Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Birdcage @ Avoca, Rathcoole

We went out for a spin today, but the heavens decided that it was time for a torrential downpour. Driving on the motorway, it struck me as miraculous that we don't have multi-car pile-ups. So many people driving without lights or a mere few feet from the car in front, all in a vicious downpour where you couldn't clearly see the car in front. I no longer drive a Puno, I now have something a good bit more solid and secure, but I wanted off that road until the rain died down. There's absolutely no point in being a careful driver, when you're surrounded by people who clearly were still daydreaming about last week's fine weather.

So we pulled off the road into Rathcoole, and more specifically, the Avoca store. For those of you unfamiliar with the Avoca phenomenon, Avoca is a symptom of the Celtic Tiger. They are homestores filled to the brim with flowery things - fabrics, furnishing and clothing. If you want to spend large amounts of money on silly, pretty things, such as wire models of dressmaker mannequins, then Avoca is the place for you.

But in fairness to Avoca, they have good food. We went upstairs to the Birdcage cafe, a self-service affair serving hot food, quiches, terrines, salads, sandwiches and delicious looking cakes. I chose the ham, chicken and apricot terrine (E12.95) which came with 3 salads of my choice. I watched in awe as the server filled the plate with my chosen broccoli & feta and carrot, courgette and sesame salads. The plate was overflowing, yet she still looked at me with disbelief when I refuesed a third salad. There are clearly no problems with stingy portions at Avoca. He went for a goat's cheese, asparagus and sun-dried tomato bruschetta along with a curried fruit and chickpea salad, potato salad and couscous (E11.95).

All the food was delicious and filling, while feeling healthy. My broccoli salad felt as if it had only been made a half hour past. It really is simple yet tasty food, piled high. My only complaint would be the double espresso, which was very watery and yet cost a stonking E3.20.

The Birdcage Restaurant, Avoca, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

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