Archive for the ‘ Pizza ’ Category

Camden Snack @ Martino’s

I was going to tell you about the film I was in but you’ll have to wait.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but such are the rhythms of the work I do. March to mid-June is busy. Well … manic. And this year, because Easter was so late, it was super-manic.

Why we all have to suffer because some crowd in 325CE decided that the date of Easter should be determined by the equinox and the full moon beats me. It’s inconvenient and, in the 21st Century, just a bit bizarre.

Today, I was going to try Toni’s Diner on Charlotte Way at the top of Camden Street but, to be honest, I’m feeling fat at the moment and the last thing I wanted was a feed of chips. And then I thought I’d have a look in a new place that seems to have opened opposite the Aussie BBQ at that triangle at Kelly’s Corner. It’s called Grubhub but when I went in, the bloke behind the counter was more interested in his phone than a potential (actually, his only) customer and the filled rolls were a whopping €7.50. It seems that you just need to put ‘Pulled Pork’ on the menu to give yourself a licence to charge a fortune for a glorified sandwich.

Luckily (although it was more to do with good marketing than luck) a very pleasant person outside a relatively new place at the corner of Camden Street and Grantham Street, Martino’s, had waved a wooden board in front of me a few minutes before, on which were little bits of pizza impaled on cocktail sticks. The pizza was tasty and her patter was enticing. So, I wandered back to Martino’s to see what was on offer for my fiver.

outside

Martino’s is where a sushi place was until reasonably recently. It’s tiny, with room for a counter, a coffee machine, a pizza oven and two very small tables, but they’ve made the best of the available space outside to put another four or five tables outside, some of which are under an awning.

interior

Before I go on, let me just say that I have a deep affection for Camden Street. True, it’s a little run down but on what other street can you get your thesis bound, book a holiday, sort out your taxes, dance until 2am, get a t-shirt embroidered, play on a slot machine, buy a bike, get your computer fixed, hire a bike, purchase street art supplies, get a loan, visit a gallery, order your wedding stationery, have a bohemian mingle, eat well and eat poorly, and get muntered in any number of interesting pubs?

Back to Martino’s. You won’t get stuffed for your fiver here, but you’ll have a pleasant (very) light snack and you can people-watch to your heart’s content. They do muffins, pastries, coffee and, from well before lunchtime (they open at 8am, btw) pizza, calzone and arancini. They do paninis and so on too but at this stage I was hungry so I wasn’t in the mood to write out a list. Here’s the menu board:

menuboard

I ordered a slice of anchovy pizza and an Americano, sat down outside and waited.

Service was quick (and friendly). Not a massive slice of pizza. In fact, a very small slice of pizza …

pizza

… but it tasted pretty good. Thin base, decent cheese, not too much tomato sauce, and a generous helping of anchovies. The pizza is part of a meal deal: a slice of pizza and a drink for €3.95 (although a post on their Facebook page from January advertises it at €3.50 – that’s a 12% increase in a few months). In hindsight, I might have been better ordering 3 Arancinis for €4.50 or a couple of Calzones (although they were sold out of these by the time I got there).

Martino’s have just launched another deal recently: all you can eat pizza with a glass of wine for €15 and they plan soon to open until 3am, presumably to cater for the drunken sweaty crowds emerging from the Palace down the road. Good luck with that.

Not much more to say except that the coffee was pretty good. Martino’s seems to be part of an expanding enterprise. They have a Trattoria in Ranelagh. Unfortunately their website is impenetrably crap so I couldn’t work out whether they are anywhere else and their Facebook page doesn’t really say.

Summing up: pleasant helpful servers, tasty pizza, small portions, good coffee. Don’t expect to be stuffed but do expect what you eat to be tasty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ephesian Revelation

The real Ephesus seems to have been a pretty significant place. Inhabited from about 6000 BCE, it developed from the Bronze age onwards, and throughout history it has been a seat of learning, political intrigue, evangelism and architecture. It’s now a tourist hot spot.

The Capel Street one appears to be suffering some sort of an identity, or at least branding, crisis. The last time I saw it, it was VERY definitely called Ephesus, in big red letters. Now it’s called Ephesus in small white ones, and the ‘Capel Kebab and Pizza House’ in big white ones.

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Whatever. It’s been on my mental list of eatforafiver places to visit for ages and so it got done today.

Most things on the menu are a fiver or just a little bit more, as you can see (as ever, click to embiggen) …

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And there’s this …

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The item that intrigued me most was the Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun) just because I’d never heard of it before. It wasn’t available unfortunately. The main man behind the counter (who was most welcoming and friendly) said that it may be available sometime after Christmas. I suspect it’s not a big seller. The other item that caught my eye was the Ayran which is a Turkish yoghurt drink with salt, a little like the Indian lassi. They didn’t have any of that either. No matter.

