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!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

[Review] Farmer Browns, Bath Avenue, Dublin 4

A cold Saturday morning in Dublin demands a hearty brunch. A good breakfast warms from the inside out, perfect when your breath is visible in the frosty air. Even though it was a rugby Saturday and we could see the Aviva glittering in the morning sunshine, the surrounding streets were still quiet in anticipation. The Bath pub was bracing itself for the inevitable onslaught while across the road, Farmer Browns was nicely packed with the breakfast crowd. 

Farmer Browns is twee, cutesy and retro but in a way that works (as opposed to the kind that causes your teeth to grate together). Images of flat caps and baler twine popped into my head, helped by the use of linoleum and mismatched delf. With dishes called "Starvin Marvin" and "The Farmer Wants a Wife", it's clear that there is a strong tongue-in-cheek humour. Despite the chilly temperatures, there was a decent crowd eating in outside area while the cosy inside was chock-a-block. 
A cheerfully bright mimosa
Coffee in retro glass mugs
A mimosa  (€6) was ordered, along with two coffees (€2.50 each), to help combat the effects of the night before. A large glass of bright orange sunshine was delivered to the table along with coffee in 70s-chic glass mugs. Himself ordered the very manly sounding steak, hash and eggs (€15) while I went for a daily special, a croque madame, kindly made on gluten-free bread for me (€9).

The croque madame came packed full of old-fashioned, crumbly home-cooked ham, with a generous layer of melted cheese topped with the required fried egg. The chunky ham (or 'hang' if you've ever cut turf in a bog) was stellar, a real throw-down to shop bought hams, and I liked how the accompanying fries were served in an old-style enameled mug. His steak, hash and eggs was equally impressive. A well-executed steak sat astride a pile of hash, topped with fried eggs, served with an excellent BĂ©arnaise sauce. Both portions were firmly in the American-sized (i.e. huge) camp. 
My gluten-free croque madame with fries
Steak, hash and eggs with BĂ©arnaise sauce
I've yet to eat at Farmer Brown's for dinner, but I've been told that it's good value and tasty. If the brunch is any indication, then I'm confident of a return visit. Yes, the interior is cosy, a little too cosy perhaps, but the staff are the right side of chatty friendly, the food is quality and the prices are friendly. Surprisingly, the shabby chic decor works very well. I didn't look at the walls very closely, but I wouldn't have been surprised the see the holy trinity of Dev, JFK and JPII looking down on the diners. 

And like a true country girl, I'm still dreaming of that 'hang'.

Farmer Brown's Market and Eatery, 25a Bath Avenue, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0)1 660 2326
Twitter: @farmerbrownsdub

Farmer Brown's on Urbanspoon

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