Published on June 2nd, 2014 | by seanear1ey0
Hunger Games: Summer Lovin’
The past week has contained enough brief snatches of sunshine to drive a summer starved man insane. Sure, by June 1st we thought we’d all have rosy farmer tans and multiple cases of freckledom but alas we’re still battling with outbursts of piddley drizzle. Not to worry though because there’s plenty of tasty reasons to go out and grab a feed. Here’s what we’ve been scoffing recently…
1. Orpen’s Cider – launched in the ridiculously cool laneway of the Damson Diner (re-opened after the Environmental Health forced a brief closure) Ireland’s newest craft cider was served up to quench thirsts along South Willy with a spit roast hog, chutneys and cheeses. The buzz was great with bales of hay, branded pop-art and Mr. Orpen himself (descendant of the famous William Orpen somewhere along the line) telling us all about his venture and family orchard. Tasty and refreshing with none of the “sitting in a field”-ness of Bulmer’s or Devil’s Bit. Grab a bottle and chill for matching with your first attempt at pulled pork at the BBQ this year. Say hello to them on Twitter here.
2. We were first introduced to falafel by the good folk of the Lunchtime markets that spring up weekly along the Grand Canal and IFSC. The one tent that pedaled the Lebanese delicacy was always rammed which made me wonder why it wasn’t more main stream considering its popularity. Enter Umi Falafel – recommended to me by Darragh Doyle and Dublin By Mouth. The fact that the staff themselves were Lebanese only enforced their expertise and the entire vibe made us feel like we had ducked out of the heat to grab a bite. Two ‘Palestinians’ (Spicy sauce, fried aubergine, falafel, cucumber, pickles, tomato and hummus) and my first experience of Baba Ghanoush (the most entertaining word I’ve ever said) later and only €20 lighter all in left us very stuffed indeed for great value! Very tasty but as we learned the trick is not to load up on the free pittas at the start…
3. Open a mere 2 weeks, Green Beards on Dunville Avenue, have quite the little set up. Capitalising on the booming detox juice and smoothie fad, the lads have set themselves up a stone’s throw from trendy Ranelagh – prime yummy mummy country. We picked up two “shots” – ginger, cayenne pepper and grapefruit with the other ginger and pineapple and three detox juices – Green Love, Northern Lights and Beets by Ray (bravo guys!) for around €17. A combination of fruit and veg cold-press juices (we’re told this is far healthier) the offering is slightly pricey for just three juices and two shots but we’ll see how they stack up – that said, bringing your glass bottles back to the guys gets you €0.50c off per return – some of them even end up being upcycled into their lighting fixtures.
4. #LetThemEatCake organised by the Yelp Dublin massive in conjunction with 9 Crow St to raise funds for BeLongTo was a veritable feast of Dublin’s newest eateries and independent food suppliers. Hosted in the very cool surrounds of The Black Door on Harcourt St., the initial welcome was a round of prosecco cocktails provided by Bell & Pot which were a nice intro – quickly followed by a round of G&T’s served from teapots (not a gin fan!) – then the food assault: Krust bakery and The Natural Bakery served up some crazy tasty chicken curry and mint sandwiches, Delicious Food Co. had a bevvy of hummus snacks and pasta salads, Oishii Sushi platters, El Gringo’s Mexican taco boats, all topped up with Cheesecake Dublin‘s mini cheesecake desserts and Murphy’s G&T ice cream. We rolled home. Unreal stuff and even some Barry’s Tea thrown in a goodie bag!
5. More and more, Bloom is becoming less of a garden festival, and more of a food and garden festival. This year the iconic Bank Holiday weekend festival was once again held in Phoenix park with massive throngs to contend with on Friday in the scorching heat. Traffic on the way in is a major issue worth some addressing from the organisers. Once inside however, it’s clear there has been massive investment in the food sections with a massive Food Pavillion, The Bloom Inn (featuring Irish craft beers and spirits – Dublin’s Teeling Whiskey was mobbed!), The National Cheese Awards and the Artisan Food Market. Not to mention vendors of every description outside of these, from a packed hog roast tent and meat hall to the Glenilen Farm tent with home made lemonade and yoghurts, Innocent‘s chill out area and the Vegetable hall. Of particular interest was the swell in Grow It Yourself educational stands, working mini plots and farms, bee-keeping tutorials and lettuce classes. The whole vibe was topped off with a pulled pork bap washed down with a pint of McGarrigle’s Red Ale. Don’t be fooled – Bloom is as much about food as it is about garden’s and definitely worth a visit if you’re not the green fingered kind.