I chose the Falafel, in the Kebab section. I was told it included some salads and flat bread and was invited to take a seat. The warming process complete, I was asked to choose which salads I wanted (I took the lot) and was handed my plate of food.

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There it is. That’s a pretty sizeable feed for a fiver. Six warm falafels, shredded lettuce, non-mayonnaise slaw, shredded red cabbage, sliced tomatoes, sliced onion, a couple of pickled chillies, and some garlic and chilli sauce. With the promised flatbread.

The salad items were crisp and fresh and the flatbread was warm and soft. I’ve eaten quite a few falafels over the last few years but I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert on them. These ones were OK. They were crispy on the outside and had a pleasant consistency inside. Yer man in Dublin Falafel Hunt rated the falafels in Ephesus pretty highly and he eats them all the time, so I’m not going to be at all judgemental about them.  For a fiver, this was a decent plate of food and that’s what this is all about.

It seems to be a pretty popular place. I was there just after half one and there were about 10 people in it with a few more drifting in when I was there. It’s bright and clean, with big windows on two sides through which you can watch the world go by. The man and woman behind the counter were kept busy. I left, full, satisfied and with a pleasant chilli tingle on my tongue. This place is a good option if you’re at that end of Capel Street (it’s at the junction with Upper Abbey Street), you’re hungry and you only have a fiver to spend.

 

So …

Sad to say, one of the places I ate in not too long ago, Flavor (sic) on Camden Street has closed. I have a hunch that it never quite identified its market. Pity.

 

And for students: just around the corner from Capel Street, on Ormond Quay, is quite a new Brazilian place …

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I seem to remember this used to be an art gallery. It’s HUGE, has a buffet lunch offer …

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… and, if you’re a student (and have your student card on you), it seems as if you can stuff your face for a fiver. The buffet is downstairs and the queue for it today was massive.

 

Finally: question of the day. You see this woman on the right …

Sabina Coyne

She’s married to President Higgins and her name is Sabina Coyne.  Or rather, her name WAS Sabina Coyne. Since her husband became President, she’s almost universally referred to as Sabina Higgins. What’s that all about?

 

 

 

Star Pizza Talbot Street Stuffing

Good grief. Look at all this food …

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… for a fiver!

I have Garwin Liu to thank for this. He sent me a message through Facebook a few weeks ago, pointing me in the direction of that bit of Talbot Street near Connolly Station. There’s Star Pizza, the place responsible for filling my boots today and a few other places which I have on my list for later.

I’d forgotten Talbot Street was so long. In the distant past I worked for a few Christmases in Sheriff Street sorting office and I remember a damp-warm place with a lot of formica at that end of Talbot Street as the location of my first experience of a deep-fried egg. My post office service left me with a significant appreciation of the importance of wrapping parcels carefully with what, to some, might seem like an excess of Sellotape, and an olfactory memory of two-week old posted turkey.

It’s changed down there. A lot. There’s a hotel and small supermarkets. There’s The Lab, part of Dublin City Council’s quite sophisticated arts provision. There’s this …

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And there’s Star Pizza …

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… with its all day FIVER offer …

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Where would you see the likes? (As it happens, across the road closer to the bridge – almost exactly the same offer.)

Star Pizza is quite spacious. I got there at about 1.45 and there must have been about 20 or so people in it, most, if not all, munching through their All Day Specials. There was a good buzz and people didn’t seem in a hurry to leave. It’s pretty clean and the guy behind the counter was patient (with a couple who were a little (!) indecisive about their choice of toppings).

I ordered. Pepperoni and anchovies. Diet Coke. Here’s what else you can have:

As ever, click to embiggen

As ever, click to embiggen. Click again and it gets HUGE.

Soonish, I was presented with my box of pizza, bag of chips, can and my choice of dip (garlic mayo).

I’m not going to critique the food. It was pizza and chips. You’ll have seen a picture of it above. It was filling and tasty and there was a lot of it. And, for a fiver, I think it was amazing value.

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So, to answer your unasked question, the Dublin Fringe Festival. I love it. I love that tickets are about a third of the price of mainstream theatre tickets. I love the variety of spaces you get to go to. I love the informality of it (even though I was brought up in a drama-related home, I still feel less than completely comfortable going to the Gate or the Abbey). I love the creativity and innovation of Fringe offerings. I love the risks taken by small theatre companies.

I’ve seen four shows in the last week. The one that had its greatest impact so far was Postscript which I saw last night. It was in the New Theatre, a lovely intimate venue – perfect for this particular play. Click on the link for a description of the play, if you’re interested. It was well-directed, nicely paced, beautifully acted and very moving. See it if you can.

 

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