Ireland, Ireland, Ireland.... & Famous Restaurants (Part I)

So, if you've read my earlier blog or know me... you realize how long I have been planning to make a trip to Ireland. I realized it would be fitting to research some of Ireland's best restaurants and plan accordingly. The food is the best part of ANY vacation in my opinion....

So, I shall start off in Dublin County

When I think of Ireland, I think of Dublin. Its' name is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning "black pool"). The common name for the city in modern Irish is Baile Átha Cliath (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"). Dublin is the center of Ireland's economic growth and is a historic city to say the least. Dublin has many landmarks and monuments dating back hundreds of years. One of the oldest is Dublin Castle, which was first founded as a major defensive work on the orders of King John of England in 1204. The founding of the Guinness Brewery also originated in Dublin. The Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Independence, and Irish Civil War resulted in a significant amount of physical destruction to the city. Dublin is the main hub of the country's transportation system and is a HUGE shopping district for the Irish and tourists alike.

Gallagher's Boxty House seems to be a must see while in Dublin. "Gallagher's Boxty House is the true home of traditional Irish food. Located in the heart of Temple Bar, Dublin's "left bank, we have been serving the finest Irish cuisine since 1988. Our philsophy is simple... "Bia, Caint, Ceol agus Craic!" This translates to "Food, Talk, Music and Fun!" We deliver this by serving top quality produce in a manner that emphasises the renowed Irish howpitality.

Gallagher’s Boxty House is the brainchild of Padraic Og Gallagher, a native of Mohill, County Leitrim.
While working in Venezuela in the early 1980’s, Padraic Og observed the Syrians that he worked with practising their native home-cooking, preparing pittas and koftas. It reminded him of home-cooked food that his mother used to prepare when he was a child, particularly Boxty. He vowed that when he returned to Ireland he would set up his own restaurant and share his favourite food with the people of Dublin and its visitors. True to his word, Gallagher’s Boxty House was incorporated in 1988, and opened its doors at Number 20, Temple Bar in February 1989. It became an instant success!

Bacon & Cabble Boxty ("Pancake")
Fish & Chips
Ice Cream made in Kilkenny on the Brennan brother's family farm
The "Full" Irish Breakfast
Bread & Butter Pudding (YUM!!!!)
On top of the wonderful traditional food selections, they offer a full bar and liqour selection and live music!!

Now onto the lovely Abbey Tavern...

The Abbey Tavern offers a more casual atmosphere in their old world pub and a more upscale dining experience in their Loft Bar & Grill.

"Our Pub is one of the oldest in Ireland and is the ideal place for lunch or a light evening meal or just to relax with friends. Yes, in case you are wondering, the turf fires still blaze so a unique atmosphere awaits you. Our new bar menu offers options to suit most tastes including a new kids menu."

"The Loft Bar & Grill is our exciting new restaurant. Totally refurbished in 2008, it retains its old world charm and unique atmosphere and specialises in getting the very best from locally-sourced produce."

The Pub
The Loft Restaurant
One special thing about Abbey Tavern & The Loft is that four nights a week they offer Traditional Irish Night where traditional irish musicians and dancers perform. They also serve traditional food on these nights such as cream of leek and potato soup, silverside of corned beer, boiled potatos and cabbage, poached darne of salmon, breast of chicken beann eadair (stuffed with cream cheese and ham), baked apple tarts and bailey's coffee! The pub also offers salads, burgers, fish and chip specials, corned beef and cabbage, smoked haddock and homemade desserts!! The Loft Restaurant offers a variety of upscale dining plates including duck, filets, and a variety of seafood.

Roly’s Restaurant & Café, Ballsbridge has been one of the most popular Dublin restaurants since it opened in 1992. Roly's is located close to the American Embassy, Lansdowne Road & the Royal Dublin Society with parking on Herbert Park Road and within walking distance of many leading hotels. Our newest addition is our cafe and bakery. This is ideal for breakfast, lunch and in the evening for a more casual dinner.
Roly's has a cafe and a restaurant, and just provide a different atmosphere for its customers.

