Parenting Blog

Trying To Find One Of The Best Restaurants In Dublin

It was about a mile.

Maybe a skosh more from the famous Long Room Of The Old Library At Trinity College in Dublin.

The Long Room Of The Old Library At Trinity College

Even with a Thanksgiving weekend chill in the air, this was not an unreasonable distance to cover on foot.

I marched out in front of my troupe, leading them to the Dublin restaurant I had found on my phone like a proud alpha dog guiding his pack to a fresh kill. Using an online restaurant reservation app, because I’m a civilized gent not a god damn animal, I booked us a four top in between long strides of my assured gait.

Trying To Find One Of The Best Restaurants In Dublin

This would be a goodbye to Ireland feast fit for the late great king Brian Boru, who my wife insists on claiming is in her o’lineage. This would also be a memorable birthday dinner for my Irish redheaded wife at one of the best restaurants in Dublin. This was going to be perfect.

Trying To Find One Of The Best Restaurants In Dublin

We arrived at the pavement-to-rooftop glass storefront of the Boulevard Cafe and my God the place looked even more darling than it had on my phone 15 minutes prior. To the maĆ®tre d’ at the wood podium just inside the door, I announced our arrival with all the confidence of a man scribbling down what he knew was the correct Final Jeopardy question.

“I’m sorry sir, we’re all booked. We stopped accepting same-night online reservations at 5pm.”

Well, crap.

Tea and cake in Ireland

Scowls from the complaining youngest in our traveling party mixed with my own mounting annoyance at the reservation app for leading me on with come-hither eyes, made for a foul jamboree as we retreated to reassess. At this point in the evening, my family’s interest was not in finding a table at another of the best restaurants in Dublin, but rather to find anything at all to eat at a restaurant in Dublin city centre before we’d head back to the hotel out near the airport.

Because the menu plastered to the vestibule on the street had a few things my vegetarian daughters could and would eat, we ducked into a Nando’s not too far from where my online reservation had failed to make a mark.

It looked like a generic chain fast casual kind of outfit to me, a Panera Bread or some shit, and so my dander was up that this is where we were ending up in Dublin. This was our Irish dining swan song. Nando’s.

Like a child throwing his pacifier out of the pram, I declined to eat; a move directly impacting no one but me but my fussiness pulled a black cloud over top us all.

The Best Ice Cream in Ireland

To that point, we had broken bread together as a family at a few decent and charming spots during the trip — some classic pubs, the best ice cream in Ireland at each of the Murphy’s ice cream parlor locations on the island, a few coffeehouses for steamers, tea and cake, and the dining room of the County Clare coach house we adore.

In retrospect, Nando’s was fine enough. Had it been buried in the middle of our Irish holiday, whatever, you know, but I felt the need to concoct a memorable finale to what had been already a brilliant 9 days in Ireland.

I succeeded. Unfortunately.

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