Herbstreet, and resisting everything except temptation

Oh my GOD, you guys!

Legally blonde was, like, totally awesome! Snaps for Elle!

The enjoyment was dampened, only slightly, by having to fight to stay awake after my pre-theatre dinner, something which I take full responsibility for.

Herbstreet, priding itself on local produce, is spitting distance from Grand Canal Theatre. Book in advance if you’re hoping to head here before a show, as every table was full when we arrived. The menu, though small, appeared perfectly formed, with a mix of dishes that appealed to both the adult and the kid in me.

As usual, I went with my inner child, and ordered a burger and chips, with bacon and, of course, cheese. For some reason, both of my partners-in-dine went for turkey burgers, with sweet potato wedges.
Ever since I came out against this vile invention, they have followed me from restaurant to restaurant, and I do not appreciate it.

Biting into my burger, the freshness of every ingredient was evident. It was pretty damn tasty, and I managed to convince myself it was relatively healthy, because of the huge leaf of lettuce and thick slice of tomato, despite both being smothered in cheese. As a true bacon lover, I was disappointed by its tastelessness.

When it must fight with other flavours in a dish, streaky bacon should be used. This is the kind of essential information we need to be teaching our children. I would gladly volunteer my time to pass on Bacon 101 to the chefs of tomorrow; job offers should be left in the comment section.

Suddenly, my mouth was filled by an unfamiliar, utterly delicious flavour, imparted by something very crunchy. I tipped open the bun to find slices of gherkin.

(Attributed to ClintJCL)

A lifelong aversion to gherkins, fed by those soft, snot-green, slimy circles on McDonald’s burgers, came to an end. This is what people have been talking about, trying to explain to me, attempting to bring me round to. I have seen the green gherkin-y light, and I will never go back.

I polished off the burger, and some of the distinctly average shoestring chips. The turkey eaters agreed that their burgers were equally as good, but the sweet potato wedges were greasy, soft, and flavourless; almost inedible. Buoyed by gherkin success, I tried one.

They were right. Avoid if you love your tastebuds.

Finally, with an hour to spare, we decided on dessert, all homemade, and some very imaginative. There was also a chalk board with specials which doubled the choice. The homemade iceberger icecream, and the brunch ball were lovely. However, it was the arrival of the banoffi pavlova that piqued my jealousy, and started my overeating downfall. The generous pile of cream on the meringue was topped with bananas, butterscotch sauce and candied pecans. One bite into my brunch ball, a scoop of icecream encased in crumbled biscuit, and I asked for a taste of the pavlova. It was simply stunning.

I immediately looked for the waitress, and requested one. One dessert already in front of me, I could feel the judgement of the tables around me, but I didn’t care.

I swapped my bananas for her cream – thank god for diets – and cleared the plate, ignoring my stomach’s cries of “I’m too full, please STOP!” as my mouth luxuriated in absolute heaven.

As an aside, and hopefully to convince you that I’m not that much of a glutton – I have lost four stone in two years, partially by moderating portion size. Prior to this, I would constantly eat to this point of bursting, my body crying out in resistance. I cannot remember the last time I have done this, as I always stop myself and ask, ”Is this food worth it? Is this worth the indigestion, the sleepiness, and the nauseated, unwell feeling of being too full?”

Nothing in two years has come even close.. apart from this magnificent dessert.

Like, oh my god, mad props you guys!

Too long, didn’t read?

Good main courses, disappointing sides, and a dessert menu to, almost literally, die for. Herbstreet may become my Sunday retreat. I plan on coping with the extra calories by jogging the 45 minutes there and back – a good compromise which will allow me to sample each and every dessert – of course, only to record my thoughts for future posterity, and my second lesson for future chefs, Unbelievable Desserts 101.

3 mains, 4 desserts, 5 beers – €89
HerbStreet Hanover Quay, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

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2 thoughts on “Herbstreet, and resisting everything except temptation

  1. How have you not experienced gherkins before? During the Summer I usually eat them on their own as a snack. But you need to bring me to this place some day. I need to experience this alien concept of “dessert” which you speak of. (Did anyone believe that?)

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