Good coffee is found in the most unusual places.
Carts at public transport hubs, pokey shops in rural areas and on the backstreets off the beaten track. The reason? Pure economics.
Most cafe owners are start-up entrepreneurs with small amounts of capital who can’t afford large premises, like the Starbucks or McDonald’s of this world
Add in the fact that, despite coffees costing €3, the margins after baristas are paid, the best coffee imported and all the rates deducted... well, it really isn’t the easiest business to make money from.
The upside is that the cafe owners who really care about quality are forced to be imaginative when it comes to finding premises – one such spot is Legit Coffee on Meath Street.
If you're not familiar with this street, it's an eclectic mix of butchers, veg shops, market stalls, early houses, hipster 'dive bars' and genuine old-man pubs, and pawn shops. It’s an old Dublin street that hasn’t changed that much in the last few decades – and in some ways feels like it is from another era.
Walking into Legit I saw the staff with a focused stare on their faces.
One making sure the milk going into the latte was perfect, another carrying out a huge tray of their pulled pork rolls, and another ferrying coffees to tables with a huge smile greeting customers.
Having worked in the business, I recognised that look: it's the sort of manic attention to detail and focus you see in Michelin star kitchens. People doing a job they love and completely focused on delivering a world-class experience.
You'll probably laugh and just say it's coffee and pastries, but then some places do it way better than others and this is one of them.
To be honest the place had me at home made sausage rolls.
I nearly plumped for the chorizo and brie but was glad I went with the lamb and apple – a gorgeous fresh sausage with huge juicy chunks of apple, all wrapped in homemade flakey pastry that melted in the mouth. An absolute joy, and about as far away from the shitty deli pre-made sausage rolls some places serve.
Being an absolute pig and in the interests of the review (yeah right) I also had a smoked salmon and avocado sandwich which came on superbly tasty dark brown bread. A delight.
This is, of course, a coffee joint first and foremost – and if the looks on their faces weren't proof enough, then the taste confirmed that they make those with love.
The irony is that in Dublin, the totally unaffordable rents have forced the start up foodie entrepreneurs into the most unusual locations – enriching them, while leaving their original spirit intact.
There's no doubt about it: this place really is Legit.