Tuesday, July 27, 2010

back in the US

Thanks for following my food adventures in Ireland. To keep up with what I'm eating and baking now that I'm back in the states, find me here.


"Java’s is an unforgettable place with exquisite homemade food prepared in the best French and Irish cooking traditions."

That was taken from their website, but it says it perfectly. Their menu is a refreshing change from the pub food found throughout the city centre. Java's offers a vast array of crepes (both savory and sweet), tapas, tartines, panini, dessert and salads. Though I walked by it every day, I discovered this place at the end of my trip. I was sad that I didn't know about it sooner, but it was probably for the best, as their food is so good I would have never gone anywhere else (and the menu is pretty extensive so I wouldn't have had to have the same thing twice!).

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(my first experience - sitting upstairs in the late afternoon on the broken in couch, eating a luscious pear and chocolate crepe topped with fresh whipped cream)


(next it was somewhere close to 2am... [they're open til 4am daily in the summer!]. I had the savory crepe special of the day. Sausage, cream cheese and scallions in a buckwheat crepe)


(the second to last night of the trip... I got the tapas, each served on a flaky baguette: chorizo with slices of parmesan, chorizo and caramelized onion spread, fig jam and parmesan slices)


If you want a place to relax with friends where you can sit and catch up for hours over good food and a glass of wine (or a crepe and a cup of tea), Java's is your spot. If piano is your forte, there's a grand piano upstairs that anyone is welcome to play on. If you like tapas, stop by between 6-8pm for amuse gueules, where you can get a plate of small bites with a glass of wine.

Java's French Bistro and Wine Bar
17 Upper Abbeygate Street
Galway, Ireland

Monday, July 26, 2010

more of the market - samosas and chili pitas

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Golden fried samosas with a mixture of peas, carrots, potatoes, and curry spices served with a sweet tomato sauce. The perfect balance of smokey and sweet together in a crisp crust... and only €3 at the market. (The line is usually long, but definitely worth the wait--you won't be disappointed!)

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Another food stall I wish I had tried sooner was the chili stand. The woman who runs it was very friendly. She told me all about how she got the recipe for her chili con carne from a restaurant in Cambridge, MA where she used to live. We reminisced about New England and talked some about Galway and she told me all about her beet relish (and isn't it a beautiful color?). I originally ordered a hummus wrap with beet relish (see left), but after hearing her talk about how much she loved this chili recipe, I had to try it. Luckily, my friend Claire was going to order the hummus wrap and gladly took it off my hands. My chili wrap was delicious. It was slow cooked and had a mellow blend of spices and a slight tang. Topped with cheese, lettuce and red onion, it was as beautiful as it was delicious. If you get the chance to chat up food vendors at a farmers market, I highly suggest it. Food tastes better when you understand the story behind it and the love that goes into it. (yes that's cheesey, but it's 100% true)

The Salt House

If you're looking to get away from the crowded pubs of Shop Street, head on over to the Salt House on Raven's Terrace. They have a selection of over 70 international and domestic beers and a friendly staff who are both knowledgeable and helpful if you're stuck as to what to order or intimidated by the sheer number of choices (as I was my first time there).


(slightly daunting, no?)

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They also have a number of board games including my personal favorite, Timberrr (yes, that's THREE r's... not to be confused with Jenga). Inside you'll also find a great crowd--in nearly all my trips there, I've found myself either joining together tables to play a board game or talking to the table next to or behind me. Good craic!


the spud house

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The address to this blog is no small potatoes and The Spud House offers anything but. Their menu has a variety of gourmet spuds topped with everything from vegetables and cheese (as seen here) or korma curry, chickpeas and coconut milk. They also offer a student special. For €9, you get a starter (see below) and a spud of your choice with drink and side salad. Great for those of us eating on a budget (and close to NUIG!).

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(left: bruschetta and right: garlic bread with cheese... equally delicious)

Garvey's Bar & Restaurant

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€5.99 calamari perfectly fried and served piping hot with a side of chili mayo.
[check out their full list of tapas, main courses and sandwiches]

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Apple Pie ala mode (the ice cream wasn't superb, but the pie shell was flaky and delicious and the apples were perfectly cooked) and a chocolate brownie ala mode (the brownie had a cakey rather than fudgey texture, but still delicious to our chocolate-starved palates)

Garvey's Restaurant

Tel: +353 (0)91 562224 Fax: +353 (0)91 562526
Forster Street, Eyre Square, Galway City

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Gourmet Tart Co. (FINALLY!)

I don't know why I never posted about this Galway gem, but it was clearly my go-to place. It offers cheap and delicious sandwiches (Cajun chicken with cheddar, anyone?). Pick one of their signature sandwiches or choose your own and it comes on your choice of bread. NUI carried pre-packaged sandwiches, which were tasty, but for a real treat, head down to their shop on Lower Abbeygate Street. Once there, it's hard to walk by their beautiful case of pastries and not find yourself drooling a little... close your mouth, remember to blink and allow the very friendly staff to help you choose one (or seven) of their mouthwatering pastries. They're as delicious to eat as they are to look at. Trust me... I've tried half the case. They also have a selection of breads, quiches, and salads (pay by the container, not weight... win!).

I give you.... my favorites.
IMG_5933 roasted vegetable quiche (my favorite quick dinner)

(caneles... not sure why the picture is so big, but it just highlights the crunchy, caramelized exterior and the soft, moist custardy interior. a hint of vanilla. a splash of rum. a bite of heaven)

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I'm not an eclair fan, but the pastry creme in these babies will convert even the biggest skeptic...

IMG_6215 berry mousse tart...

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(just one of the many delicious pastries available...)

IMG_5169 Canjun chicken with cucumbers, cheddar and tomatoes...

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giant raspberry meringues (and cheap, too!)

orange coconut spelt bread & papering


(a whole half loaf in one day. it was just that good... and writing was just that intense)

paper writing snack habits

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the Dail Bar

The Dail always delivers. American-sized portions for reasonable prices. Delicious food. Comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Speedy service. Stiletto Disco on Thursdays. Can't be beat.

(left: roast beef special with 2 types of potatoes and veg. right: roast duck atop mashed potatoes)

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bread pudding with a passion fruit sauce (oh my word)

chocolate brownie & strawberry ice cream

The Dail Bar
42 Middle Street
Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland
091 563777

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studying for finals ala Griffin's. hot chocolate, luscious foam, marshmallows (not homemade--I was disappointed) and tiny chocolate curls.

Galway Cupcakery

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red currant mini cupcake from Galway Cupcakery... get one at McCambridge's on Shop Street!



(say hello to savory)


(now meet sweet - the Walter special - lemon, cinnamon sugar, apple & pear jam)

Yummy Crepes
Priced from €2 up.
To contact:Woodquay, Weir Road, Tuam, County Galway Tel: 093 24955 or 086 8984996

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Goya's & Griffin's [again]

Friday I had no class and, at the suggestion of my dear friend Emily who studied in Galway 4 years ago, decided to go to Goya's for hot chocolate.

It's quite literally a hidden gem--I walked by Kirwan Lane twice before asking for directions at the tourist booth in Eyre Square (It's located on a tiny sidestreet next to Yes Flowers--I stopped to smell the flowers but didn't notice the sign!).

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Steamed milk, rich dark chocolate chocolate, a layer of foam so perfect it didn't need whipped cream (I know, I know... well, it didn't need whipped cream, but whipped cream makes everything better...)

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Then I stopped at Griffin's for a nibble and got a cranberry almond tart. Flaky crust, sweet custard to balance out the tartness of the cranberries, a crunch of almond and a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Perfect mid-afternoon snack.

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