You know what's the best thing since sliced bread? Sliced bread with crisps in the middle, obviously.
And that's exactly what's on offer from the Tayto pop-up café on
Wicklow Street, which opened at noon today and will open from 12-7pm each day
until St Patrick's Day.
The menu here isn't exactly extensive at first glance – no matter what you order, it's ultimately going to be a crisp sandwich – but within those parameters, it's a suprisingly diverse offering.
The entire range of Tayto flavours is represented here, from the ubiquitous cheese and onion (ie, 'regular flavour') to the rare but wonderful prawn cocktail (ie, 'pink flavour'), while there's a decent selection of breads to go with them as well. Okay, it's just batch, wholemeal and white... but that's pretty extensive for a crisp sambo café, right?
Each sandwich comes in at just €2 – and when you consider the fact that €1 of that goes to the Simon Community, it's pretty cracking value. But hey, you probably already knew all of that thanks to a pretty intense PR push from the brand's iconic (yet slightly creepy) mascot.
So what's the verdict?
The café itself is a masterclass in branding, with every bit of merchandise under the sun on display – T-shirts, books, mugs, Mr Tayto figurines – and even the sofas are fashioned out of old potato sacks. Mr Tayto really knows how to sell himself, and it pays off: the opening-day atmosphere is cracking, as casual wanderers and crisp aficionados both mingle together to check the place out.
On first glance, there doesn't seem to be coffee or other drinks available – it's very much a pick-up-and-go operation, unlike Belfast's crispy café. But hey. Once we've got our sambos, we're happy.
And what are said sambos like? Well, it's exactly as you'd expect really.
It's not healthy, it's not complex and it's not going to change the world – but there's something incredibly satisfying about this combination. The soft, doughy bread as you take the first bite, the gooey layer of butter and the final, epic crunch as your teeth pulverise the crisps.
This may not be fine dining, but it sure is mighty fine.