Ireland Part Two.

DINGLE

Nathan and I booked another great spot to stay on Airbnb for Dingle.  We were so lucky to experience not only the town, but the greater surrounding area. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Dingle Peninsula is insanely stunning. My photos and videos truly don’t do justice. Not only that, but being the small town it is, Dingle is turning into a little foodie spot!

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Ashe's Bar App
ASHE’S BAR & RESTAURANT- Ballydavid Crab Trio.
Ashe's Bar Side
ASHE’S BAR & RESTAURANT- Accompaniment of main dish.
Ashe's Bar Special
ASHE’S BAR & RESTAURANT- Asian Hake Special. I’m a little ashamed to say that I was quite surprised when I first tried this. Not only was it delicious but also authentic and harmonious to Asian flavors.
Global Village Oysters
THE GLOBAL VILLAGE RESTAURANT- Michelin reccommended establishment. The oysters were fantastic as was the sauce. However, I still love my oysters completely naked, or with a quick squeeze of lemon.
Global Village Entree
THE GLOBAL VILLAGE RESTAURANT- West Kerry Lamb Plate.
Global Village Dessert
THE GLOBAL VILLAGE RESTAURANT- Three scoops of in-house made ice cream. I can’t remember the flavors but I was quite impressed. Very good.
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CONOR PASS- Ireland’s highest mountain pass. Breath taking.

DUBLIN

The capital of Ireland and its largest city, I loved the laid back feeling of this big modern place.

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Copper Alley Special
COPPER ALLEY- Roast Beef Special. Lots of potatoes, but in my world, there is never too much! I loved this dish.
Toto App
TOTO RISTORANTE ITALIANO- Sauteed mushroom appetizer. Yummy.
Toto Entree
TOTO RISTORANTE ITALIANO- Fettucinie al Frutti di Mare. Nathan wasn’t wild about his entree but I really liked mine.
Toto Dessert
TOTO RISTORANTE ITALIANO- Dessert was okay. By the way, the restaurant isn’t as smoky as it looks. I didn’t realize at the time how dirty my phone camera lens was.
Lee Kee's Pancakes
LEEKEE CHINESE RESTAURANT- Scallion Pork Pancake. On our last night in Ireland, and holy cow was I missing Asian food! Leekee’s was great, although not as cheap as most other Chinese places I’ve been.
Lee Kee's
LEEKEE CHINESE RESTAURANT- Garlic Jelly Fish. It was a little sweeter here than what I’m used to but it was still good. This dish is one of my favorites of all time.
Lee Kee's Delicious
LEEKEE CHINESE RESTAURANT- Steam Fillet Fish and Tofu (with steamed rice). My favorite meal of the entire trip. Omg it was freakin delicious. Seriously.
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DUBLINA- We learned a lot about Vikings and medieval Dublin!

If you don’t mind dining in early, most places serve an Early Bird Menu that usually lasts until 5pm. You can save some money that way, as those menus are lower priced. As mentioned earlier, Ireland isn’t cheap!

I rarely hear Nathan say that he loves something, so imagine my surprise when he recently stated that he loved Ireland. We take our trips in October because that’s when plane tickets seem to be at the lowest prices. However, I would really love to visit again in the summer. I will always prefer cool weather over hot, which is part of the reason why we both enjoyed Ireland so much, but I bet it’s even more beautiful here in summer.

I also learned a lot of history on this trip, such as the history or Dublin, the Vikings, and the Great Blasket. I love learning like I love food. And I love Ireland. The end.

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Oh hey, I’m back from Ireland! Part One.

What can I say about my eight day vacation in Ireland? A lot, actually. In fact, if I was still there that would be fantastic. Ideal, even. More specifically, in or near the Dingle Peninsula. It’s insanely stunning, a must visit for all travelers and vagabonds alike. But! This blog is about food, so photos of nearly everything I ate in Ireland shall commence.

During our trip Nathan and I stayed in Kinvara, Dingle, and Dublin. We also took short trips to Athlone and Galway. Irish food isn’t known to be the most exciting, flavorful or complex cuisine in the world, but you know what? Ireland isn’t the bland food factory that I had expected.

ATHLONE

On our way to Kinvara from Dublin, we had to stop at Athlone where Sean’s Bar is located. This town was quite charming and quaint!

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Sean's Bar
The oldest pub in Ireland, and allegedly all of Europe. 900 A.D.
Sean's Melody's Lamb Stew
MELODY’S- Sean’s doesn’t serve food but they team up with Melody’s next store! Lamb Stew that was surprisingly flavorful and tasty!
Sean's Guinness
I’m not a beer drinker but contrary to popular belief, Guinness in Ireland tastes like Guinness in America. Or so Nathan says.

