Er Buchetto in Ranelagh – or the ‘purple Italian place’ as it’s widely known – is easily one of the unsung heroes of the Dublin café scene.
Top-notch coffee, sound staff, the best panini in the entire city and an absolutely gorgeous location – one they surely won’t mind us calling ‘shabby chic’ – it’s a hidden gem amongst the major players in Dublin’s foodie hotspot.
We’ve shouted before about its amazing avocado salad, and its eclectic brunch menu; both of which remain reasons to travel south for a visit if you haven’t already been. But there’s a whole other string to its bow that even its regular customers won’t have noticed before: it’s got quite possibly the best gluten-free sambos in all of Dublin.
Of course, the restaurants and cafés here have seriously upped their gluten-free game in the last couple of years – not just because it’s become something of a dietary fad, but because coeliac disease is finally being identified and diagnosed properly in Ireland.
Still, though, too many places in this city cut corners when it comes to ‘alternative’ options, and it’s not unusual to be apologetically told that you’ll have to settle for a salad if you’re unable (or unwilling) to eat regular bread.
Not in Er Buchetto, though, where we checked out the gluten-free pollo supreme this morning – and quickly realised that it’s a cut above the usual standard for this kind of food.
The secret to this success is largely down to their selection of a seriously good GF bread – loaded with seeds, and with a texture that (unusually) you’d find hard to distinguish from the ‘normal’ stuff – but it’s not exclusively down to that.
It’s also down to the quality of the sandwich menu in general – a prime example of simple things done right, which in itself is a fundamental principle of great Italian eating, and a versatility in adapting that menu to the practical constraints of gluten-free eating.
Will it change the world? No. Is it the most exciting thing to happen in Dublin this year? Again, nope.
But if you’re in need of a serious feed, and are bound by the restrictions that come with being gluten-free, then this is definitely a place you need to check out.