The older lad is over on a short visit. It’s been nice to have him around. He’s a fit lad and it’s always a pleasure to see him stuff his face with food (see below).

McThurkels or McTurcaill’s pub was the target for today. As I mentioned last time, they do a Friday Fiver Special which had, unfortunately, run out the last time I went there. This time, despite battling through pretty nasty weather, we arrived at just after 1pm. It’s on the corner of Tara Street and Townsend Street, just opposite the new Irish Times offices.


There’s a carvery set-up in the pub with a choice of joints, fish, chicken curry, vegetables and the Friday Fiver deal which, yesterday, was Italian Meatballs with Tagliatelle. Most of the other dishes seemed to be about or just under a tenner and I saw some very handsome and generous slices of meat being dished out so, overall, this is somewhere you might put on your list for a cheap but plentiful lunch in town.

The place was busy when we arrived so we joined the queue. McTurcaill’s is quite a big pub but it’s on different levels with several nooks and crannies so it would seem to be suitable both for a quiet pint and a session. There was at least one large television in evidence but the volume wasn’t excessive. Staff were helpful and empties were cleared away quickly.


We ordered. Food was served in pasta bowls. Generous helpings of tagliatelle and a good spoonful of meatballs and sauce each. We were offered some chips and, in the interests of research, we accepted the offer gratefully. We handed over our fivers and found a table.

These were generous portions indeed …


This was mine. Underneath all that tomato sauce lurked two and a bit BIG meatballs.

So, how did it taste? Good. The sauce was well flavoured and nicely seasoned with evidence of herbs, peppers and onion. It had none of that nasty aftertaste that one associates with cheap tinned tomatoes. The meatballs were lovely: again, nicely seasoned and flavoured. I’ve eaten plenty of meatballs in the past and I know that these ones were not just rolled up lumps of mince thrown into a sauce. There was some thought put into them.

The older lad stuffing his face

The older lad stuffing his face

This was an eatforafiver experience that I’d put close to the top of the list. It’s limited to Fridays and you’d want to get there by 1 or so to make sure there’s some left. On other days, however, the food they put on for the Friday Specials is €7.50 and, even at that price, this is very good value. You can follow them on Twitter, by the way, at @McTurcaills.

The evidence

The evidence

So, we left (full) and we were just investigating Yan’s Deli, a sushi place on Townsend Street that seems to have some interesting sub-fiver deals, when we both got soaked by a passing taxi driving through a puddle. Now, I’m not a suspicious person and I generally think well of people but I felt that this soaking could have been avoided by the driver without too much difficulty. The older lad evidently felt the same and he showed quite an extraordinary turn of pace (fuelled in part by the protein/carb combination just consumed) to try to catch up with the driver in question to convey this feeling to him. Unfortunately, or fortunately (maybe), he didn’t succeed.