Irish pub food gets a bad rap. Always has. Pub grub, fried, frozen, bar food – and, I am here to tell you that the American food vernacular will never include, “I’m in the mood for Irish tonight”.
That said, what many Americans AND Irish-Americans may not realize though is that Ireland actually has a rich and long food history of making dishes that are prepared simply and with fresh, local ingredients. While the “grass fed beef” and “farm to table” movement explodes here in the USA, our friends back in Ireland find it all a bit perplexing. That response comes from their own culinary and agricultural traditions. Food has always been Farm to Table. Cows in Ireland don’t eat corn. They eat grass. Always have.
Dublin Has a Food Scene
A week ago we took all of our managers (the ladies and gents who run our pubs) to Dublin. It was a very special week marked with trips to iconic Dublin locales where we experienced the best food, drink and hospitality that the city had to offer. Trust me, we ate well. Very well.
(we recorded it in photos on our Instagram account if you’re curious)
During one special dinner, Chef and owner Kevin Arundel of The Chop House (best Pub 2012, 2014 & Dublin’s only Michelin recommended pub) talked us through his beef standards with a passion as extraordinary as his flavorful dishes. He spoke a lot about his philosophy of buying local, fresh veggies and meats with a focus on preparing simple but delicious dishes …and we found these food themes were consistent across the city. The whiskey was pretty good too.
Ireland is an island about the size of Indiana, so serving local, fresh food is an easier endeavor than what restaurants are faced with in the US in terms of ensuring quality, costs and consistency. Farm to Table just doesn’t work well when the farm is in Michigan and the table is in Florida. Regardless of the logistical challenges, a profound change is happening within our industry in the US around this new food philosophy in a sustainable way. We’re happy the industry is coming around to our way of thinking.
“I didn’t realize you guys had such good food”
At Tigín, we aren’t radicalizing our menu. We are ringing the dinner bell and offering a friendly, delicious alternative when you want to eat really well when you are out. We want you to think fresh, seasonal, local, house-made and zero trans fats oils. Our cod is wild caught. Our soups and Guinness and cheddar bread are made in-house, daily. Our corned beef is cut to our own specifications and our Irish sausage is our own recipe prepared by our own butcher. The lamb in our lamb sliders is actually braised and slow cooked for at least 4 hours before we even start thinking about prepping for dinner.
As for pub grub? Hell yeah! Our own Harp lager cheese covered chips and corned beef sandwich should be celebrated! We make a darn good burger too, incorporating grass-fed beef – a testament to our passion for preparing simple, fresh and really good food. That’s what “Irish” really means.
We think it’s time to reconsider your perception of Irish food. Luckily for you, we already have.
Go on and share your Irish food experiences with us online. We always appreciate the feedback!
Check out this great video showcasing the Ireland food scene today!