Hi, we're doing the "Best of Ireland in 8 Days" and would like to know if there are any "don't miss" foods or Irish specialties we should try. What was your favorite?
Fish n chips in Dublin at Leo Burdock. Goggle it, there are a few places around the city.
Sorry don't know the proper name , but we loved the tiny whole fried fish, they are served like a pile of french fries .
I think you will find the typical array of "pub grub" fairly common, Shepard's pie, meat and potato dishes, Irish Stew, Colcannon, if you are lucky a Boxty, sort of a potato pancake used for a wrap or with items served on it. I would also not overlook Lamb and Seafood. Seafood would include not only fish, but also mussels, cockles, and oysters.
Just forget about the Corned Beef, you might actually see salt beef, about the same, but lots of other options.
At the Old Ground Hotel (your first hotel) don't miss an opportunity to eat at the Poets Corner pub that is attached to the hotel. We ate there on our arrival day, so maybe the food just tasted better because we were so happy to have arrived, settled into our room and be awaiting the RS tour. We ordered an appetizer to share- giant mushrooms stuffed with Brie, covered in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. I had a chicken dish that was the daily special with a "Hibernia" sauce which was not quite Hollandaise and Bearnaise, but just as delicious. My husband had a spicy shrimp dish. Both were delicious. We had a couple of cold pints as well. Yum, yum, yum. This place was jammed and it was NOT with hotel guests but with locals. We put our name in and then waited in the hotel lobby. Sure enough the "guy in charge" came out to the lobby to find us. It should be noted that open container laws are very different than in the US. We saw lots of people waiting for tables get themselves something to drink from the bar and then sit in either the lobby or the courtyard outside enjoying their beverages before being called into dinner.
In Dublin we really like the Italian Connection. It was just a few blocks away from the hotel we stayed at (Cassidy's). We really disliked our hotel, but we loved this tiny restaurant. We had wonderful appetizers, a bottle of Prosecco, memorable entrees (my husband's chicken with lemon cream sauce was the best) and delicious desserts. We were just ready for something other than "Irish" food. (I love potatoes, but having two or three different kinds as side dishes simply warranted a change of pace.) Our waitress was lovely and from Moldova, so we had a great conversation about who had the better wine- our home of California or her home. She told us they save the good wine for themselves and don't export it. :)
Lovely experience all around.
When are you going on the Heart of Ireland tour? I'm signed up for the 9/03 - 9/10 dates.
Oh I just forgot the best thing I ate in Ireland ( two visits ) was a fish pie !! I know it sounds boring but it was so creamy and good , topped with mashed potatoes ! Seriously I know I know , but trust me , so delicious!
My first Sticky Toffe Pudding was in Westport. It was so delicious. It's date cake with caramel sauce.
I believe it is from England and I have since had it there too but I'll always remember that first one in Ireland.
Pat, I believe you are describing smelts.
I think having a good taste of traditional Irish food is a big part of your tour and I enjoyed it. However, Ireland is also bursting with innovative chefs. I can't remember the restaurant, but somewhere in the Temple Bar I had Bangers and Mash. Traditional you say? Well the Bangers were venison, the mash was coddle, and the sauce was mushroom and red wine gravy. My point, I love the traditional food, but there is a lot of good innovation going on too! (Loved some of the seafood chowders!)
Thanks everyone for your feedback. Sounds like there are a lot of good seafood dishes in addition to fish and chips. We're open to trying new things. Really looking forward to our trip in June!
I found my way into Sheridan's Cheesemongers -- http://sheridanscheesemongers.com
Fish and chips and Guinness stew at Brannigan's Pub in Dublin. And of course with a pint or glass of Guinness! ( I had them add Ribena to my glass of Guinness to cut the bitter a bit). On Cathedral Street right off O'Connell St. Inexpensive meal, good service and close to Cassidy's where we stayed on the 8 day tour. On the tour my husband tried beef cheek and pork belly and loved them both. Pretty high praise from a man who ate hamburgers every day we visited England in previous years--he only had 1 burger the whole time we were in Ireland!
Pat, the fish you describe are whitebait.
Recalling the best foods during my last trip to Ireland...oddly, soda bread and more predictably fish and chips.