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Badger & Dodo

59 Fran­cis Street Dublin 8 bad­gerand­dodo.ie

This is the first Dublin lo­ca­tion for this Cork roaster who has been at the fore­front of spe­cialty cof­fee over the past decade.

The café has a few ta­bles and chairs in­doors, and cur­rently the Dublin City Coun­cil beta projects have a tem­po­rary out­door seat­ing area in a re­claimed car park­ing space. You can fol­low the project un­der #StreetParkletBeta.

All the cof­fee beans are roasted in the Badger & DoDo roast­ery in Fer­moy, Co Cork, where Brock Lewin has been roast­ing beans since July 2008. I grab a turkey and brie sand­wich (¤5.50), made with ex­cel­lent in­gre­di­ents, and a tasty sweet potato vegetarian sand­wich (¤5.50) to go. There are five sand­wiches daily, all made with Bret­zel Bak­ery bread, which also sup­plies the café with flapjacks, cakes and scones.

I get a v60 cup of Tan­za­nian peaberry cof­fee, an oval-shaped cof­fee bean, and it’s pleas­antly acidic yet quite full-bod­ied. I’ve never know­ingly tasted a peaberry roast be­fore (and in­deed I had to google “peaberry” after my visit), and it’s these nuggets of new knowl­edge that make for a great cof­fee ex­pe­ri­ence. Not bad for a lit­tle café on Fran­cis St. AMcE

Gail­lot et Gray

59 Clan­bras­sil Street Lower Dublin 8 www.face­book.com/ Gail­lotGrayP 01-4547781

“If you have nice in­gre­di­ents and stay true to them, it’ll taste good,” Emma Gray tells me, as she foams the milk for my flat white in her French Bak­ery and Pizze­ria on Clan­bras­sil St. She is one half of Gail­lot et Gray. Her part­ner is Gilles Gail­lot and to­gether they opened up their French-style, wood-fired pizze­ria on Clan­bras­sil Street in Dublin 8 in March of this year.

Their evening trade (which runs from 4pm to 10pm, Tues­day through Satur­day) of take­away pizza has been thriv­ing, with my cur­rent favourite be­ing the chorizo and fresh chilli pizza (¤14). The in­te­ri­ors, de­signed by Gray, are sim­ple and in­dus­trial, with a large com­mu­nal ta­ble and a few other seats for those who want to eat-in. Once they had found their feet in the evenings, they ex­tended their open­ing hours to in­clude a French Bak­ery from

8am to 2pm from Tues­day through to Satur­day. There are huge crois­sants and caramel-coloured pain au cho­co­late (¤1.50 each), dainty madeleine cakes (80c each or three for ¤2), and a brioche loaf (¤7.50 or ¤2.50 for a slice, toasted). Per­haps the most cov­eted (by me, any­way) is the tra­di­tional French boule loaves (¤4.50) that come fresh out of the pizza oven ev­ery day.

Gail­lot et Gray’s baker, Peter Lee, uses Gilles’ recipe for a tra­di­tional rus­tic boule which is made from a com­bi­na­tion of slow-fer­mented yeast and sour­dough starter, so it’s got a bit of a tang, but the con­sis­tency is a spongier treat than a crunchy sour­dough.

They use two types of flour in the bread, a plain white flour and a buck­wheat and lin­seed flour, giv­ing these loaves an ex­tra bite of flavour.

On Satur­days, they soon found that the pas­tries and bread were sell­ing out be­fore 10.30am, so they started of­fer­ing a se­lec­tion of yummy things on slices of their toasted boule or brioche, such as smashed avo­cado or but­ter­bean (4.50).

The cof­fee is from Baobab Roast­ers, a duo based in Cel­bridge, whose Brazil­ian blend is the house bean of choice at Gail­lot et Gray. Tea is by In­tel­li­gent Tea, an ex­cel­lent herbal tea made by Freda Wolfe from Ir­ish herbs at Wild Ir­ish Foods. At Gail­lot et Gray, the em­pha­sis is on thought­ful sim­plic­ity. For the cus­tomer, this trans­lates into a straight­for­ward yet spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence. Tak­ing home a freshly baked loaf of rus­tic French bread and a well-made cof­fee, with your pock­ets stuffed with flaky crois­sants, is a pretty great start to any day. AMcE

Ur­ban­ity

The Glass House, 11 Coke Lane, Smith­field, Dublin 7. ur­ban­i­ty­cof­fee.ie

Tucked away on the lane that leads to the back door of Ryan’s Pub in Smith­field is a cof­fee shop and small-batch roaster, Ur­ban­ity. The de­sign is min­i­mal and the space is am­ple. It’s equipped with shiny gad­gets from in­no­va­tive Ir­ish cof­fee tech­nol­ogy com­pany Marco and there’s a Pro­bat cof­fee roaster in the cor­ner of the cafe, sur­vey­ing the scene. When it comes to beans, these folks mean busi­ness.

Ur­ban­ity buy their green beans from a sup­plier in Norway, who buys them direct trade from cof­fee farm­ers around the world. On my visit, I drink a flat white (¤3 here in Ur­ban­ity) made from a Brazil­ian bean that has been roasted on the other side of the room. It has a dis­tinc­tively nutty flavour; the tast­ing notes say marzi­pan and al­mond, but my palate is not well enough versed in the world of cof­fee flavours to pick up on that level of de­tail just yet. Ur­ban­ity has three grinders (most cafes only have one on the go, though it’s more com­mon to have two these days) which means they can eas­ily of­fer you a choice of three beans, and thus dif­fer­ent taste pro­files, on any given day.

There’s food, too, in­clud­ing some pleas­ing sal­ads that are in­ven­tive yet ac­ces­si­ble. I add a small por­tion of salad to my sand­wich or­der (an ad­di­tional ¤2.50) and go for the roasted broc­coli with a sweet tahini sauce, and a por­tion of a cele­riac, or­ange, ap­ple and sumac salad. The ham and cheese sand­wich (¤6.50) doesn’t quite match the rest of the menu’s of­fer­ing. The ham is de­cent but the cheese is dull and sweaty.

Ur­ban­ity had been so busy dur­ing the lunchtime wave that hit them be­fore I ar­rived that I lit­er­ally got the last Arun Bak­ery bun in the kitchen, so my op­tions were limited. A Mid­dle East­ern Chicken sand­wich on the menu looked a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing. There are plenty of house-made desserts, and a teeny tahini bis­cuit (¤1) goes down a treat with my cof­fee. AMcE

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