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Ask anyone from Galway where’s best for lunch and you can be sure that city centre McCambridge’s, operating since the 1920s, will appear on the shortlist. This busy spot keeps the standards high and the customers keep coming back.
Spread over the space of two shops, McCambridge’s is basically operating on two levels. Downstairs it is mainly a Food Hall with a full grocery range (mainly local produce), a large sandwich bar, a self serve salad bar and olive bar, a deli counter stocking the best of cold meats and cheese, a well stocked wine and spirits section and a full coffee bar.
There are a few tables and chairs on the street outside for when the sun shines, but mostly the restaurant operates in the spacious and bright room at the top of the wide stairs. Here, if you are lucky enough to have a seat near the windows, you can watch the bustle of the city while enjoying a glass of wine.
Only the finest of ingredients are used, with a strong preference for local and artisan produce. It is a casual atmosphere with great food. An All Day Menu is served from Monday to Saturday, with an All Day Brunch being served every Sunday. You can also enjoy a wide range of wines, craft beers and cocktails with your food.
We are spotted as we reach the last few steps of the stairs and quickly directed, with smiles and courtesy, to our table. The menu is soon at hand. The place is busy but the service is good. I’m looking at the Ceapairí, that’s sandwiches for you non-gaelgeorí, little knowing that the one I pick will be a champion, one of the best ever.
Here is the mix: McCambridge’s Baked Ham, Janet’s Country Fayre Beetroot Blush Mayo, Coolatin Cheddar, and red onion served on a toasted Roundstone sourdough (9.95). Nothing very mysterious there but all good quality ingredients all together in a superb sandwich.
The OBC is not looking for anything big today so settles for something from the starters: Chicken Liver Paté, McCambridge’s Red Onion marmalade and toasted brioche (5.95), plus a side of leaves (3.95). Happy enough with that. By the way, you may buy quite a few of these ingredients downstairs in the deli.
In the deli
A pot of Campbells Tea and a glass of Sparkling Elderflower (dear enough at 3.95) brought the total to €26.30. Soon we joined the throng in the pedestrianised Shop Street outside, the buskers playing, onlookers delaying, and made our way down to the fresh air in the Nimmo’s area.
JANET’S COUNTRY FAYRE
Relishes and Chutneys generally improve whatever you have on the table: meats, cheeses, and salads. And Janet’s Country Fayre produce one of the best ranges of chutneys and relishes you are likely to find and have been doing so since 1994 when the Wicklow enterprise was established.
Came across a stand of the products, some of them cheekily named, a few days back and bought a few. Only one, the Special Vinaigrette, has been tried out so far and all attendees at a small dinner party remarked favourably on it.
There are many more products including Ploughman’s Chutney, Tomato and Chilli salsa, Cucumber Pickle, Smart Ass Sauce and Really Good Ketchup. Watch out for their very helpful leaflet with many suggestions (even recipes) as to how to get the best from the tempting products. All the info may be accessed at the website: http://www.janetscountryfayre.com
Check it out!