but I remember eyeing it thinking, “I’d love that piece of fish right now.”

Dessert was similarly delicious and whoever made it should be beatified. The important thing to remember is that this is the Irish way of doing food. Although strange at first, you should get used to it. I prefer coddle, but went out on the limb and ordered boxty… I’ll know in future though.

Soup – €4.50

Potato Cakes – €6.95

Beef Boxty – €14.95

Salmon – €16.95

Gallagher’s Boxty House, 20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2 – (01) 677 2762.www.boxtyhouse.ie

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