Sean Award

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KINVARA

A small little fishing village right by the water. We booked a great little thatch roof cottage on Airbnb, which was located just a five minute scenic walk from town.

The short stroll from our thatch roof cottage stay into town.
The view from our short stroll into town.
Gentian's Chowder
THE GENTIAN- Seafood chowder. Their homemade bread was delicious.
Gentian's
THE GENTIAN- Fried chicken dish. I unfortunately forget the name.
Keoghs Oysters
KEOGH’s- Oysters
Keogh's Lamb
KEOGH’s- Lamb Special
Keoghs Dessert
KEOGH’s- Dessert was awesome.
Tide Full Inn Pizza
TIDE FULL INN- An Italian eatery. The food and cozy little ambiance were nice but our server was kind of a douche.
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Dunguaire Castle

GALWAY

We spent a short visit here so we didn’t get to explore the whole town. But the parts we experienced were bustling, vibrant and touristy.

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Mr.Waffle Latte (1)
MR. WAFFLE- Latte
Mr. Waffle
MR. WAFFLE- The Vegetarian Cheese. Great service, sandwich was okay.

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Did you know that Ireland, and all of Europe, isn’t cheap? Penang it is not, and dining out and drinking in the Emerald Isle costs the same and more! than say, here in Grand Rapids. And travel? The cost of gas alone was around 8 bucks a gallon! We had to get a rental car because we drove three hours one way, twenty minutes another, another three a different way, and four hours another. Insurance was high as well, but considering the country’s penchants for narrow and winding roads and plenty of on street parking, Nathan felt it was needed.

Am I trying to deter you from visiting this fantastic country? Absolutely not. Just be sure to be prepared if you have a certain budget!

Toast in Ferndale.

Toast is a popular breakfast and lunch spot in Ferndale, and one of the other places Nathan used to frequent while he lived on the other side of the state. Breakfast items such as Huevos Rancheros, omelettes, sandwiches, soups and salads make the menu here. The space is small, with a bunch of different vintage toasters adorning the wall. The look and feel is an artsy, hipster one. We came in on a Friday afternoon and got really lucky with getting a table immediately, as this restaurant tends to be packed more often than not.

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The Cure.

Home fries topped with sausage gravy, green chilli, fried eggs, and cheddar cheese. Sounded amazing, but unfortunately I wasn’t crazy about the dish. I couldn’t get over how sweet the potatoes tasted (I am incredibly sensitive to sweetness compared to others). The cheese on top was quite hot but the inside of the pile of food was lukewarm. The eggs were done easy. Once I got to the green chilli, I enjoyed the dish much more. It brought everything together, but at the end this was one meal I actually did not finish. It became too rich for me from the eggs and cheese.

This place wasn’t anything special. Nathan really likes the joint so I’m not opposed to trying it again. We’ve got a couple more concerts in Detroit to go to pretty soon so maybe we’ll stop in for another try.

Over On the Other Side of State At Cass Cafe.

I’m sick of calling the boyfriend by the name “The Boyfriend”, so let’s do a big reveal now, shall we? Nathan. His name is Nathan. There.

So Nathan used to live in Detroit years ago, and attended school at the College For Creative Studies. He’s really loyal to the city and the surrounding ones as well. I was genuinely excited to be able to visit some of his favorite old haunts while we were in town for a concert. One of those spots is Cass Cafe, located very close to the private school he attended. The atmosphere makes that very apparent as you receive an artsy vibe in there, with mostly students on staff. The menu is eclectic and unique, which I always appreciate.

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Asian Vegetarian Spring Rolls.

The Asian Vegetarian Spring Rolls were interesting. They were most likely store bought, served with seaweed salad and emerald green wasabi. There was also some coconut milk on the dish. They might have been trying too hard with this one.

Salad With Caesar Dressing.
Salad With Caesar Dressing.

The greens for the salad were fresh, and the Caesar dressing for the salad was great. Vinaigrette based as opposed to cream, and there were chunks of garlic, cheese, and perhaps anchovies? The only thing I didn’t like were the dried little clumps of fish, which I thought wasn’t necessary. I enjoyed the flavor, but not the texture so much.

New Orleans Seafood Linguine.
New Orleans Seafood Linguine.

My main entree was ordered off their Specials Menu, the New Orleans Seafood Linguine. The mussels and shrimp were juicy and of good quality and the mushrooms and big pieces of wilted spinach was another big plus. The sauce was a type of pesto, which I’m normally not crazy about, but on this plate it was tasty and nicely balanced. I really enjoyed this dish. The toasted bread was a nice touch too, as I can never get enough starch into my body.

The service was very friendly and the atmosphere quite casual. There is also a full bar, which is always nice. Overall I had a good time here, and I can see why it’s one of Nathan’s favorite restaurants. Cass Cafe is definitely a spot I’d like to visit again.