Approaching the New Year with a clear head and clear cut intentions, the concept of Dry January is one we’re all familiar with. When the third week of January rolls around and we’ve all fallen off the wagon, I like to remind others that we live in Ireland.
If it didn’t rain in Ireland for over half the month, January would be deemed dry overall, and a dry fortnight in Galway would be damn near miraculous. When it comes to breaking your resolutions mid-January, there are few places in Ireland that can top the cosy bar-lined cobbled streets of the city of the tribes for a night on the town.
Once you’ve effectively ended your dry spell with numerous whiskeys (Sonny Molloy’s is an ever-present hazard), you will need somewhere to regroup, recover and revive. The recently launched Boozy Brunch at Galway favourite The Front Door seemed like the perfect port in the hangover storm on a recent visit.
Cavernous and inviting, the Front Door is certainly less hectic in the daylight hours, calm with soothing tunes humming so as not to aggravate any already-sore heads. Always a safe bet for a fantastic night out, we were keen to see if they could provide the cure for the kill provided the previous night.
More than just hair of the dog, a tempting cocktail list included Mocktails like Blueberry and Rosemary Smash, which is the perfect aperitif for anyone feeling too delicate or dodging drinking. On the other end of the spectrum Fruit Punch Mojitos (€8.95) and Breakfast Martinis (€8.50) with Beefeater Gin and orange marmalade would knock the cobwebs out.
My brunch buddy Fred and I both opted for a much-needed caffeine hit in the form of Espresso Martinis(€8.50), which didn’t fall into the trap of being too syrupy and packed a serious Absolute Vanilla Vodka punch.
An extensive menu made nods to all the brunch stalwarts, fun, hearty and bursting with options sure to satisfy even the most ravenous of appetites. Dishes like Crispy Chicken Wings with Jameson Black Barrel BBQ Sauce and Gin-Cured Salmon accompanying numerous classics carried the boozy theme through to the food and there were no complaints from us on this front.
A dish I really feel doesn’t get enough credit this side of the Atlantic, Steak and Eggs, tickled Fred’s fancy and when a chargrilled behemoth arrived topped with too perfectly fried eggs, I was a little jealous.
The dreaded food envy increased upon tasting, as the smokey tenderness you can only achieve from a vapo or Josper grill revealed itself, making the medium rare beauty all the more tempting. The most expensive dish on the menu, this was a feast fit for a comedy king for €17.95.
For me, a Panko Coated Crab Cake(€10.95) was a far better vessel for a poached egg and hollandaise than an English muffin (does anyone actually like those?). Choosing to pair mine with the aforementioned gin-cured salmon made this a far more tempting take on Eggs Benny, for me, than the traditional.
Finished with a crown of avocado and a plump and oozy poached egg, crispy skin-on home fries (hollandaise’s best friend) were probably an indulgence too far, but my New Year New Me attitude was waning at this stage.
An honest appraisal of the situation led us to conclude that resolutions were well and resolutions were well and truly out the window, and a dessert of American Style Pancakes(€8.95) became imperative.
While we didn’t quite manage to scale the stack of three massive and fluffy hot cakes, we certainly made a dent in this irresistible dish, made all the more sinful with one of my personal guilty pleasures, clotted cream and lashings of chocolate sauce.
Borderline rolling out the door, Fred and I agreed that the diet would start on Monday, as we all so often tell ourselves. The Front Door can expect me to come knocking again for the cure after my next Galway night out though.
Many a great night has kicked off at The Front Door, but their boozy brunch is a fantastically fun start to a Sunday too. Our bill, for two mains, a dessert and two cocktails came to €52.
The Front Door
8 Cross Street & High Street
T: 091 563 757
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake Off and am passionate about discovering and creating delicious things – I can sometimes be caught in the act on TV3’s Six O’Clock Show or RTE Today. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me on my pursuit of deliciousness.