Sometimes, the ordinary ham and cheese sambo isn’t enough. After a long, hard days grind battling wind, rain and office supplies sometimes you deserve some time to relax with a good lunch that transports you to lands afar (or at least keeps you going ‘til dinner). Lorraine Griffin is back. Her last article about her lunchtime experiences in the market had us all skipping down the canal (click here to read about it). This time she tells you how to dine like a New Yorker right here in Dublin. Prepare yourself for an education on dining NYC-style.
Okay, so we’re lacking yellow cabs, a love of pretzels and those ubiquitous hotdog stands (the ones that pop up at 3am outside Leeson St. serving a hungry mob who would happily eat anything with ketchup don’t count). But no matter, it’s still possible to have a New York dining experience right here in Dublin.
The Deli sandwich continues to be a lunchtime favourite in the Big Apple, and like all things American it’s beefier, thicker, larger and bolder than its European counterparts. Look no further than artisan store Fallon & Byrne, where you can get salami, pastrami or lox (smoked salmon with cream cheese to you and me!) on traditional rye bread. Prices range from €5 to €8. To keep it States-side, you can also pick up a root beer and fill your pockets with Hershey's and Reece's chocolates for after.
If you’re fortunate enough to have the morning to yourself, then make like a total New Yorker and head to Odessa for one of their brunch options. According to Wikipedia (who know everything), the term was invented by New York Morning Sun reporter Frank Ward O'Malley based on the typical mid-day eating habits of a newspaper reporter. Anyway, back to the food. Go for Eggs Florentine or Benedict, both served on the confusingly-named English muffin, which actually hails from the U.S. Or for something sweet, opt for American-style pancakes with a cheeky fruit compote. Either options come in at around €11 and will fill you for the day. Delicious.
Remember 1990s cheesecakes, with the unappealing slice of lemon welded to the top and the thin base crumbing under the weight of its quivering jellylike substance? As a J1-er in Chicago, a life-changing trip to the The Cheesecake Factory opened my taste buds to the delights of a baked NY cheesecake. My first taste of the dense, creamy wonder was like tasting lobster after a lifetime of scampi. Luckily our chefs and cafes adopted this approach and nowadays it’s much easier to avoid the jelly-like wobbles of yesteryear. For a little taste of heaven for under a fiver, head to theQueen of Tarts on Dame Street for their New York Raspberry Baked Cheesecake.
Jessica Simpson, doing a massive injustice to blondes everywhere, once famously asked if Buffalo Wings were really made frombuffalo meat. At this point the cameraman had to stop filming and go into a room to compose himself before resuming with the shoot. Not her best moment!
No, these wings actually originate from the state of Buffalo in NY. They are the stuff of dreams, particularly after a night out or when a big feed is called for. The sauce is tangy, spicy, messy and moreish and no matter how you try to emulate it at home it’s impossible to achieve the same taste sensation. There are three places serving these: Tribeca (Ranelagh), Elephant and Castle(Temple Bar) or Canal Bank Café (off Leeson Street). Same chef, same magical sauce. It costs around €12 for one portion, which easily does 2 people.
Long before it was featured in the Sopranos, Shanahan’s Restaurant and it’s Oval Office Bar had captured the imagination as the quintessential New York style steakhouse. Granted, you’d need the cash of a Mafioso to dine there regularly but if you want a Friday treat, then go for their lunch special. It’s €45 for 3 courses, one of which includes their famous tender Angus beef.
And as we get closer to that presidential visit, you never know just who might turn up in the Oval Office bar to take his place amongst the other former presidents of Irish heritage….