Hello? Oh, Hey its Dublin Calling

My family (minus my brother) arrived in Dublin on Saturday morning. I met them at their hotel around noon. Their journey on Friday around 12pm eastern standard time to end around 9:30 am my time. Confusing time math aside, to them it felt like 4:30am. Needless to say after 16+  hours of traveling, they weren’t the most lively bunch. To add to their disorientation and general hit by a bus feeling, I promptly lead them out on a multi-stop search for an acceptable restaurant. Of course it was not my intention to clumsily drag them around in circles, but my intended restaurant (O’Neals) had online claimed to serve breakfast past noon, when in actuality it did not. Despite being a cool looking pub with decent sounding food, the atmosphere was not conducive to the jet lagged, (dare I say) older generation crew that I was towing around. I include my younger sister Shannon in this, because even after a full nights sleep she is still one of the most low functioning people I know.   (I MISS YOU, I REALLY DO)

On top of all that, my utter lack of Dublin city street knowledge was making things so much worse. Finally I realized I was right near the Dublin tourist center which sports many nearby pubs, restaurants, and ethnic food stops. After a couple more awkward stops we finally found a diamond in the ruff, know as the Green Hen, which is on Exchequer street.

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Great interior: high stocked shelves of assorted bottles behind the bar right at the door, a small sitting area with tables under a low ceiling. A two landing staircase on the left leading up to more stairs.. I realize this building most have been a home previously. We entered another floor with several more tables in a bright calm room with  high ceilings. Perfect.

I thankfully sat down at the crisp white table and watched as my family dreamily filled in to the sunny room.

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We all greedily enjoyed the food we were brought, as well as assorted drinks. Fried courgettes and onion rings in the middle. I ordered an appetizer of chicken and mushroom on a crostini.

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Then a chicken burger that was slightly underwhelming, but were saved by their side of sweet potato fries. They were so incredibly moist yet surrounded in a nicely baked exterior. They melted in my mouth, only to fill it with the strong sweet potato presence.

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After lunch/breakfast we headed back to the hotel where everyone except myself took a nap. I took a bath in the large tub in the hotel bathroom. Despite my firm stand against baths.

Around six pm I started to call the restaurant that I wanted to bring my family to. It was a Saturday night at 6 pm and I was asking for a table for 6 people. Even as I dialed I knew it was going to be a long shot. The man who answered preceded to leave me on hold for quite sometime before coming back on and saying “ahhh no. No no no I ah’ave no tables. No nothing ok.” Click.

He hung up on me. And this was basically the same response for the 7 more restaurants I called. Finally at 6:45 we decided to give up and just eat at the more casual restaurant in the Westin hotel. This ended up being The Mint.

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I would highly recommend this restaurant, not necessarily for the food, which was really good; but more so for their cocktail list. They are incredibly expensive prices but worth it to try something new or to have a great glass of a classic drink.

I decided to pick from their Contraband Cocktails list, selecting the Mother’s Ruin.

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Served in this adorable little tea cup, mothers ruin is made of Simpith gin, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, Creme de Mure, Laird’s Apple Jack brandy, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup.

The Mint further delighted me by having a selection of “Nibbles” on which were buffalo wings. I had been craving buffalo wings for some reason all week and finally here they were! Along with my mushroom, blue cheese, balsamic tart I was a happy camper. Obviously I didn’t finish all this food myself, as the portion sizes, even off the Nibbles menu, were surprisingly large.

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One day visiting Dublin and we have seen so much!….food…

Oh well, jet lag is no joke. I haven’t seen anyone beat it yet.

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Pavlova, Pannacotta, and Me

On Thursday last week, Caroline and I went to a promotional event being held by Supervalu, which is one of the local grocery store in Ireland (imagine a Stop n Shop and Whole Foods combined).

Easy Food was invited to the event, so Caroline was attending as representative for the magazine and I was going along for the free food and drinks.
We had been cooking and shooting “How To” shots all day, before heading to the event, so we were both tired and not exactly looking our best. As soon as we walked into the hotel it was being held in, we realized this event was Kind Of A Big Deal.

A banquet room was filled with several small high and low tables, covered with white tablecloths, red napkins, and tiers of fresh fruit and cupcakes in the center. There was a large arrangement of many different breads and oils, several bowls of assorted salads and sides, and of course a large table of dessert options. Doors led out to an outside porch area, which held several grills and a long buffet table set with warmers. As soon as we entered the room we were met by a server with a tray of champagne and wine.

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YEAH.
And we are both wearing jeans, big button up shirts, and carrying awkward bags with my laptop and camera inside.

We immediately attached ourselves to a high top table to stand at while we sipped champagne and ate bites of strawberries and raspberries. Eventually we were introduced to a few representatives of Supervalu, who were extremely nice and easy to talk with.

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Supervalu is very much about promoting fresh, local Irish products. Almost everything they were serving was grown or made in Ireland. There were chefs at the event who were showing guests how to cook their fresh pre packaged meals of meats and fish and vegetables. It was very interesting to see Supervalu’s commitment to supply people with affordable, yet fresh, good quality food.

