There are some streets in Dublin that I only think of as a way to get from A to B.
I only seem to use them to get to where I need to be and I would never even dream of meeting a friend for coffee or lunch there.
Talbot Street is one of those streets for me.
When I was younger, Talbot Street was usually my first sight of Dublin. I'd come up to the city on the train and from Connolly, I'd skip down it in the direction of the spire.
To my surprise, Laine, My Love was on just this street.
I came across this café on Instagram about a year ago and I've been following them ever since. I'm such a foodie and I use Instagram as my own personal bucket list. The pictures always had me drooling at the mouth and I was buzzing to try it out for myself.
Last week, my Mam was coming up to Dublin to check out the sales. She's not too familiar with the city, so as soon as we arranged to meet for lunch I knew this location would be ideal.
Just a stone's throw from the station, the café was booming as a soon as we walked in.
What's the vibe?
The café is bright and cosy.
There's limited seating but it seemed like most people there when I arrived were getting lunch to go, so I had no problem getting a table.
The interior is crisp, white and there are tiny, beaut flower pots on each table.
It's the ideal spot to grab a coffee and people watch for hours on end.
What's on the menu?
It was 1pm, peak lunch hour and people in suits were crowded around the counter. I finally got a look at the menu on the wall and my stomach began to rumble as I read the delicious sandwich options on offer.
To my dismay, they were sold out of every single one.
I was pretty disappointed at this stage. I had planned this lunch so carefully in my head, and dreamed of the gorge sambos I had seen online.
How could a lunch café run out of sandwiches by 1pm?
I guess I just arrived on an overly-busy day. I really hoped this would redeem my opinion. Alas, I got over it, and went for the next best thing - A gourmet salad bowl.
Thankfully, it did.
The salad came in a stunning bowl with the tastiest slice of sourdough bread on the side. It was bright, colourful and Insta-bait central. I began to tuck in...
It was bursting with flavour, sweet, spicy and savoury - delish!
There was a dollop of pink hummus on top, which was a little bland and could have had more flavour but apart from that, I was satisfied.
The salad was super filling but I always crave a sweet treat after lunch.
I had been dreaming of the puffy, crumbly pastries I had seen online and knew that they'd give me the sugar kick I needed. I chose a pain au chocolat that was almost as big as my head and a flat white to wash it all down.
The coffee, from Roasted Brown, was a winner for me. I adore a bitter flavour in my coffee and this gave me the caffeine buzz I craved.
The pastry was buttery and chocolatey - Tasty AF.
What's the damage?
The meal in general was pretty good value.
It was €6.50 for the salad bowls and the pastries were about €2.50.
They also have a deal for a coffee and sambo for a fiver, but I obviously couldn't avail of that option with the lack of toasties on offer.
As a whole, I enjoyed my meal. The salad was delish and the coffee sorted out my energy levels.
I'd definitely like to go back again on a quieter afternoon to try out their toasties or breakfast options. Hopefully their hummus will have gotten a bit of TLC by then too.
Another one ticked off my Insta bucket list!