Things to do: Lords of Strut “Chaos” at The Abbey Theatre

Lords of Strut to unleash “Chaos” in The Abbey as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe.

This looks hilarious and a little out of this world; perfect for a spot on M & E.

The Strut Brothers are fame obsessed and lacking in social skills; a recipe for a good laugh, really.

“Chaos” is a motivational, semi-nude (oo-err) show in which Seamus and Sean, The Strut brothers (played by Award winning Cork performers Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally) dance and bicker their way though an hour of physical comedy.

Said to be wonderfully choreographed and lauded in Europe, Australia and Canada this truly looks like something the M & E readers will enjoy. A step away from your basic theatrical entertainment or stand up comedy it looks like the kind of thing that will have your stomach aching.

Check out the video to judge for yourself.

Tickets are only €14 and considering they got astounding reviews from arts magazines and websites around the world, that is a bargain.

“Chaos” will be performed on the famous Peacock stage  in the Abbey as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe from the 9th to the 13th of September. Book your tickets at www.fringefest.com.

 

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Dublin Gem: The Counter – Suffolk Street | Review

Due to my new lifestyle, eating out is less frequent and therefore much more important than ever. Once a week (sometimes more, I’m not a saint!), I indulge in a “cheat meal” or a “treat meal” as I prefer to call it, so as well paying regular visits to my beloved Bison Bar & BBQ, I’ve been seeking out plenty of delicious places to get my indulgence on.

The Dublin Gem:

The Counter  is a global burger joint with branches all over the world. Here in Ireland you’ll find one on Suffolk Street and one in Dundrum Town Centre. I went to the Suffolk Street branch one friend with my wonderful friend, Sarah and I could not have enjoyed the experience more.

Who’ll like it?: 

Burger fans

US culture seekers

Shake lovers

The selling points: The staff, The Shakes, The Novelty

The Staff

I really wish I had gotten the name of our waitress because she was, and I don’t use this term lightly, a hoot. She was cracking jokes like they were going out of fashion, she was attentitive, but not in a fussy and bothersome way and to be honest, I would go back just for the laughs she gave us.

The Shakes

I love a good shake; whether on the dancefloor in the form of a creamy beverage. I try to include a big filty milkshake into my treat meal when possible because I work dairy free for the rest of the week.

The Counter Milkshakes

I had a banana milkshake while lovely Sarah had a Chocolate Malt. I think all readers will agree that they looked fantastic and we both agreed that they tasted as good as they appear. They are creamy, thick and flavoursome, everything you could imagine a milkshake should be.

The Novelty

What can I say? I’m sucker for a gimmick. When you pop into you The Counter, you are given two menus. One is a menu of set burgers and one is a form that you fill out in a bid to create your dream burger. Your “Custom Built Burger” can be beef, turkey, chicken, vegan and so on and you can select a number of delicious and often petrifying toppings to compliment your burger choice.

The counter burgers

I went with a beef burger with montery jack cheese, pineapple, jalepenos and a spicy range dressing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was the best burger I have ever had; Bobo’s still has that crown . I would however include it in my top three burger joints, which is a testament because I love a big meaty burger.  The meat could have done with being a little jucier, but it was tasty and the fact that you can cater to your own tastes, regardless of how plain or bizarre they may be, is a huge bonus. Extra points to them for including vegetarian options, I know it can be hard for veggies to get a decent burger.

Dublin Gem: Kennedy’s Foodstore, Raheny

Grab a bite to eat in Raheny’s latest café

I haven’t done a Dublin Gem post since January; not because I haven’t been out and about, but because a lot of the content I’d gear towards this section of the blog is going to my new gig over at Groupon City Guide. Any foodie places I’ve been to that could have featured on this section have been let downs, to say the least so it took a while before I found somewhere I hadn’t been before that blew my socks off.

I’m keeping it look with this Dublin Gem; I had been meaning to go here since it opened but despite it being a 5 minute drive from my house, I never quite got around to it. It was definitely worth the wait.

Kennedy's Cafe Raheny

The Dublin Gem

Kennedy’s Foodstore has been a fixture in Fairview for quite sometime, with its Bistro collecting plenty of applause and awards along the way. In August of last year the opened the doors of a very quaint café and old style grocery store, much to the delight of Raheny’s population. Located on Raheny’s HillTop , it provides a second alternative to what was the village’s only café for many years, The River Café, located below Supervalu.

Who’ll Like It? 

Cake fanatics

Artisan Food Fans

Coffee Guzzlers

The selling points: The incredible staff, The Granary Bread, Tasty Cakes, Country Kitchen Feel.

The incredible staff

There is nothing that sells a café quite like friendly, efficient staff and Kennedy’s definitely has that. The first thing I noticed was how genuinely pleasant the waiting staff are in this place. So many places are laden with scowling faces that would rather be anywhere else or, worse in my opinion, plastered on smiles and faux pleasantries from patronisingly fake greeters.

