Archive for the ‘ Vegetarian ’ Category

Pig & Heifer: a celebratory feast

To celebrate the older lad’s engagement*, I thought I’d treat myself to a slap-up meal lunchforafiver.

I have Seán McElroy to thank for the venue. He emailed me a few weeks back and suggested that I try the Pig & Heifer, and another place down the road in Montague Street, which I now have on my list.

The Pig & Heifer has four branches in Dublin according to their website. The one I went to is in Charlotte Way, the street that links Camden Street to Harcourt Street. To be honest, I’d never thought of looking at the menu here. Not sure why. It just didn’t seem like an eatforafiver place.

From the outside it looks quite dull with a grubby stripy awning and really, unless you looked closely, you wouldn’t really notice the name.

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Inside, it’s dimly lit, with dull ochre walls and dark green trimmings. I couldn’t work out whether this was a style statement or whether it just needed a bit of brightening up.

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The colour and variety in the place is provided by the counter that runs along the right hand wall, the chalked menu behind it and the bustling activity of the pleasant staff.

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Behind the glass there’s a veritable cornucopia of fillings, salads, meats and so on, and on top of the counter there’s is an impressive variety of breads. Please excuse my, by now customary, crappy photos.

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The menu is huge, offering a variety of breakfasts (P&H opens at 8 on weekdays, 10 on Saturday, and closes at 4), salads, beverages, and then a massive range of meat, salad, cheese combinations to be placed between slices of bread, toast, bagel or wrap, or between two halves of a roll.

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The vast majority of the items are priced between €4.50 and €6.50 and there are quite a few items in the €4.50 to €5 range, more if you want to take your purchase into the Autumn sunshine, or back to your place of work.

Seán (see above) told me that he had had a Chicken Paddy, that it had come with a portion of pasta and that it was tasty and good value. I thought I’d try something different, so I went for a Hot Pesto.

I was offered a choice of breads and rolls. I went for something orangey. This was halved and toasted and filled with a spread of pesto, some mayonnaise, leaves, tomato and some warm and melted mozzarella. I received it on a plate with a spoonful of couscous and raisins, onto which was applied some sweet chilli sauce.

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I handed over my fiver and took a seat.There’s plenty of seating, by the way (I didn’t count but, from memory, I’d say the place seats about 25 or so). Most customers took their orders away so there was plenty of space.

I found the couscous very sweet, especially with the addition of the sweet chilli sauce. I’m personally not a huge fan of sweet things with savoury things. But, hey, I’m not going to blame the P&H people for that. If I was paying more attention, I’m sure I could have asked them for some other accompaniment.

The filled roll was VERY good. The toasting gave the roll itself some texture, the garlic and basil of the pesto came through clearly, the leaves and tomato gave it a bit of coolness and the mozzarella gave it substance.

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Very tasty and, unsurprisingly, very filling.

I lingered for a while, watching customers come and go. Most seemed to come in knowing what they wanted so I’m guessing the Pig & Heifer has a loyal local customer base. Which makes sense because I’m not sure that it’s a passing trade sort of place.

Despite its relatively anonymous exterior and its dullish interior, The Pig & Heifer serves a massive variety of food, prepared by pleasant helpful staff. The food is tasty, filling and good value.

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If you’re within an asses roar of Charlotte Way, give it a try. Thanks again Seán for the tip.

 

* The affianced …

T&N

 

 

 

 

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OK. So the title is unnecessarily alliterative. Sorry. But I couldn’t resist.

I mentioned Staple Foods before. It’s at Merchant’s Arch which, as I’m sure you know, is the archway (and alley) that leads from the south end of the Ha’penny Bridge to Temple Bar.

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Kevin, the bloke who owns and runs it, has a good eye: for colour, design, typography and, judging by the browsing material available, street art. He’s put together a nice idea here. It’s simple and straightforward: a clean, bright, small premises, serving a small selection of tasty, healthy foods, good coffee (he’s a trained barista), and a few other interesting items such as DBKB, a detoxifying Kombucha, brewed in Dublin.

The food offerings are a simple mix of protein (pulled pork, shredded duck, chicken or baked falafel), a slaw (there’s a few choices ‘made from freshly chopped or shredded fruit and veg, mixed with flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds … dressed in a non-dairy dressing’), and some leaves (baby spinach and rocket). You can have this served in a box (one of those nice chinese food ones) or on some locally baked 5 seed bread.

Blackboards both inside and outside the (not sure what term to use … I’ll go for deli) deli helpfully suggest complementary combinations (is there no end to my alliterative creations?) in colourful stencilled letters.

I ordered this …

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… as a salad and handed over my fiver.

This is what I got …

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My photo (surprise, surprise … I’m pretty close to the top of the league of crap photographers) doesn’t really represent any of the essential visual qualities of the food – quantity, colour or yumsciousness. Look at Staple Food’s Facebook photostream if you want a good representation of the food on offer and the interior of the deli. The photostream also contains a seriously awesome picture of different coloured beets.

This is healthy food. But it’s not boring, tasteless, healthy food that makes you feel like you’re being punished for something you did wrong*. This is freshly made, tasty, healthy, filling food. Food for people who like food. And it only costs a FIVER. A FIVER.

I’ll return to Staple Foods. I want to try their pulled pork, And probably their duck. Maybe even their chicken, too.

Seriously, if you’re in the vicinity with a fiver in your pocket, try it out. Have a chat with Kevin too. He’s a nice bloke.

 

(*Reminds me of one of my favourite Phil Dunphy quotes from Modern Family: ‘Why do I have to watch a French movie? I didn’t do anything wrong’.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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