Whether or not you're feeling like being healthy, with the heat we're experiencing I think everyone is craving salads and other things that are light and fresh. I decided to finally check out the Cracked Nut on Camden Street. It's only up the road from me and everyone has been raving about their salads. When we did the 'top 10 salads in Dublin' post, people were asking why it was left out. So I finally decided to go and see what all the fuss was about.
I think the reason I had been avoiding it was because I popped in when they first opened ages ago, and at the time it was pretty sparse and the selection was limited. When I popped in a few days ago however it was absolutely wedged. They had little tables outside with people sitting out enjoying lunch or a coffee in the sun, there is also a nice little seating area inside. There was a wide selection of delicious looking foods to choose from and you can also buy health food products there to take home with you. The salad bar had some really nice, different salads and I got a little bit of everything.
It's getting to the point where a lot of salad bars, cafes and deli's are guilty of doing copy cat menus. You know the broccoli salad with feta, tomatoes and hazelnuts, carrot and poppyseed salad, beetroot and rocket. It's hard to find a really original salad bar. While the Cracked Nut had a lot of the usual suspects on the menu they also had some nice additions like their hot spicy (and it was hot) Mexican slaw which was really delicious and they also had an unusual looking celeriac and creme fraiche salad too which looked kind of cool. I had chicken with my salad and you could choose from loads of sauces and toppings like homemade pesto, balsamic etc. I went for a garlic and ginger dressing which was really tasty and punchy, definitely something different. The large salad box with chicken was €6.95 which wasn't cheap, but I thought it was good value considering the amount of salad you get. I was stuffed by the time I actually finished it but it was all so healthy I felt pretty pleased with myself.
They also had a very tempting looking cake selection which I avoided as I'm on a health kick, but the smell of the carrot cake and pastries did nearly tip me over the edge. They also did healthy little energy balls, I love seeing cafes do these as even if you're trying to be good you'll usually still want some kind of treat. I also think that those little date and nut energy balls usually taste unreal. Unfortunately their energy balls were 'spirulina' balls, and against my better judgement I went and bought one anyway. If you haven't tried spirulina before it's a superfood algae powder that taste like pond water. It is truly revolting. As a result the spirulina energy balls were pretty grim, but as I splashed out €2 for one I was going to be damned if I didn't eat it. It was an unpleasant experience. I do love the idea though and the fact that they are catering for all sorts of customers, I just wished they would make cocoa ones instead! Having said that, I'm sure there are some die hard health nuts out there who go crazy for them.
They also do a range of soups and sandwiches which I haven't tried yet, but look pretty good. Given how good the salad was I'll definitely be back to try more. All in all, a very nice little spot with great, filling and delicious salads.