Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Time to try The Barn. Spacious and comfortable with friendly service and huge choice of good food

Time to try The Barn. Spacious and comfortable 

with friendly service and huge choice of good food

Jack McCarthy Black Pudding Salad.

If you haven’t been to The Barn recently, you're in for a big surprise. It is big, much bigger than it was less than three years ago. Renovated and expanded, it now has covers for some 300 people - in comfort.

And, judging by our recent visit, it is taking it all in its stride, every day from 8.30pm until late. Its large car park is close to full all the time as patrons stream in for breakfast, brunch and (more recently) dinner.

We were there for lunch on a showery Tuesday afternoon and it was busy, not packed, just busy. Lots of couples, family groups (it was still school holiday time), birthday parties,  larger groups, and no shortage of smiling chatty efficient staff to deal with it all.

They spotted us quickly and soon we were seated. Had we been here before? We answered no and they quickly and concisely explained how it works. The carvery is up there on the left. Otherwise your order can be taken at the table. Or you can  scan a QR code at your table and send your own order and then pay for it, all over your phone. Oh and by the way, this is a cashless restaurant.

Some of the staff and much of the comfort of the old restaurant remains and there is a great buzz about the place. It is huge, really huge but you don’t really feel that you are in a large “barn” as the long building, all on a split level ground floor, is informally broken up into about six different dining zones. We were in #4 (these are not signposted or anything like that, it is all a bit casual but all very efficient) and our table was T410.

Apple Tart

You have a Breakfast menu (8.30-11.30 am), a Brunch menu (8.30am- 4.00pm), the Carvery (from noon until 7.00pm), an All Day menu (from noon until 7.00pm), and recently a Dinner Menu (from early evening until 9.00pm). Add in an impressive bar service and you’ll be well taken care of, no matter what time you come, as will the kids.

From the bar, you can may get wines (a short list, but all by the glass), lots of bottles of beer (including a couple of craft from the local brewery), mainstream beers on draught, spirits of all kinds plus quite a list of cocktails. And on some nights, they have music (that old piano has a prominent position!).

That carvery has been key to the Barn’s operations and popularity since it reopened last year and so we just had to try it out. CL was the volunteer and she got  terrific help from behind the counter (all the food is held under glass, the customer won't be breathing on it or touching it) and the server fills your plate for you. And than means “fills your plate”. 


CL came back with half a chicken and all the bells and whistles. All their meat is Irish (Kanturk’s Jack McCarthy and Macroom’s Michael Twomey are named on the menu as suppliers) and you may have beef, pork and lamb with all kinds of trimmings and sauces. And her piled plate was of excellent quality and proved very satisfactory indeed.

I was picking from the Day Menu and had all kinds of choices: burgers, salads, fish ’n chips, sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta dishes (not to mention sides). My pick was the Jack McCarthy Black Pudding Salad with roasted walnuts, boiled egg, Baby Spinach and home-made bacon and apple jam. Delicious from start to finish, every element from the well known prize-winning pudding to the well dressed salad and that appetising bacon and apple jam.

The feel good factor was high at this point and there was no resistance when desert was mentioned, even though often enough in some restaurants, this final course can be the disappointing one. They have some list here, over a dozen I think. We ordered, rather cautiously, the Apple Pie and the Tiramisu. But again the Barn kitchen came upon trumps with two excellent sweets. Happy Days.

In another contrast with the “old days”, when they ignored all social media requests, the current team make full use of Facebook and Insta and so on and you’ll have no problem checking the menus and the opening times before you go. The website has all you need and you’ll find it here. The restaurant itself is between Mayfield and the New Inn school on the Glanmire Road and has been there for about 40 years.

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