Thursday, June 25, 2015

Safe Travels in Ireland - Daly's House

Jason here. The second B&B we stayed in was Daly’s HouseB&B in the village of Doolin near the beautiful Cliffs of Moher. Indeed we could see some of the cliffs from our room window.

With such nice views, it was also pleasant in that I was able to have gluten free meals each morning. I opted for French toast with bacon and eggs each day. It was more than enough to fill me up until dinner, even after the 2 hour hike along the cliffs.

Bacon in Ireland tastes like thin cut and salted ham. Very different then American or Canadian bacon. It was a nice change of pace, but not something I’ll be looking for at home. Ham is something I tend to enjoy during the holidays, not an everyday sort of meat.

The French toast was made with brown bread, which Kayleigh and I both found delicious. We talked about brown bread in a previous post, so be sure to check that out in our Dunberg B&B Review.

Kayleigh here. Daly's house had such a charming atmosphere with it's homey decorations, well stoked living room fireplace, and Susan always ready to welcome you in from the cold with a hot Bailey's coffee. Doolin can be a cool and windy spot even in the warmest of seasons- it felt so good to have somewhere warm and inviting to recharge at before running off on your next adventure.

The location is just perfect, too. Right around the corner from the shopping/pub strip, a short but scenic walk to the Doolin Docks, and right down the street from the hiking trail to the Cliffs of Moher. We never had to touch our car until it was time to check out and head to Dublin!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Safe Travels in Ireland - Gourmet Burger Bistro and Wilton's Steak Bar and Pub

Gourmet Burger Bistro
Jason here. One of the great perks of staying at a B&B is the personalized recommendations you can get. In this case our B&B owner’s son recommended we go to Gourmet Burger Bistro in downtown Cork. Cork is a pleasant city to walk around and we were able to find the restaurant easy enough.
Located just next to the river it’s a small place that specialized in cheese burgers. Gluten free buns were called out on the menu and the waitress answered any questions we might have had. I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger with which came with caramelized pear. 

It was only when my burger came out did I realize why the put so much emphasis on the cheese. I had a huge wedge of blue cheese melted over the burger. Far more then I have gotten at any other burger joint. It is worth mentioning that the burger also came with a pretty standard affair of lettuce and tomato. 

The blue cheese was excellently cooked, melting enough so it covered the burger, but still solid enough to bite into. After how good this tasted I might just start ordering extra cheese on all my burgers. The caramelized pear added a sweet flavor to the otherwise earthy and salty flavor of the burger. The sauce was mayo, which I found was the standard in Ireland over ketchup or mustard. Plenty of the burgers on the menu had other sauces, so everyone will find something to their liking. 

Kayleigh here. I was very tempted by three or so burgers on the menu, but I decided to go out on a limb and get the Beef, Chorizo, and Manchego burger. Like Jason mentioned, they were VERY generous on the lightly melted cheese, which was great to cut the spice of the salsa and chorizo slices. This one was definitely more of a fork and knife burger, though- I had chorizo and beef juices dripping down my hands whenever I took a bite, and went through more than my fair share of napkins. The whole thing was delicious, though- a big emphasis on high quality ingredients and carefully prepared dishes here.

Wilton's Steak Bar and Pub

Kayleigh here. We spent the first full day of the trip driving all around the Ring of Beara and up to the Killarney National Park before heading back to our B&B in Cork. The last thing we wanted to do at that point was drive, so our hostess pointed us towards Wilton's as a walkable option for dinner. It was fairly easy to find- across the road from a shopping center and just down the street from the hospital, and the waitress was able to find a table for two almost immediately. It had more of a family restaurant or sports bar feel to it than an Irish pub atmosphere, but it fit the menu and gave us a chance to try and puzzle out the Rugby match on the television near us.

Wilton's menu was unique to us in that it listed major allergens present in each dish- not just gluten, but also dairy, eggs, shellfish, and even mustard to name a few. The menu did not cater specifically to gluten free diners, so the options were fairly typical- not many starters to choose from, but most of the steaks and several other entrees were safe. The real bonus to Wilton's is if you are traveling with other restricted diners, or have multiple restrictions yourself. There's a good chance that anyone can find something on the menu.

Jason. Wilton’s had the greatest seafood chowder I’ve ever had. It was so thick and creamy! Plenty of large salmon chunks along with the shellfish. Seafood chowder is something I find can easily be made wrong. Either two thick, or watery, or not enough actually seafood. Everything was just right here. Kayleigh has already bought the ingredients to try and make something similar at home. Oh, and remember to ask for the gluten free bread.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Safe Travels in Ireland - Dunberg B&B

Jason here. I must confess I have never stayed in a B&B before our Ireland trip. B&Bs are far more popular then hotels in Ireland so we found ourselves booking a couple. I can start off by saying I loved our B&B experience, and hopefully will be booking more wherever our next adventure takes us. I found them to be cleaner, cheaper, better located, and larger than any hotel room I’ve booked in the past.

The first we stayed at was the Dunberg B&B in Cork. It’s run by Kay, who is extremely nice and well versed in celiac and gluten free foods.

As soon as we arrived Kay offered us some gluten free scones, tea or coffee. After such a long drive from Dublin, it was nice to just be able to relax. The scones were amazing. There were 2 with sultanas, and 2 plain. I particularly liked the sultana scones, which I ate with strawberry jelly. The black currents tasted very similar to raisins, and along with the strawberry jelly made the scones tasted very fruity. I think I ate 6 scones in the course of 2 and half days. When we left Kay even packed a couple up and let us take them with us for the car ride ahead.

It was also our first experience with a full Irish breakfast- bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, eggs, mushrooms, tomato, and beans, amongst other regional variations. The bacon was the usual Irish bacon, which tastes like thin cut and fried ham. I found it a bit saltier then American or Canadian bacon. The beans were in a sort of tomato based sauce, and everything was served piping hot.You should give it a try at least once during your stay!

In the morning, along with the full Irish breakfast we had, she made us some delicious Brown Bread. Brown bread reminded me of a less grainy wheat bread, and went excellent with butter. Kayleigh is even now searching for a recipe and I am sure will be trying to reproduce it hear at home.

Kayleigh here. Kay and her son really went out of their way to make sure we had a memorable stay in Cork. She covered everything from porridge to black and white puddings to chocolate fingers with our evening tea, without Jason ever needing to make a substitution or go without a part of the meal. She made sure we could find our way around the area, and very patiently and thoroughly answered our questions about gluten free dinner spots and what we might be able to find in other parts of Ireland. For this, I will always remember our stay at the Dunberg B&B, and cannot recommend it highly enough.