festival earlier this year. His influence is at play here at Wigwam with the pincha rump steak and Brazilian style oven baked eggs and avocado. The Pickle Me Senseless sandwich (¤7) is pickled brisket on rye with a delightfully spicy black pepper mayo, melted cheese and gherkins. It’s like a classic Rueben with an additional kick. I don’t like the salad greens that have been added . They are unnecessary, and have become wilted in the toasting process. I prefer my salad on the side. I order the Minty Picnic Salad (¤8.50) with quinoa and kidney beans is simple and refreshing. It comes with a slice of batch bread toast, and it would have been nice to have something to spread on the toast.
Vice is one of the four independent businesses that Wigwam will play host to, alongside the Boxcutter Barbershop downstairs, the Brewtonic’s Drink Shop and the Wig Your Wam costume kiosk which will be open late Friday and Saturday night for all your 1970s disco costume needs.
Wigwam is open for brunch and lunch everyday, and there’ll be late nights on Friday on Saturday.
The National Library of Ireland Kildare Street, Dublin 2 nli.ie € The National Library of Ireland is home to records of Irish life, made accessible to those readers who wish to study the documents and archives of this public library. The Library is free of charge to anyone who wants to consult the collections, though a reader’s ticket is needed, and available from the library’s front desk in the building that overlooks the Dail, where the library has lived since 1877.
It’s not a lending library and instead reading rooms abound in this impressive space. There is often a small exhibition in the hallway just before you enter the café, meaning you can get your five minutes of culture without having to dive into the archives of the library.
Café Joly is tucked away in a corner room on the ground floor, one of the few rooms not given over to books and records. Named after Dr Jaspar Robert Joly, who donated his private library to the Royal Dublin Society in 1863, the café is run by Brownyn Bailey and Michael O’Malley. They source Irish cheese, pates and charcuterie to serve on boards alongside their homemade soups, tagines and sandwiches.
They make and source everything fresh on a daily basis, meaning that they can often run out of food by around 4pm. This is a good sign – until you turn up hungry at 4pm that is. It means you could miss out on their daily soups, which can include chicken and thyme (¤6.50) or spiced courgette and fennel (¤5).
Sandwiches are on ciabatta rolls and are stuffed full of Irish ingredients, such as Knockadrinna Ewes cheese with spiced clementine jam (¤6) or Mcloughlin’s corned beef with horseradish and baby beetroot pickle (¤6).
You can opt instead for one of the tasting plates, such as the selection of On The Pig’s Back terrines, toast and relish (¤9.50) They offer a hot dish of the day, too, which could be a beef and cider stew or a tasty tagine, and priced at around ¤9.50. They do a popular Cup and Crust lunchtime deal of a half a cup of soup and half a sandwich for ¤6.70.
They don’t have WiFi, making it a terrible place to get some work done and a wonderful place to get away from your daily strifes and struggles. It can be deliciously quiet in off peak times, and is most certainly off the beaten track.
51 Lower Dominick Street, Galway 091-449252 dela.ie € Margaret and Joe Bohan are the husband and wife who opened dela in 2013, in the space that used to house JP McMahon’s Cava restaurant before it moved to its new home on Middle Street. The Bohans were inspired by a trip to Norway, where they experienced a simpler Scandinavian style of eating out and wanted to bring an element of that to Galway. Dela, translated from Swedish, means to share.
To describe the décor or food at dela as Scandi would be misleading, but it certainly has a stripped-back rustic charm. The menu offers comfort food classics such as steamed Killary mussels with chorizo, fennel and white wine (¤6.50 starter) and the dela sweet potato tagine Hot Pot (¤14.50). There is a sharing section on their dinner menu, featuring charcuterie and an Irish cheeseboard. Season permitting, the couple grow as much produce as possible on their Moycullen family farm to supply the restaurant. They’re also into craft beer brewing and offer a few of their own seasonal brews alongside Irish craft beers.
I’m in for brunch, celebrating the engagement of friends who are based in Galway. Complimentary prosecco for the happy couple finds it way to our table thanks to Margaret Bohan, who oversees service beautifully. My refreshingly interesting non-alcoholic strawberry, berry bitters and soda drink is struck off our bill, too, in the name of celebration. The cocktails and choice of craft beers is great but the coffee could be improved. My flat white tastes burnt and bitter, and I can’t distinguish any of the softer notes – the caramels, chocolates or berry flavours – that I always look forward to tasting in carefully brewed coffee.
I’m curious about the Middle and Far Eastern influences that run through the vegetarian options in the brunch and dinner menus. The appearance of a falafel and hummus on a Scandi-inspired Irish restaurant, among the free-range mustard chicken and seared steak sandwiches, feels a little off message. Though I have read the couple is keen to not tie themselves down to just one type of food, for me it makes the menu feel a little unfocussed.
But it all tastes great. The veggie breakfast (¤8.50) comes with crispy falafel and a lightly battered cauliflower pakora. Paired with fried potatoes, mushrooms, eggs and fried tomatoes, it’s a big plate of food and a welcome hangover buster. My buttermilk pancakes (¤8.50) are made in the American style, stacked tall on the plate, drizzled with maple syrup and served with good quality bacon. The breakfast burrito is not a breakfast option that I’m a fan of – too messy, too big, too Guy Fieri – but dela’s do an elegant job of it. Their brunch burrito (¤7.50) is wrapped in a toasty tortilla that doesn’t go soggy halfway through, like other disastrous breakfast burritos I’ve suffered through. The flavours of the scrambled eggs, the relish and the coriander and lime salsa are balanced well.
Brunch for three, with a tea (¤1.80), an Americano (¤2.50) and a flat white (¤2.80) comes to ¤32.10. Dela is open for brunch and dinner only.
Coffeewerk + Press
4 Quay Street, Galway 091-448667 facebook.com/ coffeewerkandpress ¤ of milk. Bravo!
At the moment, the business is focusing on their coffee, but they are serving a few buns and cakes supplied by Ard Bia just a few minutes away. Coffeewerk + Press’s winter hot chocolate (¤3.50) looks extremely special, too. It’s made from a combination of organic hot chocolate, dark chocolate, black pepper, cinnamon, sea salt, chilli powder and hazelnut syrup. Woah.
Recently, Coffeewerk + Press held an event where they brought the Coffee Collective over to Galway from Copenhagen for a Saturday-afternoon cupping class in the shop. They hope to do a small number of events such as this throughout the year, highlighting suppliers in coffee and craft that they admire. Keep an eye on their facebook page for details of all future events.