Out To Lunch: Crabbing About The Salad

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Johnny Franks, Meadowlands Hotel,

Oakpark Road

Meadowlands HotelI HAVEN’T been to Meadowlands Hotel in a long time, again harking back to my old days in The Kerryman.

The lunches there were generally good and the place was always fairly packed – that’s quite an achievement considering the size of the bar.

But that was in the Celtic Tiger era and much has changed everywhere since then. I decided to take a trip up there to see how things had changed. I hit the place at a bad time as the lunch rush was definitely over – it was 2pm when I arrived – with just three tables taken in the whole bar.

I sat down and the friendly barman dropped over a menu with the specials. The dark wood interior hasn’t changed a bit and that’s not especially a bad thing in my opinion as it lends itself a cosy atmosphere if you’re in for bar food or to watch a match –  provided there’s a crowd around.

I surveyed the menu and the choice was excellent.

‘Slow cooked barbecue back ribs with homemade red coleslaw and fries €9.70’, ‘boiled loin of bacon and savoury cabbage with creamy parsley sauce €10.90’ and ‘pan fried fillet of hake with roasted red pepper and cherry tomato salsa €10.90’, all caught my eye, but I decided on the ‘Brandon Bay crab salad with chips €11.90’ as I’m a big fan of the oul crustaceans and I didn’t feel like a big lunch.

I certainly didn’t get one.

The dish came on a slate with four crab claws and two small mounds of crab meat, mixed in a mayonnaise dressing. The salad itself was lettuce, some sweet cucumber and bit of red onion, with marie rose sauce on the side.

I had an open crab sandwich a few months ago in Dingle and there was double everything that was on my plate here for under €11.

I couldn’t fault the crab claws and the meat was delicious too, but, even allowing for transportation costs and rates differences, there simply wasn’t enough on the plate for €12. The chips were grand and I washed it down with a good, large cappuccino (at a reasonable price too at €2.60) which took away the remaining hunger pangs.

The bill came to €14.50. Next time I’ll go for the bacon and cabbage feed.


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