In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm staying on the Irish kick this week, thinking back to when Jen and I visited the Emerald Isle. Before we left, I was chatting with a friend and told him we would be visiting London, Edinburgh, and Dublin.
"Oh, so you're going on a bad food tour?" he said.
Shrug. Guess so.
But London was really the only disappointment (since I thought it was having something of a culinary renaissance...I was wrong). The seafood in Scotland rivaled that of Baltimore, and I had no expectations for Ireland, so I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from the food I've eaten in Irish pubs in the States (read: inauthentic bar food), I had zero frame of reference beyond this:
I mean I was vaguely aware of things like soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage. None of it sounded that great. But I was also vaguely aware that Ireland had a potato famine and now they are ALL ABOUT THE POTATO. And I mean really, who isn't?
SO ANYWAY, potatoes are just the start. Ireland is carb heaven. Jen knows what's up.
I don't know if they are just really spooked about someday having to go without potatoes, but they serve potatoes in some form or another with damn near every meal. And who am I to object?
When Jen and I went on a day trip exploring the Irish countryside, we had low expectations for lunch, having been scarred by a horrifying tour of the Scottish Highlands with Uncle Jamie. Luckily our guide was no Uncle Jamie. In fact, he reminded me of my father in that he was super uptight about being back on the bus exactly when he told us to after every stop. Why? Because he wanted to make sure that we beat the other (bigger) bus to the lunch stop so that we could have first crack at the food.
The cafeteria style restaurant served some delicious food, though there were only a few options. EXCEPT WHEN IT CAME TO POTATOES. I know this isn't the most appetizing photo, but this chicken mushroom puff pastry thing was delish, and if you look on the right, you will see potatoes two ways -- mashed and boiled. UH HUH.
And the greatest potato hits just kept coming, all trip long.
Potatoes were just the beginning of the carb parade. I listed "tea" as a sight to see in London, mostly because while London hardly has any good food, they do make some bomb-ass scones. That said, Ireland isn't far behind in the baked goods department. Jen and I stuck with this breakfast of champions, dining one morning at Queen of Tarts. Not only is this place unbelievably adorable, the scones are as big as your head.
And to finish on a high note, Dublin knows how to do it up dessert style.
All makers of elastic waistbands: HAIL DUBLIN.