Tucked away down a side street in Rathgar, neighborhood joint Beckett and Bull is quietly serving up a whole assortment of top-notch food – including what has to be the best bean burger anywhere in town.
I’d stopped in at Beckett and Bull before for a quick lunch a few times before and never been disappointed, but when my housemate and I returned this week for a proper dinner this week, though, we were blown away.
We each opted for their midweek special, which offers two courses for €20 or three courses for €25. My friend ordered the chicken wings, which were served up in a generous portion and with a chunky, mild, and altogether surprisingly pleasant bleu cheese sauce.
I had the baby back pork ribs – a crowd favorite that I saw five or six other people order over the course of the night. The house sauce they were prepared with was applied a bit sparsely for my taste, but then that did cut down on the mess – a welcome variation on the typical baby back ribs experience.
For the main course, I ordered the crisp chicken supreme, a basic but tasty and well-made dish. The massive and spicy Cajun fries were a good partner for the more subdued spiciness of the chicken and its chorizo filling, and the bed of snow peas and mixed veg supporting the chicken were the perfect respite from the spice.
The chorizo-stuffed chicken did seem slightly reminiscent of a pepperoni pizza calzone, but that was more than fine by me.
The star of our six dishes, without a doubt, was my friend’s main: the Mexican bean veggie burger. I’ve had a lot of vegetarian friends over the years and, as a result, a lot of vegetarian bean burgers – and they’re hard to get right.
Beckett and Bull’s bean burger knocks it out of the park. This absolutely massive burger patty – well over an inch thick – achieves perfect bean burger balance. It’s chock full of several varieties of beans to make it juicy and (faux) meaty, and it’s coated with a birdfeeder’s worth of seeds to hold it all together. The sweet chili sauce on top pairs nicely with the burger, and even the fairly run-of-the-mill guacamole and sour cream become impressive when paired with this delicious dish.
This burger’s only flaw is its presentation. With the smattering of DIY burger trimmings, it looks almost sad on the plate, but it is anything but in the eating.
While the burger was the best dish of the night, our selections for the final course were close runners-up. My housemate opted for the honeycomb and Toblerone cheesecake with raspberry coulis.
The honeycomb lent a surprising but fitting crunch to the otherwise airy cheesecake, and the dish seemed overall to be a great, light complement to the fairly heavy dishes that comprise much of the mains (and even appetisers) menu.
I ordered the “luxury” chocolate brownie. I thought that modifier was superfluous until the dish landed in front of me and I was face-to-face with a melty, batter-y brownie the size of a small sandwich.
With the size and richness of this brownie, the ice cream it came with was entirely necessary to lighten the dish up and, in turn, to get through it alive. My only complaint was that it was absolutely too big. I enjoyed every bite I could manage, but it was simply unfinishable after two courses – or, I’d bet, even one course. This dish is a must-try for chocolate lovers, but maybe get it to share.
Worth noting, as well, is the drink selection at Beckett & Bull. In addition to an extensive wine and cocktail list, the bar has fridges stocked with dozens of local brews. My friend’s Five Lamps Dublin Lager and my L&L Cider were both grade-A on their own and as partners to our meals.
With its off-the-beaten-track location, Beckett and Bull is certainly designed as a neighborhood restaurant. But with its widely varied menu, frequent specials (like Thursday’s “Girl’s Night Out” deal guaranteeing a free bottle of wine to parties of four or more ladies), and delicious food, it’s worth a visit for Dubliners far outside of Rathgar and Rathmines.
- Beckett and Bull
- 53 Rathgar Ave, Rathgar, Dublin 6