Showing posts with label Beechwood Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beechwood Farm. Show all posts

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Supporting Local. The Pantry, Kinsale

Supporting Local.
The Pantry, Kinsale
 The August sun is shining as we arrive in Kinsale, looking for lunch. The outside tables are full at the bistro across the road from St Multose Church. Doesn’t look good for a place inside. But there are a few and soon we are seated in the busy Pantry and studying the menu at the table and checking the specials on the board over the open kitchen where the crew are working hard.

Hadn't been here before but had heard good things about it from one of the natives. And she was right. We enjoyed a superb lunch here, terrific food and a lively efficient staff. Besides, they use a lot of local produce. Here are a few examples: eggs from the happy free range hens of Beechwood Farm; fresh fish from Jimbo O’Keeffe; Lordan’s of Ballinspittle supply the meat; while the coffee comes from the Badger & Dodo Roastery.


Lots of salads, sandwiches and a tempting quiche special available but we go for the substantial stuff. Quite how substantial, I was about to find out when my Boeuf Bourguignon arrived. “I could be a while,” I said to my server who promised that every piece was delicious. She too was right.

I should perhaps have read the description more closely and then wouldn't have been that surprised by the big piece that appeared in my bowl. I was expecting it in a bowl but not this much, not this good. Full description: 12 hour slow-roasted short rib of beef in a smoked bacon & red wine jus, served with creamed mashed potato, glazed carrots & asparagus. Very enjoyable. All that was left was the bone!
 CL’s pick was also a winner. Her Moroccan style salmon, consisting of Harissa seared Atlantic Salmon, served with a warm couscous salad of baby spinach, roasted red pepper, basil, baby peas, mozzarella cheese & finished with a chive crème fraiche, was absolutely gorgeous.

So two very happy customers after the mains. What about dessert? Well, a time to share a large caramel square, quite a class one too, and sip our coffees, mine a well crafted Flat white, hers a concentrated espresso.


We had started here with a couple of cups of soup, her's a Butternut Squash (with Chilli Coconut), mine a  chowder, both excellent. You have a choice of a cup or a slightly more expensive bowl. Be warned, it is a big cup! So we paid up and bought a nice loaf of their brown bread (we had enjoyed a slice with the soup) on the way out to see that late August sun still shining down on the seaside town.

It was getting on now for two o’clock but The Pantry was still buzzing, departing customers being replaced immediately.

The Pantry
Guardwell, Kinsale, Co.Cork
Tel: +353 21 477 4453
email : thepantrykinsale@gmail.com
Hours: Tue-Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sun: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Monday, October 26, 2015

Go Visit the Diva. She can’t come to you!

Go Visit the Diva

She can’t come to you!
Get your share of these!
If you go to the Diva in Ballinspittle, and you should, and if you order a side of those gorgeous Sweet Potato Chips, and you should, then you should also mind your manners and do please share with the person you came with!

If the team here, in their newly revamped kitchen, back in action (since 21.10.15) after months out due to fire, can get the small things right, and they do, there is every chance they’ll get the big things right. And they do. Big time.
The Big One!
We called there for lunch last week and thought we’d have no problem by going early. We just about managed to get a table for two. Lots of different styles of tables here - it was after all the kitchen that got the revamp! But it is all part of the charm, as is the friendly service and the imaginative use of all that brilliant local produce.

Indeed, one of the first things you’ll notice is the back wall (the left bit) as you go in. Here there is a huge declaration of provenance. Meat from Lordan's butchers in the same street, greens from Horizon Farms, vegetables from All Fresh, free range eggs from Beechwood Farm and fish supplied by James O’Keeffe.
All Wrapped Up!
I had enjoyed a Reuben sandwich at the recent Waterford Harvest Fest and so was open to trying the Diva version. The Waterford one, in a Blaa, was very tasty but, in fairness, it was from a street food stall and could hardly be compared to the Champions League effort in Ballinspittle. Well, maybe New York rather than European. Massive, contained (not quite) in two large slices of their own bread, the length of my knife and about half the height, corned beef from Lordan’s, Sauerkraut, Gherkin, cheese and more. A magnificent Reuben. Worth the journey on its own.
Crumble
 But it wasn't on its own. We had ordered a side of those Sweet Potato Chips. Put them with the Reuben and I had hit the jackpot, even if I did share! CL was enjoying herself as she tucked into her excellent Roasted Veggie Wrap, with goats cheese and a mango chutney. And a well dressed salad of course. And those chips, of course!

