Archive for the ‘ American ’ Category

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Happy New Year!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Click = big



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.


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.


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.


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


* The affianced …







Just Sayin’



3 x €1.50 = €4.50


Back soon!


Guilty Pleasure

Every year in January, the young lad takes part in a thing called Kangeiko. This Japanese term is roughly translated as ‘winter training’. He’s a member of the Hombu Dojo in Ranelagh, a professional, very friendly and expanding karate studio (he’s got a black belt – best not to mess him about). Anyway, Kangeiko involves 7 days of meeting at 7am, going for a short jog around the streets of the Ranelagh area and doing some karate training until 8am. On the last day there’s a party which, for young members, involves a cooked breakfast. Older members tend to carry on the party in a more traditional manner till later in the day. Parents can join in. I did it last year. It’s tiring, challenging and good fun.

Anyway, this is only relevant because at 8am, I bring the young lad somewhere close by for breakfast and then drop him into school.

Sometimes we have breakfast in McDonalds. DON’T JUDGE ME. At least until you’ve tried it.

There’s a fair choice, involving some combination of bacon, egg, sausage, muffins, rolls, porridge, pancakes and coffee/tea/milk/orange juice. Here’s the choice in glorious colour. Each item costs less than a fiver and, of course, they do meal deals.

Today, the young lad opted for a Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin meal and I for the Double Bacon and Egg McMuffin meal. The ‘meal’ bit at the end involves a hash brown and a drink. Milk for him. Coffee for me. Each meal cost €4.95.

Here’s most of it …


… earning this reaction

photo 1

And here’s the rest, which came a little later …

photo 4

The Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin (DSEMcM) is a glorious creation. Inside the 2 halves of the soft muffin are 1 egg (fashioned into a disc somehow), a slice of cheese (processed, obvs, and oddly square) and two sausage patties. These are the things that make this a sinful delight. They are juicy and sausage-y, but not like ordinary Irish pork sausages. I’m riffling through my taste memory as I type this … I’ve had sausages in Austria – ordinary sausages – for breakfast. They taste like them. I can’t be any more specific I’m afraid. I like them though.

Here’s the young lad, road testing the DSEMcM:

photo 3

My Double Bacon and Egg McMuffin (DBEMcM) was pale in comparison. The egg and cheese were the same. The bacon was alright, slightly smoky in taste but nothing to dance about.

photo 5

The hash browns which you’ve seen above are not very nice. They consist of grated ‘potato’, fashioned into a oblong disc and deep fried. They have no saving grace. They taste of nothing, except deep fry, and they leave a slightly bitter aftertaste in one’s mouth. The fresher they are, the less the aftertaste, but it’s still there. The milk and coffee were OK.

It probably doesn’t greatly matter but the McDonalds we were in was in Rathmines. It’s a 24 hour one and was quite busy this morning although quite a few people had left before I took this photo.

photo 6

I wouldn’t go there everyday and I wouldn’t advise you to eat a DSEMcM if you’re on a calorie controlled or low fat diet but sometimes you just have to eat stuff like this.

By the way, you’ll be pleased to hear that, according to,, as a site, is worth just over $11.




I’ve always been quite neutral about McDonalds. You have to be when you have kids, really. And sometimes you just need a quarter pounder with cheese. I love to suck the juice out of the meat. It’s my guilty secret. And I love that Egg McMuffin with the flat sausage yoke.

This is going to be short. I tried out the McDonalds Eurosaver Menu today. This is it …

I went for the double cheeseburger, the twisty fries and the fruit bag. A fiver.

Actually, I’d forgotten that I don’t like twisty fries. At least with the bag of straight ones you can pretend that they are chips. With the twisty ones, there’s no escaping the fact that they’re just extruded shapes of potato starch, covered with some crunchy crap and deep fried. They were very greasy. Not nice.

The burger was meh. Too much ketchup overpowered the taste of the meat. I’d never really noticed it before but the bun is pretty insubstantial. And sweet.

The fruit bag comprised about eight slices of watery apple and about five past-their-best grapes. Not great.

As I said, I don’t mind McDonalds. I didn’t enjoy it this time though. Enough said.



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