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Monday, February 13, 2017
Cork Indie Coffee Trail
A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan
So (seems to be the word to start with these days), you’re in Cork, looking for a cup of real coffee. You know there are some terrific indie cafés around the city. But do you know where they are? Where is ORSO? Where is Nectar Coffee?
Just mentioned this pair as they feature in the first page of the Indie Coffee Trail, a new guide (with directions) by local chef Dermot O’Sullivan, perhaps best known to many of you as @GasMarkSeven on Twitter. ORSO, by the way, is in Pembroke Street, close to the GPO while Nectar sits on the junction of Maylor Street and Parnell Place.
Dermot’s selection showcases “the best of what Cork city’s coffee scene has to offer”. The cafés have added “another element to the cultural dimension of the city, forgotten buildings have been brought back to life… All the while, locals and visitors alike are becoming more knowledgeable and discerning with their coffee of choice”.
Other coffee haunts listed by Dermot included Dukes Coffeehouse, Filter Espresso & Brew Bar and its new little sister Portafilter, Union Grind, The Bookshelf, Idaho, Warren Allen, Alchemy, Cork Coffee Roasters (at two venues), Ali’s Kitchen, Rocket Man and Rocket Man East, Farmgate, Three Fools and Café Gusto (also two locations)
And there is a map of the city centre indicating where each can be found. A brief description of each café and the type of coffee available and also opening hours is included in the handy pocket sized booklet. And you are also told whether Wifi is available!
What are you waiting for? Hit the streets and discover Cork City’s coffee with Dermot’s help. You can get his guide in all tourist spots like tourist offices, hotels, most cafes listed, art galleries including UCC. Student centres too.
For further info, contact Dermot at CorkCoffeeTrail@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @gas_mark_seven. Check his blog www.gasmarkseven.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Idaho Cafe. Side Street Oasis.
It is small and perfectly formed, they say themselves. It is also bright and bubbly and has been bouncing on the same spot at 19 Caroline Street (at its junction with Oliver Plunkett Street) since 2001. It is of course the Idaho Cafe and themselves are the bright and bubbly Richard and Mairead Jacob.
"Real food for real people” was the original motto and you could now make it real local food! “We try to source all our primary ingredients from within a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe.” They can even tell you the names of their top laying hens: Beryl and Gladys.
The cafe’s location could hardly be better, barely more than the length of a wren’s flight (25 yards for you city folks who never hunted the wren) from the busy Patrick Street. It is a breakfast place, a quick or a leisurely coffee and sweet things stop morning and afternoon, and a re-filling and refreshing lunch station. It draws visitors, shoppers and business types, along with casual drop-ins like myself.
We dropped in there on Friday shortly before one and just managed to get a table. Turnaround can be quick here with the coffee drinkers coming and going so check with Richard behind the counter if it looks full.
The menu is quite extensive. They are strong on breakfast choices and the lunch choices are good also, augmented by daily specials. We started off with a Potato and Fennell Soup. Fennell can be an overpowering element but here it was all nicely judged, really well balanced and very tasty indeed. Also enjoyed the brown soda bread.
Idaho has quite a reputation for its salads. Friday’s feature was Chicken with beetroot, roasted pepper, red onion and pine nuts (10.50). Looked almost too good to eat but this French style mix, so well dressed, was just gorgeous and both plates went back without a shred of evidence! Well, maybe a smear of beetroot.
Then had a look at the Sweet Things, next to the Hippy Teas. My choice here was the Rhubarb Tart and a pot of the traditional Barry’s Tea (not under Hippy Teas!). Both went down a treat.
Terrific ambience in this busy little spot which, by the way, is Cash Only! Contact them at (021) 427 6376 or email@example.com. Read more about Idaho here
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe
Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.
Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.
I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.
Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.
We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”
We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge.
We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.
Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.
And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself? A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.
Friday, July 9, 2010
THE IDAHO CAFE
Downtown for a few hours today, principally to say Bon Voyage to the Clipper 09-10 race as the ten racing boats left the city quays on the last leg of their 35,000 mile trip around the world.
Took a walk in the rain over to the Idaho Cafe for a slightly early lunch. I choose the Potato and Gubbeen Cheese with Bacon and was glad that I did. I could have eaten the Morris Piper potatoes on their own but, mixed with the Gubbeen, the combination was unbeatable.
The Cafe is small but comfortable enough. Service is friendly and efficient and the cooking is top class. My main course, with a small salad, cost €11.00.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Called to the Idaho Cafe in Maylor Street mid-morning for a coffee and scone (€4.60). The smallish cafe is well known: it does breakfast and lunches and has a string of Bridgestone awards to its credit.
Studied the menus while drinking the coffee and must say they look promising. Looked up to see the proprietor, Richard, going around topping up the coffee and mine was not neglected. Nice touch and one that could be copied, with profit, by restaurants in the evening.
021 4276376, 19 Caroline Street (City Centre); Check out my review of Idaho Cafe - I am cork - on Qype
It turned out to be nice day all round, even the sun shone down. Started with my French teacher Cristelle bringing forward the class breaking-up ”fete” to suit me as I was leaving a week early to go to France. Enjoyed the organic orange juice and croissants.
That was before the Idaho. Afterwards, I took the bus home and was struck by the courtesy and helpfulness of the driver towards mothers with buggies and especially by the help he gave to a wheelchair bound person.
The good mood factor continued in the afternoon in Carrigaline when I called to Karwig Wines. Proprietors Joe and Betty were in fine fettle and Marketing Manager Maurice O’Mahony was most helpful in providing me with a bunch of tips, even a loan of one of his wine-books, for my trip to the Dordogne.
Small touches here and there help us on our way.