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May 2018

Ireland 2018 - The Food

I was almost finished eating my first meal in Ireland when I decided I should take a picture of every meal for the blog (because... of course I should!).

The first thing Marisa and I had to do when we landed was get our luggage and our rental car. The third thing we needed to do was go to 3 and get local SIM cards for our iPhones. Then we went to a random pub and had a perfectly fine first meal. I had the omelet:

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Then we were off to Carlingford and as we checked in our hotel we asked the person where we should eat. She gave us many options, but said, "If it were me I'd head down to P.J.'s (P.J. O'Hare's) and get some fish and chips."

And that's what we did and that's what I had. The first fish and chips of the trip... and probably my least favorite (though it was still good other than the peas which were no bueno):

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Our stay in Ghan House included breakfast, and given I was still watching what I ate I opted for the very low point (and delicious) scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Though it seems most people in Ireland don't put ketchup on their eggs.

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One of the things Marisa wanted to do was to have a proper tea. We did so at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, and it was very good indeed.

First we had some lovely tiny sandwiches:

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And then a tower of sweet things:

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Also there was tea.

I ate all my tiny sweet things, but Marisa was much more discerning:

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We skipped lunch and went right to dinner (which was at a pub near the hotel). For some reason I thought an order of fish cakes would be light. They weren't, but they were tasty (and it included almost a salad!).


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Breakfast was back at the hotel where I had some fruit and more scrambled eggs and salmon (no ketchup, again!):

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Lunch was at the Giant's Causeway visitor center with some very delicious Irish Stew and a shortbread cookie and some healthy oakcake Marisa opted for. Seriously, the food at visitor centers in Ireland is fantastic as compared to what you get in the States (i.e. crappy hamburgers):

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Dinner was more fish and chips! I don't actually recall where we got this from, but I do remember the peas were much better:

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The next day we hit up the Merchant Hotel for our last meal there.. and they gave us so much bread:

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I got an omelet this time because I had had enough with the salmon:

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We had a lot of driving ahead of it, so it was time to partake in the great tradition of the prepackaged sandwich (plus a couple of bananas). I will say, it was a pretty ok sandwich considering I bought it at a gas station:

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We were spending the night in a bubble in the Northern Ireland woods, so we went to the resort restaurant had some fancy pants food.

My appetizer was good:

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My main, some kind of fish, was fine though the column of potatoes it was served upon was very good:

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Breakfast at the resort started with some yogurt:

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And ended with a not so satisfying "breakfast sandwich:"

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But we stopped at another gas station and I bought some shortbread... so really I win:

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And then I had this quiche. I don't remember where. I don't recall if it was good (though it looks tasty). There you have it.

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Now, if there were any day in Ireland to have a disappointing breakfast and a forgettable lunch it was today. Because we had just checked into Ballymaloe House and they asked if we wanted to have dinner there. Sure, we said, not knowing we were in for a five course meal that was one of the best meals I've ever eaten.

First off, the soup. So good.

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And then there was an hors d'oeuvre buffet. That's right, a whole table full of delicious bites (with two ladies tending it.. they told me to feel free to come back for another round if I wanted).

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Then my main with lobster and some fish (and a lot of butter):

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Then the cheese cart arrived, and I had to have a bit of everything:

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Luckily I left room for the dessert cart:

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And we thought that was it, but there was another little nut caramel thing to end the meal:

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In the morning we went back hoping to recapture the magic, but the breakfast wasn't as exciting. Some yogurt:

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And some very expensive scrambled eggs (they were fine but not worth $25):

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Then we were off to a farmers' market were I bought some farm fresh pizza:

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And Marisa bought the fixings for dinner. One of the things Marisa wanted to do on this trip was to cook, and so cook she did:

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Breakfast was another Marisa production:

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Followed by some delicious vegetable soup for lunch:

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And then some fish and chips (the fish was good, the chips not so much):

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For dinner Marisa whipped up some cabbage and a savory pie:

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And for breakfast Marisa made some very good eggs, which I accompanied with a day old cinnamon roll I bought on our ramble about:

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At the Rock of Cashel we popped into a little tea room for some sandwiches, veggie soup, and a cookie:

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Then we had another fancy dinner:

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Followed by scrambled eggs for breakfast:

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And a tuna melt from a tea room. The tuna melt was ok, the rice was cold and had raisins in it (odd) but the coleslaw and potato salad were top notch.

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Marisa fell in love with Marks and Spencer while we were in Ireland, and this dinner pretty much came from there (though Marisa cooked it all up):

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After that day, a simple breakfast was in order:

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And since I was so good at breakfast why not get a chicken melty thing for lunch:

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And then a HUGE portion of fish and chips for dinner (at a place we had fish and chips the first time we were in Ireland):

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Perhaps too many chips the previous day resulted in this breakfast:

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And our final meal of our final full day in Ireland was at the airport hotel... and it was surprisingly tasty:

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TMBG Concert

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Thanks to my pal, and yours, Lex I was able to attend the TMBG concert on Saturday.

I do enjoy seeing concerts at the TLA, but I always purchase the VIP upgrade because I'm too old to stand for an entire concert. I managed to convince Lex that this was a worthy use of some of this hard earned money, and that's how we ended up sitting in the VIP section just to the side of the stage (and near the bar... though we didn't drink anything).

Here's what we looked like:

Two handsome fellows ready to rock out! Woo!

Oddly, a young lady came up to us (the VIP section is separated from the general admission folks by a low wall which serves as a counter top for those sitting) and asked us how people got to sit in the VIP area. In fact she said, "Can anyone sit here? Or is it for speical people?" Lex and I looked at one another, and then Lex tried to explain how the concept of a VIP section works. She ignored him and asked me how people got to sit there and said, "I can, like, barter for a seat."

Now, I don't know for sure what she had in mind for bartering... but I have a pretty good idea.

To which I replied, "Wait? Do you think we have some sort of power over who sits here? We don't! You just have to..."

And as soon as I said "we don't" she pivoted and walked away without a word.

Very odd.

The concert, though, was great!

Thanks again, Lex, for inviting me!