The restaurant offers delicious sounding desserts such as Vanilla Crème Brulee, Rhubarb Queen Of Pudding,
White Chocolate Cheesecake With Raspberry Compote, Strawberry Pavlova With White Chocolate Sauce,
Hot Chocolate Pudding With Vanilla Ice-Cream, Strawberry Ice Cream, Homemade Shortbread Biscuits and a Lemon Tart With Cassis Sorbet. A few of their entrees include Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Tart With Vine Tomato, Grilled Aubergine, Basil Pesto And Rocket Salad, Fillet Of Irish Beef, Garlic And Rosemary Fondant Potato with a Béarnaise Sauce, Roast Fillet Monkfish With Grilled Vegetables And Sauce Vierge and a Pan Fried Dublin Bay Prawns With Garlic, Chilli And Ginger Butter. 

Seriously, I just ate dinner and my mouth is watering!!!!

The cafe offers a casual dining alternative and serves breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner! Breakfast varieties include Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs & Chives, Poached Free Range Eggs, Crispy Bacon and Tomato Relish, Boiled Free Range Eggs with Toast, Eggs Benedict With Smoked Salmon, Bacon and Egg Roll and Organic Creamed Porridge! They also serve a large variety of homemade pastries, tarts, sandwiches, baguettes, wraps, salads, pastas, lamb and vegetable pie and Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini with a Basil Cream!!

I will most definately be dressing up to check out Roly's one night with an empty stomach!!

Situated in the centre of Blackrock village, Jack O'Rourkes is easily recognized by its striking pub frontage of black and gold. The pub dates from the early 1800's, and commenced business as "a first class family grocery, with tea blending departments". Jack O'Rourkes has always been a big part of the Blackrock scene, and is very popular with both the local and business communities. The O'Rourke family purchased the business in 1921. It was run by Jack during his lifetime, and is now managed by his daughter-in-law, Jane, and one of her four sons, Nigel.

During all these years, Jack O'Rourkes has been upgraded, but not changed, on only two occasions. The old atmosphere of the original pub is still there. A recent alteration included the conversion of the original living quarters to a functions room - "The Parlour" - which caters for groups, private parties etc., and the introduction of an all day food menu.

Old photos and memorabilia of Blackrock are on display throughout, and are a source of much interest to customers and local historians of the area. Jack O'Rourkes is by far the longest established business in Blackrock, where local people and those returning from abroad, are delighted to be able to enjoy a pint in the very same pub that was frequented by their fathers and grandfathers.

Traditional food is served seven days a week, from 12 o'clock midday to 10pm in the evening. Waitress service is provided throughout the day. Their traditional menu includes Beef in Guinness Pie, Irish Stew, Fresh Salmon, Roast Beef, Roast Stuffed Turkey and Ham and Jack O'Rourkes' Curry.

Off to County Galway....

The Fisherman's Cottage provides menus based mainly on local produce. The Daytime Cafe offers homemade cakes to have with your cappuccino as well as Delicious Seafood Chowder, Soups and locally caught Wild Fish, Lamb and other produce from the Island. We think that it is important that the food we eat does not have to travel too far especially food that can be produced locally.

This restaurant is owned and operated with the South Aran House where you can book a room to stay on the Aran Islands off of the coast of Ireland.

Oh me... Oh my!!!!!!!!! This will be one of the FIRST places I will visit to get food when finally getting to Galway........ Just take in some of the divine masterpieces that they have to offer:

And on top of all of these things that just made me gain 5 pounds from LOOKING.... they make wedding cakes!!!! =) And also have started up a deli and cafe where they serve an assortment savory foods and salads.

Just take a look at these wedding cakes and you will know why I want to visit!

They have an entire gallery on their website. Definately some of the most unique creations I have seen to date and gives me an actual reason to visit their bakery other than to eat! =)

I've decided to make this Part I of a series that I will do on Ireland.... so check back later for part II. I will be covered a few finds in Cork and Limerick!