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20th Dec 2016

The Best Meaty Sandwiches In Dublin


This is one of my favorite Irish food stories. It’s the story of a husband and wife team who are making the best roasted meats in the country and serving some of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. I first came across them on a shitty windswept day in a Sandyford foodie market and I’ve been a fan ever since. They started with an overdraft and making the marinades on the kitchen table when things were as tough as they could be financially in our island in 2009. The big problem until recently was that they were confined to farmers markets but a new partnership with Avoca and they have stalls within the Monkstown shop and more importantly downstairs in Suffolk street. North side folk will have to continue eating their deep fried tripe batter burgers or whatever is considered all the rage over there these days. Although in a move similar to the US army putting a Mcdonalds in the Green Zone in Baghdad I see there is an Avoca in Malahide now. Presumably you have to chopper in if coming from the South side.

I stepped down the stairs to see if the sandwich was as good as I had remembered. It wasn’t. I’d had the last one over 2 years ago and this one was was unbelievably ten times fucking better and could be the best in town with the only competition coming from the Green Bench. So they basically keep it simple and roast a bunch of meats which you can see below and have a secret marinade. You’ll usually see Lamb, Pork, chicken and beef. You get it on salad with classic sauces like mint or mustard. No fucking around needed beyond that. Rely on your ingredients.

Its not just the meat that makes the sandwich because the break is fucking savage too. Sourdough. You get the option of a wrap but I’ve had too many soggy wraps in my day to go down that avenue again.

Given that the meat is the star of the show they heap the bastarding stuff on. Your eyes light up as your man keeps shovelling it on and the smells waft from the rotisseries in the background.

You get all the lovely pieces of either crispy skin, chewy beef or in my own case the crackling with the pork. Now the crackling is so absolutely perfect that you’ll need about 6 fillings and capped teeth after eating it. Rock hard, crispy and full of flavour.

The only draw back is that there about only about 14 seats in the entire place. You can try and hang around but I’d class this as a takeaway option only unless you want a high heel in your shin from the yummy mummies in with their prams. The other big problem is that you have to get past all the other lovely Avoca cakes, salads, drinks and gifts without buying them. An obstacle course for you and your wallet.

I took my sandwich and sat on the steps of the local tourist office and took the world in. Apart from the annoying little groups of Spanish school kids gibbering away and looking over my shoulder to see what I was eating it was the perfect. Some might say that at 6.95 it isn’t the cheapest sandwich in the world but when you look at the pictures and imagine just how much fecking love went in to creating these sandwiches you’d be one tight bastard to complain. Spar it ain’t.

I love Irish success stories like these. There’ll be a tone more of these shops and I’d certainly expect to see one in each of the Avoca’s. I want one on every street corner. As I went away licking my lips I thought to myself that is what Irish food really is. A great shop, a great experience, wonderful service and all conceived by Irish people. Food to make you proud.