Friday, March 15, 2013

Fred in Fermoy. Worth a Detour!

Great Grub at Charlie Mac's in Fermoy
Take 1: Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Promise yourself a stop in Fermoy one of these days. Indeed, why not treat yourself to a visit. And go and see Fred Desormeaux. You’ll find the ex Greene’s Restaurant chef now doing business in the pub called Charlie Mac’s on the main street.

Quite a nice pub. It has big screens, racing or football, maybe even rugby. Plenty of comfortable seating. But the main attraction now, since Fred took over a couple of months back, is its outstanding food. Be warned. Fred’s pub grub is good, very very good.

Take 2: Fred's Chowder
Called in there this Thursday for lunch and here are four items that I can recommend. Indeed, there are a whole pile more. There is a terrific menu from about noon ‘til eight most days and this is supplemented by a very impressive list of daily specials. But you’ll have to check those out for yourself.

Let us start at the start. Frenchman Fred is a big fan of local producers so it was no great surprise to see Ballyhoura Mushrooms on the menu: Ballyhoura Wild Mountain Mushrooms on toast with a cream of Porcini dust (€7.95). A fantastic starter at a great price. If these mushrooms were a wine, they’d have their own AOC.

Take 3: Cod goujons
Take two. Another starter. Fred’s own Mediterranean fish and seafood Chowder (€7.50). Feckin’ hell, just 7.50. I mean this is a huge bowlful, would certainly do you as main course at lunchtime. It is super tasty, lively, a little bit spicy, quantity combined with real stand-out quality.

Okay, move on now, cautiously, to the mains. Fresh cod goujons, with warm potato salad, with sweet chilli, lime and coriander mayo (€12.95).  The cod is brilliant, the salad is massive. Underline this: portions here are generous! 

Take 4: Liver & bacon

I went for one of his classics: Pan-fried Lambs Liver, on root vegetable mash, with crispy bacon and rosemary jus (€11.50). And did I want it well done or medium? A classic dish but not a regular on pub grub menus in Ireland where your standard roast is the order of the day. This, by the way, was presented well and tasted even better.

Just another generous piece of quality in Fermoy. Worth a detour, for sure.

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