While Dublin's food scene is currently booming with exotic food trends and old classics from around the world, it's hard to argue that there's anything better than a plain ol' sandwich. In fact, those who wish to present this point of view to me will be met by a firm glance of disdain.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Dublin working life though, it's hard to find time to try out new places. Lunchtimes are usually spent running across the road to the nearest deli for a takeaway sandwich or roll so on a welcome day off it's nice to branch out a bit.
That's what I did a few weeks back during an afternoon wander through Rathmines. Farmer Browns is a place that's sparked my curiosity on a few occasions when walking past so with a bit of time on my hands, it made sense to check it out.
I'd heard about the place from a couple of friends and colleagues and was even turned away on a recent Saturday night because it was full and I didn't have a booking. As good an indication you can get on the quality of a restaurant to be fair.
I sat down and looked at the menu and was spoiled for choice really. Given that the original purpose of my quest was to get my sandwich fix, I didn't bother too much with looking at other parts of the menu.
The Italian was the first to catch my eye but the chicken fiend inside my swayed by decision to opt for the roast chicken with tarragon mayo, cheddar and greens on toasted sourdough. That and the fact it was 55 cent cheaper and I could go home with an extra few pennies in my pocket which is always nice.
When the dish arrived I couldn't have dreamed that it would taste as good as it did. The bread would have been delicious enough to eat by itself while the cheese and mayo complimented the chicken perfectly. Now, I'm not much of a food Instagrammer, but if I was, I imagine it would have been a struggle to keep the sandwich on the plate long enough for me to find the perfect angle.
Farmer Browns' relaxed atmosphere tempted me to stay for a coffee once all my food was finished. Since it was sunny, I sat out the front and watched the world go by, contemplating when I'd be able to return to try out the Italian sandwich I'd decided against ordering the first time.
It took all of three days to go back and do just that and once again I wasn't disappointed. I've always been a fan of salami but I'll never have it without pesto again after sampling this bad boy. Throw in the ham and sundried tomatoes and I could have eaten another one right there and then.
At this stage, I had more or less become a regular patron of Farmer Browns and frankly I was starting to feel a bit weird dining on my own so often. So, it was high time I shared my secret with those closest to me, gathering members of my family there for an evening meal on a recent weekend.
There were six of us there in total and for whatever reason, five of us ordered a variation of the tacos (cod, roast chicken or slow-cooked pork). While there were no complaints from anyone on the quality of the meal, they were definitely a bit on the big side and three tacos as a main course could definitely have been shared between two. Alternatively, two tacos as a starter would have been enough to fill one person's belly for the evening.
Farmer Browns has been a mainstay of Rathmines Road since 2016 and now that I'm very much familiar with the menu, it's comforting to know that it's there if I ever need it. If my recent record continues at the same pace, I'll be in there about 10 more times before summer really gets going. If the sandwiches I've tried are tasty enough for me to keep coming back then I certainly can't ignore the rest of the menu for too much longer.
To check out the full menu for the Rathmines and Bath Avenue locations visit the Farmer Browns website.