Whether you’re sitting out in the sun, or grabbing something to eat at your desk, deciding where to go for takeaway lunch is tricky (and risky) business.
Not only are you faced with the ignominy of being told “Um, we don’t actually do take-out?” – but a false step in trying a new place can leave you with something unsatisfying, unfulfilling and unfit to see you through to the end of the work day. That's why we’re going to do the hard work for you, and find out whether some of the top spots around Dublin are good value for time, money and taste.
Got somewhere else we should try? Or is there something else you’d like to know about the places we sample? Email [email protected] and let me know.
Taste. Just up by the top of South William Street, facing on to Stephen Street, this is right at the heart of Dublin’s finest restaurant quarter – and serves as a lunchtime location that will work for most diners in D2.
More importantly, if you aren’t forced to eat lunch at your desk, it's within easy reach of some of the city's best sitdown spots – from Stephen's Green to Iveagh Gardens, and the lesser feted steps of the Powerscourt Centre, you'll be spoiled for choice here.
Fancy wraps, basically. Falafel, lamb, turkey and cajun chicken are the headline items – and the salad bar boasts a really cracking selection, that rivals the nearby likes of Lolly’s and Blazing Salads.
Nada. I arrive right at the peak of lunch hour, and while the restaurant itself is buzzing, I’m ushered straight up to the counter and I’ve placed my order within seconds.
Taste, we need to talk. I end up waiting 14 minutes in total, from the moment my order is placed to when it arrives in my hands. That’s a lot for a wrap, even if it is a fancy one, and a
Worse still, the waiting area is right in front of the salad bar – so I spend most of that quarter-hour awkwardly getting in the way of other customers as they try to dish up some slaw and chickpeas. Sorry guys.
The waiter, however, does make a point of coming up to me and explaining that there’s been a slight problem with the lamb; the usual wait time is around seven minutes. I’ve been here before, and his story checks out, so we’ll put this down to an unfortunate anomaly – albeit one that could easily spoil a lunchbreak.
Well it’s worth the 14-minute wait – and I can hardly pay it a much higher compliment than that. The lamb is perfectly cooked, juicy (so much so that I have to make do without a napkin, as it’s been soaked in the box) tender and the falafel is crumbly and flavoursome. The wrap is a bit stodgy and soggy, but there’s not much of it, so nothing to really worry about.
If anything, I’d be a bit more concerned with the flimsy cutlery supplied with these hearty dishes – they’re far from up to the task, and after the fork snaps into several tiny shards, I end up having to shovel the beautiful tomato salad into my mouth using my hands.
Thank goodness I was on my own.
Will I fall asleep at my desk after this?
Nah – the wrap is certainly a dense load, but it’s small and harmless. It’s not bursting with slow-release energy sources by any means, but there’s plenty of fibre to keep you full and you won’t feel sluggish by any means.
€8. Not an everyday treat, then, but certainly worth it for those all-too-rare days where St. Stephen’s Green or Iveagh Gardens beckon.
The wait is a definite minus point, and some sturdy wooden cutlery would go a long way – but ultimately, yes, very much worth it. On a fine day, you won’t find many better options in this part of town to grab and take out to the sun.
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Check out their website here.