The staff in Kennedys Foodstore in Raheny lend to the overall genuine, homely experience of the café. Even at busy times they are welcoming, attentive and helpful; a true testament to their personal characteristics, I’m sure. The girly waiting my table on Mother’s Day even suggested ways to have my sandwich based on the type of bread I was having; where would you get it?

Once in the presence of lovely waiting staff, you get a good feeling about the rest of your visit.

The Granary Bread

The bread is good it deserves it’s own heading! This delicious wholegrain bread is a must try if you are getting a sandwich here. It is thick, has a wonderful bite to it and, yes, it’s perfect toasted. Absolutely perfect. I had a goats cheese and pesto sandwich and it felt pleasurable to eat; a truly wholesome feast.

Kennedys Food Store

Granary Bread Sandwich with delicious carrot and coriander soup

Tasty Cakes

I would turn my nose up at any café that doesn’t offer delicious, fresh cakes after becoming accustomed to Brother Hubbard  and their tasty, tasty cinnamon scrolls. Prepacked cakes from Starbucks and Costa just don’t do it for me anymore!

Kennedys has an amazing selection of beautiful muffins, chocolate slices, brownies, tarts, you name it. On my most recent visit to the foodstore I tried a beautiful Victoria sponge which was perfectly fluffy and not overly sweet; a wonderful treat on the weekend.

Kennedys Foodstore Reviews

Beautiful Victoria Sponge

Country kitchen feel

The Café and food store is a homely, wooden haven in which to escape from the buzz of the city and it fits in perfectly with the village downhill. The wooden paneled walls and unvarnished floor all add to the experience, making the fresh food, and the friendly staff all the more genuine.

It simply felt pleasant to be there, despite being incredibly busy, which certainly merits a few more visits.

If you are in the area and looking for top notch service without any modern and stuffy propensities, this is definitely a place you will want to visit. Even if you don’t have time to sit down, they have a small dry goods store with rare and delicious products.

Dublin Gem: The Jazz Chinese Restaurant

Chinese Buffets in dublinDublin is riddled with all you can eat Chinese buffets but they always strike me as rather unclean and stale.

I mean really, we don’t know how  long the food has been sitting out, warming up in its stainless steel tray. A few restaurants already in existence have opted for a fresher take on the buffet concept, which leads us to the first musicandeverything.com Dublin Gem of 2014.

The Dublin Gem

The Jazz Chinese Restaurant is a longstanding feature of Coolock village with an exponential favourable reputation among locals and visitors to the area. In recent years they have developed a buffet menu with a different twist.  Not a canteen set up to be found in this beautifully decorated restaurant; you can eat all you can, safe in the knowledge that your food has been freshly cooked.

Who’ll Like It? 

  • Asian food fans.
  • Canteen style buffet opposers
  • Indecisive people.

The selling points: The cosy décor, the welcoming staff, the wide variety, the fresh food.

The Cosy Décor & Welcoming Staff

There is nothing quite like an Asian restaurant that adopts the traditional, rather cosy oriental décor, particularly as there are so many trendy and modern ones popping up. The mahogany and traditional designs lend to the atmosphere, making it homely and exotic at the same time.

The beautiful atomsphere is enhanced by the habitually friendly staff. I’ve visited quite a few times over the passed two years and I have never experienced any kind of negativity or rudeness from the management and staff in the restaurant. Always greeted with a smile and always tentative, but in a lurky Americana restaurant fashion.

It is genuinely one of the nicest restaurants I have ever visited, fantastic for an intimate meal or a big family event.

The wide variety of Fresh Food

Let’s not mince words here; buffets are generally beguiling. The room is full of beautiful looking and smelling food but truthfully, we’re not sure exactly how fresh it all is. Not to mention the 100s of customers that may have been breathing all over it.

The Jazz offers a fresh alternative. Literally. When you request the buffet menu you get a long piece of card with soups, starters, main courses and sides.

The variety is amazing and what’s best is that the servings come in small portions so you can try a little bit of everything. It is a dream for indecisive people.

If you’re anything like me the hardest part of eating out is trying to decide between a number of different foods. Here, you don’t have to stress over it. Want chicken wings and spring rolls? No bother. Want rice and noodles with your main course? Don’t sweat it. The only clause in the buffet is that you eat up everything before ordering your next course, which is simply a matter of not being greedy and/or wasteful.

All of this, and the fact that every thing is cooked to order, means that you don’t over eat, or over fill your plate. Manageable portions mean a more civil experience that slapping everything on your plate and fighting your back to the table.

Added bonus for the wine drinkers; the red wine is absolutely delicious!

This is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area and why not pop over to the Cock and Bull for a drink or two after?

Dublin Gem: CheeseCake Dublin.

