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You walk in off the street on wet Wednesday and you get a lovely warm welcome in Dwyers of Washington Street. And that sets the tone for the evening and, with friendly service all the way, we enjoyed our meal in one of the many booths that break up the former wide-open spaces of this old (1820s) building.
I worked for about a year with Lee Hosiery, one of the Dwyer company’s factories, and was over and back to the Washington Street HQ regularly. Great place to buy a suit and, if some neighbour was getting married, a good spot to buy a present (if I remember, Foxford products were very acceptable in the mid 60s!). You paid your money, it shot up in a little container on a wire to the office upstairs and soon your change and receipt came back down.
But no high-wire stuff as we were buying our dinner the other night and soon checking the menu. No less than three burgers listed and also Fish ’n Chips so this is more like a gastro pub than a restaurant.
But don’t worry, the food may be simple enough but is well priced, well handled and nicely presented and a very important part of the whole enterprise as they have no less than seventy tables. But do book ahead at the weekends as music and the long bar are big attractions here too. By the way, they also do lunch and brunch.
With burgers being a key part of the menu, I thought I’d try one and was very well pleased indeed with the The Southern Fried Chicken burger served with garlic mayo, mixed leaves and tomato, on a brioche bun and with hand-cut fries. This was very tasty indeed, the chicken nice and moist and those fries are pretty good too. One of the other burgers is a Classic and another is Vegetarian.
Other mains included Pan Roasted Supreme of Chicken, Kerry Lamb Pie, Thai Green Curry and Trump Steak sandwich and all are priced in the mid-teens.
Do watch out for the specials though. CL did and her Crispy Potato Cakes turned out much better than I expected. Great added flavour here from the chorizo and black-pudding. It was served with salad and also those delicious fries.
A short wine list, six bottles on the menu, all available by the glass. There is of course a full bar so no shortage of spirits and beers (including Franciscan Well on draught - enjoyed a pint of the Chieftain!).
A booth for 8/9
There’s a good selection of starters here and I’ve heard that the O’Flynn’s Pork and Apple Sausage with crusty bread and chutney is very popular. They also offer a Quinoa Salad, a Wild Atlantic Chowder, Crispy Chicken Wings and also Soup of the Day.
Ours were the Prawns Pil Pil and the Goats Cheese Bruschetta, both good and warming for the cool evening and both very tasty as well.
In between we were taking a look at the many changes here, loads of nooks and booths, even semi-private corners. You'd need to have your mobile charged up if you're meeting someone here! Old stuff, including mirrors and prints (including old adverts from the original Dwyers, who also owned Sunbeam), around the walls.
Finished off with a well-made Apple Crumble and, after a night of good food and friendly service, two well-pleased customers headed off into the mist, hoping the bus would come soon!