We were in Dublin for all of about 15 hours. A short stop, I know, but fortunately I’d been there a couple times before.
Enough times to realize just how international the city feels. Enough times to discover some of my favorite green spaces in the world. Enough time to feel the history of attractions such as Trinity College and the Book of Kells.
And finally, enough times to know that it’s difficult to find really good food in the city center. In saying that, I mean the kind of food that doesn’t have a sign out front beckoning tourists and promising to serve real Irish cuisine.
Now, I’ve had some great food and drink in Dublin from Butlers coffee and chocolates to Leo Burdock's Fish n' Chips to scones from Queen of Tart. I'm just saying it's difficult to find a unique dinner in 15 hours.
Unless, of course, you know a food blogger.
And I just happen to know a food blogger.
It was my pleasure to spend one of my 15 hours in Dublin with Aoife of The Daily Spud. The Daily Spud is one of those blogs I’ve been reading since my own blog began. For me, one of the originals, and one of my favorites.
During our conversation, you might expect that one of my questions was – where should we eat dinner?
As we discussed different places Aoife kept coming back to one of her favorites – L. Mulligan Grocer. With such a glowing recommendation from someone who knows the area well (and good food), we didn’t feel it could pass it up.
The location ended up being about a 20 min walk from Temple Bar. At that point in the day, we welcomed it because everywhere from Grafton Street to Temple Bar was packed with people to the point where you could barely move. It was nice to get out of the crowd.
We got there for an early dinner so we were lucky to get a table. We later found out that almost all were reserved. We must have looked desperate for good Irish food.
And good Irish food it was. I encourage you to head over to their site and read a little about the restaurant to get the full effect. To simplify they use as many Irish ingredients as possible from rare-breed pork, to grass-fed beef, to seafood.
When we sat down and I found the menus were old books in type-writer print, I couldn’t wait to read through all the selections and decide which of these local foods I wanted most.
They also had a wonderful selection of craft beers, something we were exposed to for the first time this trip. Often we are so enamored by fresh Guinness (yes, it is completely different on draft in Ireland), that we’ve overlooked craft beers on previous trips.
So let’s start there.
I had the Friar Weiss because, well, I love wheat beers. As you would expect, this was perfect for me, sweet and crisp. My husband tried the Galway Hooker, an Irish Pale Ale that he really enjoyed.
We didn’t consider appetizers to be an option. We would risk leaving overly full in order to try all we could.
My husband had been daring me to eat a Scotch Egg the whole trip, something I had never had before. Mulligan’s version is a free range egg wrapped in delicious sausage and fried.
I now love Scotch Eggs.
My husband had the Potted Crab. If you are new to this dish like we were, the best way to describe it is delicious, tender crab with a layer of clarified butter on the top to create a bit of a seal or a lid on the crab. It is chilled and served with bread. It was a really unique dish for us.
It took me forever to decide on my meal, and I mean forever. There were just too many great options.
First, I loved the slaw. It didn’t have that dirty taste I’m used to with beets and it added a gorgeous color. The burger itself was outstanding - juicy, tender, not to mention, wrapped in bacon and topped with goat cheese. The twice cooked chips were my favorite of the trip.
My husband went for the Pork Belly. The belly itself was beautifully plated, but what really interested me was the mash which had black pudding in it. It’s taken me a while to get over the idea of blood sausage, but I love black pudding. The dish was matched with a kraut or type of slaw which had a lot of caraway seeds. Unfortunately my husband doesn’t care for caraway seeds and it was even a little overpowering for me, but otherwise the meal was delicious.
I’m still so surprised we managed to find ourselves in such a great place considering our short stopover. When in Dublin, L. Mulligan Grocer is a must. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
L. Mulligan Grocer