Buy local, fresh and fair. The more we pull together, the further we will go. Restaurants. Markets. Wine. Beer. Cider. Whiskey. Producers. Markets. Always on the look-out for tasty food and drink from quality producers! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter: @corkbilly
Facebook: Billy Lyons
Quesadillas, Nachos, Fajitas, Guacamole, Tamale, Enchilada, Burrito, Chimichanga, Tacos are all on offer at Siesta in Princes Street. The restaurant opened just over two months back and here too you may have sweet things such as Churros. Drinks, including Margaritas and Sangria, are available and, of course, beer and wine too.
Don't know very much about Mexican food but enjoyed the offerings at Siesta where Tamara is a very informative and courteous front of house and will help you out as there is quite a large menu to go through, with many variations on all the basics.
The list of starters includes quesadillas and nachos, spicy chicken wings, guacamole, stuffed jalapenos and so on. Thought I might like the Chicken and Bean Nachos (6.95). Didn't expect such a substantial dish where the crispy corn tortilla chips were smothered with refried pinto beans, chicken and cheese topped with Mexican salsa. Delicious mix of colour, texture and flavours and that chicken was pretty good too.
That same chicken featured in CL’s starter. Her Quesadillas Chicken (above) consisted of four crispy envelopes of baked flour tortilla packed with spicy chicken and with a salad on the side. Not quite as big as mine but just as full of flavour. Besides, we had three bowls on the side, one to cool, and two for heat! Red, green and white, just like the Mexican flag.
These bowls would stay on the table through the main course as well. If something wasn't hot enough, you could dip into the red, if you really wanted to up the spiciness then add from the green and, if you added too much go to the white sour cream.
Chicken and Bean Nachos
The mains list offered mainly chicken, beef and pork dishes, the meat often enclosed in one of the envelopes. That wasn't the case with our favourite on the night, the Chilli Con Carne (13.95). This consists of Premium Irish Minced Beef, cooked with red wine and pinto beans and served with rice (or French fries and salad). Great dish and very well priced.
Aside from the Mexican dishes, you can also have Fillet Steak, Burger, Baked Cod and a Seafood Paella. And they also offer three healthy salads, all featuring quinoa.
The dessert list is short but you just have to try the Churros, Mexican doughnuts served with Cinnamon, Chocolate Sauce and ice cream. Yum! Next time, maybe I’ll try the Dulce Leche cheesecake or the Lime Pie. Maybe not! Might be the Churros again!
The restaurant supports local suppliers and lists Barry O’Connor (meat), Keohane (fish), Sam Donegan (fruit and veg) and English Market (eggs) on the menu.
Siesta is open for both lunch and dinner. See the full menus here. Contact details and map here.
Coffee cherries on the tree.
Each cherry produces 1, 2, even 3 (rarely) beans.
I’ve been sipping some really great coffee the past few days, thanks to Hancock and Abberton who recently introduced me to their Brands of Distinction line. The two above are each a limited Edition Coffee and also a Single Origin speciality. Many people now wonder if the coffee they drink is ethically traded and you may check the providence of these gems here. Briefly, the Mexican is produced by a son and mother team while the East Timor coffee comes via a 16 strong farmers group.
The coffee industry in East Timor was largely destroyed during the turn of the century invasion by Indonesian militias that many of you may remember. It is still though a “major export commodity and provides a substantial income for a quarter of the population”.
Mexico is the 5th largest coffee producer in the world. Chiapas is the largest coffee producing state and it is from here that these incredible Muxbal beans originate. The word means “surrounded by clouds”, rather appropriate considering the farm, managed by mother and son duo Maeggi Rodriguez and Jorge Gallardo, is at around 1600 metres above sea level, more or less the same height as its counterpart in East Timor.
East Timor is much further south than Mexico and this leads to a difference in the harvest season. The Mexicans harvest during December to March while the farmers in East Timor do so in July to September.
Coffee tasting specialists have rated both coffees very highly and rightly so. So, how would a non specialist amateur like myself find them? Can honestly say that I though both were excellent, though I did have the slightest of preferences for the Mexican cuppa.
This is a medium roast with a superb creamy feel on the palate and a clean almost dry finish. Traces too of sweetness, honey (they say) and indeed they also mention peaches with the creaminess. In any event, it all adds up to great few minutes in the morning.
And I was very pleased too with the Assui Craik (the coffee is named after the local village). This has a lighter roast with quite a complex fruity palate (stewed plums and blackberries are suggested) and then the finish is sweet, hints of chocolate present. That bit different from the Mexican but another lovely cup of a morning (which is when I drink most of my coffee).
If you would like to try these, or other similar coffees yourself, Hancock & Abberton, based on the Naas Road in Dublin, have a subscription service. You can sign up for three months but the savings are more if you sign for twelve. Check out the various packages here. Remember that these batch runs are limited and will sell out. Each coffee will be accompanied by the provenance, tasting notes and blend profile.