We've been big fans of Whitefriar Grill for the last couple of years and we aren't the only ones.
They've become so popular that the last time I asked if they'd a table for brunch without a booking, I was told I'd have to wait two and a half hours. When it comes to poaching eggs, making great cocktails and having huge portions, while maintaining a laid back atmosphere, they've nailed it.
Obviously looking to cash in on their deserved popularity, they did the only natural thing and took over the pub next door and opened Bow Lane just before Christmas. The new place is so close that the hostess from Whitefriar Grill was walking customers into Bow Lane using it as a sort of overflow lounge for hungry young Dubliners looking for their brunch fix.
The room and atmosphere feel completely different. The new spot is dark, moody and has a proper pub feel to it. Indeed it used to be a pub called Delaney's that also housed an off-license, but the renovation has transformed it beyond recognition.
While it used to be somewhere that a few aul lads would sit drinking pints with chasers while betting on the horses, it's now a place for young people to drink the same amount of alcohol, dressed in fanciest gear while swiping away on Tinder.
On my last visit I went for brunch and I have to say the menu was absolutely top notch. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get a bit of brunch fatigue. If I see another eggs benedict, huevos rancheros or French toast I think I'll cry. Everything here was about variety though, with tonnes of exciting options. Something for everybody in any group.
My chicken burger with jalapeno slaw, disco fries and cheese was a triumph. Like a better tasting, healthier version of KFC and I mean that in a good way. Less MSG, more real chicken.
I had the standard coffee and orange juice and still got change out of a €20 note, which is what brunch should cost. The portion was so big that I couldn't even get close to finishing it and I actually had to laugh out loud when I was offered the doughnuts for dessert.
While the buildings are next door to each other, with separate kitchens and completely different branding, these places are cut from the same underlying cloth and that's a great thing. Super food, friendly service and a serious lack of bullshit make this another winner. I'll be back for a nice steak or even their surf and turf, because I think the place will lend itself even more to dinner than simply being a brunch spot.
The other end of George's Street (technically Aungier Street) is the trendier and busier spot, but the lads are smashing it down here on their own little patch. Things are going amazingly for these guys at the moment, so don't be surprised if they own the whole street someday soon.
Well worth a visit.