If what they say is true, I shouldn't be writing this now, and simultaneously missing what I would consider to be one of the finest experiences in all of my culinary adventures. Technically speaking, the Irish are mocked for their tastes in food; one only needs to spend a week in France to learn the general European opinion regarding eats in the U.K. and Ireland: shit.
But for me, I'd put going to a really great chipper in Dublin on the top of my list when it comes to dining out informally. The concept is so simple, and that's why it works so well: breaded cod, deep fried to a golden brown, served with thick-cut french fries — or as they call them over there, chips — all nestled perfectly in nothing more than a brown piece of wax paper, piping hot and ready to devour. Malt vinegar and salt are optional, but in my opinion, a must.
Leo Burdock's in Dublin is one of the more popular places to sample this extremely tasty and traditional Irish cuisine, and there is a damn good reason: it's simply perfect. The list of famous folks that have stopped in for a bite there is too long to list, though they do a good job of making sure that you know about at least some of them, including some that might surprise you:
Not surprisingly, U2 is listed at the top of that list. Evidently, they really actually love the band in Dublin. Like for real. No one has bad things to say about them. Perhaps it's because they still come in to local joints like Leo Burdock's like the rest of the city folk.
Don't be mistaken: it is a tourist trap to a degree. Situated just across the road from the 1,000-year-old Christ Church (one of the most memorable parts of Dublin), the shop is pretty much pumping it out constantly, which ensures fresh food each and every time. I know, because I went three times in three days. It's just that fucking good. Here we are, mowing down for the second time in four hours:
Another thing to note was the fact that they make their very own malt vinegar, and a side costs a pricey 1€50 Euro. But I wanted extra, so I dished it out. When they gave me an entire bottle of it I felt justified in my purchase. Seriously, they sell bottles of their malt vinegar for about $2.00 USD. Loved that.
And now I am back home and craving the hell out of it. Oh sure: you can find some folks trying to make it at certain spots in town, and I could do it myself, no problem; decent cod, good beer batter, and some thick fries are all within my means, and yours too. But what I want is for someone to make it right and sell it to me. I want someone to wrap it up in brown paper, just like at Leo Burdock's in Dublin.
It seems like such a no-brainer, especially on a college campus. Last year when I went to Europe, I discovered a place called Chipsy King in Amsterdam and expressed my desire to see something of the sort in C-U, too. Well, this just adds on to the concept. Throw some fat pieces of cod on the menu and sell it for $8 all in. Trust me, it'll work.
So, who amongst you can indulge me, the 74 other British people who read Smile Politely, and the rest of the community who would no doubt turn on to this brilliant and most delicious concept in "take-away" foods across the drink. What say you, C-U? Won't someone do me the favor?