Oh dear, I’ve accidentally listed yet another food place as a spot to visit in Dublin. This one truly is a gem; totally original and unique by comparison to all the surrounding eateries in Dublin City.

The Gem 

Haven’t we all dreamed of a place that just serves cheesecake? Don’t we all lust after a varied selection of creamy, crumbly cakes that you could even dream up. Cheesecake Dublin has made the cheesecake lovers’ dreams come true with a boutique café located on South William Street.

Reasonably priced, this is a nice place to visit, particularly if you are cursed with a sweet tooth.

Cheesecake dublin

Who’ll Like it?: 

  • Cake Fanatics.
  • Cheesecake enthusiasts.
  • Those who eat on the go.

The Variety

One thing that really sells this quaint little place in Dublin City is the variety. Yes, even though they only sell cheesecake there is still a wide variety of flavours on offer which can shuffle from day-to-day. Never before has such a delectable variety of cheesecakes been administered in one location. Whether you are into salted sweets or fruity treats, as long as you like cheesecake you will have something to choose from.

On my first visit to this treasure trove of cheesecake there was plenty to choose from. I opted for the peanut butter and chocolate, while my partner in indulgence went for a delectable raspberry cheesecake.

When you walk in you will notice you have the choice between adorable jars of cheese cake for €4.50 or a slice from the counter.

The Texture

Time to get all cake conosuir on this one; these are the finest cheesecakes I have ever tasted. I can’t recall ever tasting a cake so pleasant to the palette. Its velvety texture, thick and creamy consistency along with the soft, crumbly biscuit base; it is probably the closest thing you will get to the pleasure experienced by Rachel and Chandler in “the one will all the cheesecakes” episode of ‘Friends’.

It is luscious and delightfully filling; every last morsel must be savoured.

Peanut butter cheesecake

Cheesecake is undoubtedly a welcome addition to Dublin’s trendy South William Street. People have been ranting and raving about it since its opening and in the first few days of business they actually ran out of cheesecake. The only downside of it is the size; there are only two tables inside and a bench outside. As a result it’s not the most relaxing environment in which to devour your cheesecake, if you’re lucky enough to get a seat to begin with.

That aside, I recommend you pop in and either take a seat, to be vacated soon, or stock up and munch away at home. These are truly the most beautiful cheesecakes known to man; honestly, if it was the last thing I ate I would be ok with that!

Dublin Gem: The Cock and Bull- Coolock

I’m keeping things local with this month’s Dublin gem. Yes, once again food is involved in this monthly blog post but you can’t fuel a high energy, music loving lifestyle without a hearty meal inside you. Not a scientific fact, but something I firmly stand by.

This month’s gem is in Coolock; don’t let the address or location snobbery put you off going here. If you are in or near Coolock/Artane/Raheny this is a must visit if you are looking for some tasty beverages and a good meal.

The Dublin Gem

The Cock and Bull is a relatively new addition to Coolock village. Once a shabby pub by the name of “The Sheaf of Wheat”, it was initially occupied by lounge lizards and old men grumbling into their pints. You might have even been lucky enough to be offered a bottle of false tan for just a couple of Euro.  Since it reopened under new, presumably younger, ownership, The Cock and Bull caters for a wider audience. It offers much more in terms of decor, food, drinks and atmosphere.

Who’ll Like It? 

  • Pub Grub lovers.
  • Cocktail sippers.
  • Those who like a drink and a chat.

The selling points: A different kind of local, top notch grub, amusingly titled cocktails.

The Décor

Anyone who has been in this pub in its previous carnation will know it was just your run of the mill pub. Carpeted seats, matching carpet on the floor, fire in the corner to warm up the auld lads.

The Cock and Bull has undergone an alarming transformation. The Gok Wan of pubs must have been involved. It has gone from dated and grubby to modern yet homely, and even includes a fabulous beer garden, which was sadly completed after the few weeks of mediterranean style sun this summer.

Cock and bull coolock

There is a “craft pub” air about it, in the style of The Porterhouse; largely wooden, but not in a sterile or business-like way. It’s quite cosy; the kind of pub you could settle into. Also, the bathrooms couldn’t be swankier.

The Cock and Bull coolock

The Cocktails

Or “Cock and Bulltails” as they are amusingly called. Admittedly, as yet, I haven’t had a cocktail in this pub but the names alone are enough to impress customers. “The Coolock Cosmo”- brilliant.

cock and bull coolock

Pub Grub

perhaps pub grub is not a fair term to use for this place. It is leagues ahead of your run of the mill oily roast and skinny chips with a meatless burger. This is a menu full of wholesome, filling food and they’re a plenty of options to choose from; the Standard Cod and Chips, a must in every Irish pub, a wide selection of burgers and some ad hoc dishes that trump the offerings in any other pub in Dublin 5.

