Maybe it’s the competition from places like Ranelagh and Rathmines, or maybe it’s the slightly older demographic – but for some reason, Sandymount has always somewhat underdelivered when it came to brunch.
Of course, there are exceptions – Pete’s, in particular, is a diamond in the rough, and has always been well worth a journey in its own right, while Mulligan’s is always worth a pint if you’re in the area.
And the usual suspects, such as Café Java and until recently Itsa, meant you’d never leave hungry or particularly unsatisfied.
Now, though, something pretty damn special has arrived – located right next door to Pete’s, no less, and perhaps signalling a change in this village from a chronic underperformer to a shining star in Dublin’s south.
Buckle Up opened in March on the site of the aforementioned Itsa, and yet it still remains a bit of an undersung hero in its new locale.
But that needs to change…
I popped in here after a long walk out to the lighthouse at the end of the South Wall and back, via the Irishtown Reserve, and while I’d most definitely worked up an appetite I didn’t fancy fecking up my feelgood factor by gorging on something overly heavy.
We took a seat in the back area, which is an absolute sun trap during the earlier part of the day – but also has blankets on hand for when things all gets a little cooler.
And even before the food came out, we couldn’t have been more comfortable – the tunes blaring (George Harrison’s sadly underrated banger, What Is Life) and the Sunday sun beating down upon us.
I grabbed myself a Dan Kelly cider, while my girlfriend – pregnant, so off the booze – got a delicious mango smoothie.
This was bliss…
Of course, as soon as I leafed through the menu, my desire to eat light was severely tested. So I compromised and went for the avocado hummus with eggs and bacon on gluten-free bread.
Avocado hummus sounds like something that’s made up to take the piss out of people with notions, but it is of course quite real – and damn, it worked beautifully with these perfectly poached eggs and bacon that came out still sizzling.
I was perfectly content with my cider, but had I wanted to imbibe a little more then the cocktail list was bursting with creativity and options.
And their other dishes don’t look half bad either…
Like this beautiful brunch burger with bacon, fried egg and avocado
Their crispy calamari…
And a big, delish veggie breakfast
Throw in super-sound staff who don’t hurry you, even if you’re along a bit later in the day, and you’ve got yourself a winner – I’ll be back for brunch, and dinner, and I’m looking forward to watching this place establish itself as a star of the southside.