We were sitting at a small table and directly opposite us was the counter and the utterly tempting display of sweet things. We settled for a pot of tea and two cakes from the display, sharing (again!) the Raspberry Crumble and an equally lovely Honey and Spice (ginger) Cake.


Honey & Spice!
And after that, we said goodbye to the efficient and friendly folk in the cafe and strolled down to the bakery to see more good things, including produce from other local and Irish artisans. Some lovely breads on display - probably would have been more had we called in the morning. One that we bought was the Potato Loaf. It is a delicious souvenir (didn't last too long, of course) of a pleasant trip to Ballinspittle. Very Highly Recommended.

Diva Boutique Bakery Cafe & Deli
Main Street, Ballinspittle, Co. Cork
Open:
Wednesday-Saturday 9.30-5.00 Sunday 11.00-5.00
Tel: (021) 477 8465
EMail: diva.ballinspittle@gmail.com
Twitter:  
Facebook: Diva Boutique Bakery Cafe & Deli
In the bakery/deli

Friday, January 30, 2015

Roughty Foodie. Generation to Generation

Roughty Foodie

Generation to Generation
Garett, on duty.
“I believe the survival of the English Market over the last hundred years is down to the families who have ran the stalls from generation to generation. They have kept it going.” So said Garrett Murphy, as we chatted over a cuppa in the Farmgate Cafe. Garrett, a current stallholder, knows what he is talking about!

For fifty years, his father Michael ran the Roughty Fruit King stall in the centre of the market, until ill health came in 2011. Four generations of the Murphys worked there, in different locations, until they settled on the current stall in 1961. Nowadays, Garrett and his sister Margot Ann work in the new look foodie stall (now called The Roughty Foodie) and they have help from time to time from younger members of the family.
 Two thousand and eleven was the year of the Queen’s visit and the Murphys, in transition from a specifically fruit stall to something more general, weren't ready for her but, with help and encouragement from the City Council and fellow traders, they were up and running for the peak summer months.


“It kinda fell into our laps,” says Garrett as he recalled those anxious months. “But we could see the change of emphasis to quality. We could compete with the supermarkets on quality though not on price. So we took that new direction and grew organically. We soon had a few local producers on board, including Macroom Mills, Glenilen and our home-baker.” Garrett will never forget that first Saturday. “Everything cleared. We had nothing left on the shelves.”


They moved along from there with new producers coming on board, including Brian from Beechwood Farm and his brother Colm from Horizon Farms, Mags (who makes a great Lemon Curd) from Heavenly Preserves and Betty Smith with her jams and marmalades. Also joining were Harty’s Jellies, Taste the View, while local strawberries came from Rathcooney.

“The two months July and August of 2011 were great. The tourists came flooding in and kept buying, the locals too despite the parking problems. Traders told us it would get better in October and November but that didn't happen and we were worried until December and the run-in to Christmas which proved massive for us and had us back on track”.

 Two of the stall’s suppliers, Seymour Biscuits and Kilbeggan, may be bought at the upscale Dean and Deluca in New York but “we have no big-name suppliers” says Garrett. “Some are part-time and some were professionals who lost out in the recession and turned to what they knew. Nicola of the Big Red Kitchen is an example of the latter.”


I asked Garrett what the most popular products are. “It is seasonal so, for example, we sell a lot of porridge in the winter months. Jams, preserves and honey are always very popular and so too is cheese.” What has surprised you over the past few years? “This Christmas it was the amount of hampers and Irish cheese and crackers that we sold. At Christmas 2011, goosefat was a huge seller.”


What are his own favourites? Licking his lips he had no hesitation: Eddie Hicks’ fantastic bacon jam and Ballybrado Supreme Spelt muesli. He has great time too for Kitty Colchester’s Happy Heart organic rapeseed oil and the High Bank Farm Apple Syrup. And indeed is enthusiastic about every single product he displays!

The stall is packed with food. But it is not just food. Tourists love the Seaweed Bath. The Goats Milk soap from the Burren is very popular too and he has a great candle-maker from Portmagee on Valentia Island. So do go in and explore. You never know what treasure you’ll find in Roughty Foodie.