As many (if not all) of you know, the Mister and I just returned this past weekend from a 10 day vacation to Europe. We traveled to Ireland, Scotland, and France.
I’ve noticed a change in how I travel since my 20-yr old days of pub hopping and club searching. I’ve reached a strange point in my life where I find myself doing a lot of… ooh yeah that hundreds-of-years-old famous statue is really cool and all, but what can I eat here? Now don’t get me wrong… we saw EVERYTHING and I took almost as many pictures of historical monuments and ourselves as I did of the food we ate. We ran ourselves like crazy around 3 countries in 10 days trying not to miss a thing. But… you know. There was also the food. And the food in each region is so distinctly different that I thought I’d incorporate some of our highlight meals from our trip into a few Food Friday posts.
Breakfast at Elephant & Castle
Elephant & Castle is one of the many popular restaurants in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. Temple Bar, for those unaware, is basically a massive tourist magnet. They have the “traditional Irish pubs” with live music and the Guinness is always flowing. The problem is… you’re often more surrounded by tourists than townies. So for the traveler wanting to see something a little more authentic, you’ll have to go a little ways away from Temple Bar.
But I did want Steven to at least see it, so we ventured over that way on our last day in Dublin. We tried to steer clear of the crazy lines you find later in the day at Temple Bar restaurants, so decided to stroll through during breakfast when most of the tourists are still picking through their continental breakfasts at their hotels.
Immediately seated, we pored over the menu. Freshly squeezed orange juice, a pot of tea, and a glass of steamed milk with honey. Why yes… this is a drink option.
Now for the main meal. Steven had just recently discovered a new love of the local favorite blood sausage, so when the waitress told us the special that day was a scotch egg made with blood sausage instead of traditional sausage, it was as if no other item existed on the menu. That was it. Sold.
I on the other hand was wanting something a little more basic. Something easier on my rattled traveler’s stomach. Airplane food + several pints of Guinness are not a good combo for a traveler with IBS. I chose the Irish oatmeal with honey brûléed fruit.
Boy was I wrong about this being boring or simple. This dish looked and tasted equally stunning. Cracking the brûléed honey on top and the perfect combination of Irish oatmeal (very similar to Barley) and fruit was absolutely to-die-for. You also get about 50 times as much oatmeal as you do a Quaker packet. I was in heaven.
And how was the Mister doing on the other side of the table?
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
… and may your last meal of the day be just as good as your first.