I opted for the Peri Peri Chicken with Garlic Potatoes. No exaggeration, the vegetables were the nicest I have ever eaten; that’s right, even the veg was mention worthy. They were cooked to perfect and had a mild buttery flavour. The chicken its self was nice; Peri Peri can be touch and go; it wasn’t overly flavoursome and was probably the closest thing I’ve tasted to genuine Portuguese Peri Peri in Ireland. As for the Garlic potatoes; they weren’t what I was expecting, they were better. I was thinking creamy, thick cut potatoes in a garlic sauce but instead I got beautiful baby potatoes cooked in garlic butter; much lighter and much easier to enjoy without feeling too full.

Cock and bull coolcock food

This place is a true hidden gem in Coolock village and you will not want to miss it if you are in the area. Highly recommended.

Dublin Gem: Brother Hubbard.

Ok. I’ll admit it as it is already apparent, despite my love of music, most of my favourite places in Dublin involve food. In fact I have only shared one non-food related Dublin Gem since I started this section of the blog. Let’s face it though; food is a huge part of our social lives, particularly as music lovers. The pre-gig meal is an important part of the week, not to mention the morning after the 4 song encore coffees!

This month’s gem will be familiar to anyone who frequents the Capel Street area or anyone that follows Darragh Doyle on Twitter.

It is the perfect gem to visit for winter warmers.

The Dublin Gem

Brother Hubbard is an independent Café on Dublin’s Capel Street and it genuinely has so much more to offer than most cafés in Dublin. I work beside it and having been enjoying their delicious offerings for a for a year and half and I cannot speak highly enough of it. The Brother Hubbard menu is filled with unique and tasty choices.

Who’ll Like It? 

  • Foodies.
  • Coffee fanatics.
  • Music lovers.
  • Drinkers of fancy tea.
  • Sandwich Appreciators.
  • Breakfasters.

The selling points: Service with a smile is most certainly in their ethos, as is playing brilliant tunes for you while you sip your coffee or wait for your order. Best coffee in Dublin.

Breakfast: 

Breakfast in Brother Hubbard

Oh, so creamy- porridge with honey


Admitedly, I only eat breakfast from Brother Hubbard during the Autumn and Winter because nothing is more comforting than their delicious, creamy porridge. I tend to treat myself to breakfast from Brother Hubbard every once in a while and every spoonful of that perfect porridge is delightful. Depending on what’s on offer you could have it with a tasty topping of your choice.

Porridge is all they have to offer for breakfast, you can also induldge in delicious granola or even munch away on toast with a jam of your choice.

They do breakfast better than anywhere else in Dublin, offering wholesome, filling and flavoursome food as opposed to your run of the mill fry up or cream cheese bagel.

The Coffee: 

Brother Hubbard Coffee

Life source

The coffee, oh my the coffee. I rarely have time to nip in to Brother Hubbard to grab a coffee but I try to get in at least once a week because, and this is coming from a very picky coffee drinker, it is the best in Dublin. They use 3fe beans, which is the perfect start, but the black coffees are made to perfection. The coffee is affordable too, despite its superiority to the bland, overroasted, overly foamy coffees you can attain from any faceless franchise coffee house.

You might think you know good coffee but that simply is not true until you’ve tasted one of Brother Hubbard’s.

The Lunch:

Brother Hubbard Lunch menu

Red pepper bell soup for desk-lunch

Brother Hubbard is always insanely busy at lunchtime which speaks volumes to the food on offer. I am a huge fan of their soup, whatever the flavour, which comes with delicious sourdough bread. You can tell from the supputous taste how much thought and care goes into make something as simple as a pea or bell pepper soup. It always thick, filling and flavoursome.

If you’re looking for something you can sink your teeth into they also have a range of sandwich that are becoming increasingly popular in Dublin. More and more people are talking about their pulled pork sandwiches and I can personally vouch for their Ham Sandwich; the best you will ever buy.

As for salads, they’ve got three kinds and they lend a whole new meaning to what is often viewed as the most boring of lunches. Not these salads; these are full of flavour and absoloutely scrumptious.

If you fancy something for afters Brother Hubbard also happens to have a wide range of fabulous baked treats including the freshest, most delightfully sticky cinnamon scrolls and positively indefectible scones with a beautiful orange blossom butter. Indulgent, heavenly treats.

The Service:

This blog post can not be completed with drawing deserved attention to the service. Warm, friendly, personable are just some words that can be used to describe every single person that serves in Brother Hubbard. They may not know your name, but if they are a regular they will know your face and greet you with a genuinely cheerful “how are you?”. Their service cannot be faulted and it would be a difficult task to find a café with a similar personal, welcoming touch.

If you are in the City Centre you should make a point of visiting Brother Hubbard to experience the service for yourself, not to mention the many other things that make this precious café so special.