This was the menu options for the evening:

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Overall it was a very fun event that I am glad we attended. It was a nice taste of the world of food and advertising events. Hopefully I will be able to attend more events like this during the rest of the time I am here.

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My desserts! Raspberry pannacotta, berries trifle, and strawberry pavolova. AKA lots of cream.

Food by the once again unemployed. Ok I’m employed but I’m unpaid..

I realized that I am continuing to do in Ireland, what I always do with my food, take pictures of it.

And then, you know, I eat it…

BUT since I am not being paid for my 9 to 5 internship, I am technically UNEMPLOYED again, so it is the perfect time to continue with my foodbytheunemployed blog. But since I don’t know how to insert photos into text on tumblr, I am going to write here and just post it again on there..

So as you know I’m in Ireland. If you don’t know that already though, I am unsure why you are reading my blog.. Anyways, I haven’t had anything authentically Irish foodwise yet. No Irish breakfast with weird bacon or bangers and mash. But I have encountered a lot of strange food items so far that are worth mentioning.

I received my first taste (ha) of the weirdness when I visited the local Tesco store near my apartment. It is like the equivalent of Stop n Shop. The first time I went to Tesco, I couldn’t find real milk. Like cold milk in a jug.. I instead found milk in a carton, that said I could keep it on a shelf for weeks before I wanted to use it. Only then would it need to be refrigerated. Well I wanted milk pretty soon after that but I didn’t want warm milk, so I put the carton in the fridge for a day before opening it. It was gross and possibly bad, but maybe that’s just how warm box milk tastes? I don’t know.
The next time I went to Tesco, I found the milk right away, in fact it was in the first aisle in the store. But that aisle is all the way to the right behind the produce so its not my fault I didn’t see it, especially in my jet lagged state a few days ago.

I wasn’t sure what to buy so I went with the staples: bread, butter, jam, eggs, honey, and milk (in a box). This is a sampling of my basket from that day.
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Ok everything in this basket looks pretty normal but trust me, there are strange things in this store.

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This is a picture of the eggs I attempted to fry on my second morning here. I took pictures of them because I couldn’t believe how long it was taking to cook. It must have been around 20 mins to get the whites to form before I was confident enough to eat them. Granted it took me about five minutes to realize I hadn’t flicked the switch on the wall that allows the stove to be “on” so the stove top was in fact not heating up. But even once it was one, the length of time it took to get hot was ridiculous! Consequently I have decided to boil a bunch of eggs at a time so that I can grab one and go, rather than waste half a morning trying to fry them.

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I had this Greek yogurt for breakfast on the train this morning. It was surprisingly very good. And not just good after I filled it with tons of granola to calm the taste like I do with Chobani. I like Chobani I do, but this had a more pleasant taste.

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THIS is Rekorderlig’s Premium Strawberry Lime Cider.

Ok I dont know what it is, but girls here really like this cider shit. I should correct that because the girls who liked it were actually from Switzerland, Australia, and the Netherlands. But I did see Irish girls drinking it too!  I know I hate on ciders sometimes but I actually do like a lot of hard ciders. This was not one of them. Any respectable cider drinker would be insulted by this fruity fake.
Someone suggested that I order this, which was funny because I had just asked the bartender what else they had that was similar to Smithwicks. His reply was that they had Smithwicks….
Strawberry Lime is only one of the many flavors they make. This one in particular tastes like a pink drink. Like someone harnessed pink and mixed it with soda, juice, and lime and then added ice to it. And this supposedly has alcohol in it? Nay nay.
It took me FOREVER to drink this. Mainly because it comes in a sizeable bottle, but also because its NOT good. I could feel myself getting heartburn as I attempted to chug this bubbly disaster. Ok it wasn’t that bad, but I wont be having it again. Should’ve just stuck with the Smithwicks.

 

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Which is a perfect lead in to my next set of pictures, of the many Smithwick’s I keep ordering whenever I go to Smiths of Phibsborough. I haven’t been in almost two days!

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The food at Smith’s isn’t anything extraordinary, but it is solid and decently priced. AND they give you coleslaw on top of the lettuce and tomato setup on the side of your sandwich or burger! WIthout having to ask for it! If you know me and how I feel about coleslaw, this is a big deal.

 

The next set of photos is from an Asian place down the street from me. They have a buffet area where there are set prices for small, medium, or large size containers. So you pick what size container you want and just fill it up with whatever they have…Image

I guess it looked similar to other Asian buffets, but thats probably because everything was just deep fried.. I dont even remember most of the things in this spread. I went with the ones I knew, like sweet and sour chicken and pork fried rice..

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Those circular looking fried things in bottom left of this picture were deep fried pineapple pieces. SO GOOD. Real bad for you obviously, but delicious new find.

Pictured below is somewhat disturbing… I’m assuming they are fried crab, but instead of mashed up with cream cheese in a nice Rangoon wrapper, it is just the whole claw…peaking out at ya. It reminds me of that family guy episode where they reference Alien and the little mouth comes out of the big alien and it’s like “I’m gonna eat ya with my little mouth too!”

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This is that little mouth. Trapped in a deep fried bubble of hell. No I didn’t try this, if you’re wondering.

 

Maybe soon I will be able to show you pictures of actual Irish food! But who knows.