Our pre-Valentine’s Day weekend at Whitefriar Grill
Since having our little man, our dates became a bit different. Events such as Valentine’s Day or our wedding anniversary meant that we don’t go out just me and my husband. Of course, we always have a choice get a minder so we can have some “alone time”. We do that sometimes but we feel different eating by ourselves and not having a little demanding toddler beside us! Weird, no? LOL!
Anyway, because of this, we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a weekend lunch. I know, it is not the most romantic time of the day but I guess that’s what it is until our son gets his own date (sobs!). And for that, we booked a table at a brunch place we’ve been eyeing for some time now – Whitefriar Grill.
I read about this place a couple of years ago but the logistics are quite tricky, especially if dining with a little one. The place can get super busy and similar to other good places around Dublin – it doesn’t have that much space. I was even told during my reservation they don’t have baby chairs available so that’s another thing parents of little ones must keep in mind if eating here, too.
Good thing for us, my son can sit properly in a normal chair – so long as he’s busy with something (iPad). The weekend prior Vday was extremely freezing and the winds horrible – we tried to go to the restaurant a few minutes early for shelter. Unluckily for us, it was so busy. We ended up waiting outside. They advised to wait on the next-door cafe but since they had a few chairs outside, we waited there even if they didn’t have heaters.
We were given our seats on the exact time of our reservation. Great timing since I started feeling so cold! It was still busy inside the restaurant and the fact there was a DJ table at the entrance made it a tad difficult to get inside with a pram, too.
Anyway, the menus were waiting for us on our table after we got in. So, after making sure our little man finally settled down, we had a look at the menu.
The menu was simple and straightforward. Apart from the specials written on the blackboard, they really focus on brunch food items. They also have a couple of “usual” menu items but I wanted to try something that I don’t (or rarely) see from other (brunch) places in Dublin to make the visit worthwhile!
I decided to order something light for my mains, so we decided to have a portion of spicy chicken wings to share to start. Our son is done with lunch but to keep him busy, we ordered some waffles for him. I requested to put the Nutella on the side as I didn’t want to give him something too sweet as a snack!
Our starter and my son’s waffle arrived so quickly! I was so happy they had the Nutella on the side but didn’t realize they will drizzle the waffles with caramel sauce, sigh! Luckily, it wasn’t too sweet so I think it’s not too bad.
I love my son’s waffle! Loved the slightly chewy/crispy texture of the outside and the fluffiness from the inside. I have a waffle maker at home but I can’t make it to this texture, darn! So, now I know where to get it from if I want to have some waffles done just the way I like it. My son also loved the caramelized banana (and sauce). I mean, if I loved it, why wouldn’t he, right?
Now, let’s talk about our spicy chicken wings. We were quite satisfied with it but somehow, I thought it was just so-so. Not to mention that we thought the portion a bit too small for the price we paid for it?
We finished the chicken wings quickly. I was looking forward to my mains and ordered some tea for a drink. Normally, I’d go for a glass of white but that weekend was so cold – I thought it’s best to have a cup of chamomile tea instead!
A few minutes after our starters, our mains arrived. I ordered huevos rancheros while my husband had steak and ribs (duh). This is the first time I stumbled on a brunch place (or a Mexican food joint) serving huevos ranchers. And even if I knew how simple it is to make at home, I wanted to give it a go.
Oh, it was lovely! The baked beans packed a punch of flavour and the homemade guacamole made a nice spicy creaminess to every bite. My only complaint was that the garnish serving too small. The grated cheddar and guacamole weren’t that much so I had to skimp on the guacamole portions as I ate. Not to mention that the baked beans indicated on the menu that it was cooked with chorizo but I only ate one piece of chorizo from the entire portion (no joke!). The flavor is definitely there and I can understand why this place is famous for brunch but for the price of the food – I was hoping they are slightly generous with their serving size.
Overall, I still don’t mind coming back here again but will make sure to have a reservation. I saw a number of people turning up only to walk away. And maybe, I’ll try to order something heavier!