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Apple Time in Idaho Café. Well, apple time all over the country. Just check out Mealagula Orchard’s stall in the English Market and sink your teeth into those delicious Katie, maybe cook up a tart with the Bramley. And if you want the very best Apple Crumble, ever, head on over to sunny Idaho. Maybe the sun doesn't always shine outside on the tiny terrace but it never fails inside.
The warm welcome is a given and you’ll get all the info on the day's specials without even asking. And our server was just delighted to tell us about the Crumble. She and the rest of the crew had been knocked out by the aromas earlier in the morning and were just about restraining themselves from scoffing it all. It was an easy sell. First I thought I heard Bramley but, no, it was apple brandy that the raisins had been soaked in.
The deep dish was packed with the moist apple and crumble. It may not make the prettiest of pictures but, with a little dollop or two of cream, it is a magnificent dessert. And the good news is that there’ll be plenty more of it. The Jacobs, Richard and chef Mairead, have their own orchard at home. You can't get more local than that and you'll be hard pressed to find a more delicious crumble (just managed to type that as a half-hearted-kick in the shins was delivered by the official blog cook!).
The popular city centre café is just a hop, skip and a jump from Patrick Street, at the rear of Brown Thomas. It is small and often full, whether for breakfast (from 8.30) or lunch, or for coffee and “hippy teas” (and crumble!) anytime.
We were in for lunch and you'll notice a few regular items on the menu such as the Fish Pie (smoked fish pie topped with mash or cheddar), The Shepherdess’s Pie with local Irish beef and topped with mash, and the Potato Bake, with Gubbeen and crispy bacon. The day to day variety comes via the specials (and the background music!)
I had been half-hoping that the salad Niçoise they had for the Cork Bounty Week was still on but no such luck! So I picked the Blackened chicken salad. Another superb dish, the chicken was moist and tender, cooked to perfection, the salad fresh, crisp and well dressed, the nuts giving it a welcome crunch. Delicious.
CL was also full of praise for her crumble and also enjoyed her Quesadilla. This too changes regularly but last Friday the tasty mix was chicken, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato and red onion
Produce is the best of local, cooking is fab, service is friendly, prices are fair (34 euro for two mains, two desserts, two Americanos; add €4.95 for a glass of Kelly’s Patch Chardonnay). By the way, they only use Irish meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. “Not just because they are the best, but because we believe in Ireland.” And I believe in Idaho! Join up.