Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Monday, February 08, 2010

A Gourmet Lovers Guide to Galway and the surround!

Date night - divine............

Bar No. 8

On the Docks

Galway City

00 353 91 565 111

I cannot say enough good things about this little gem. I have frequented this pub once or twice a month over the last two years because they stock all my favourite beers. I know that seems like a fairly mundane reason considering I live in the land where milk and honey flows Beer and Whisky flows, but they always have my favourites; In stock and ICE cold.

Sporting a seriously stark concrete interior, softened with some (retro and comfy) Queen Anne’s and a few little love-seats for two, it is not unusual to see starry eyed lovers gazing silently out the wall-sized windows that spill out onto the beautiful Galway boat docks.
Imagine if you will when all the lights are low in Bar No. 8 and you have time to sit wordlessly next to your lover, sipping on Chimay Bleu watching a large fishing trawler slink in across the glassy luminous water. You may have to pinch yourself back to the real world once your food arrives because you sure as hell will not want to miss one bite of this scrumptious fare!

And that is just the tapas! They have recently introduced a new menu, taking into consideration today's economic climate. As this is one of my favourite places and I have been known to give my honest opinion, I have hesitated popping in for food because I was afraid that the food would be - about average, OR be so over-priced and tasteless I may have not wanted to return! (Not even for the beer). So, I had made a firm decision to just stick to drinking the beers! A few nights ago I caved and am still reeling from the shock of how fantastic the dining experience was! What a delicious treat I have been denying myself!

As I was with a friend, we decided to choose a few different menu items to get a good feel for what the kitchen could produce. The menu we chose from, as did the rest of the seriously hopping bar on a Sunday night, was simply titled 'Eat at 8'. Grabbing my immediate attention (being a student this should not surprise you) was the fact that not one of the menu items scraped above twenty Euros. Fair play Bar No. 8!

A few seconds later my dining companion had selected Homemade lamb sausages with caramelised onion gravy and old fashioned mashed potatoes. I could feel the 'glare' burning through the restaurant readers as my hungry friend leaned a little closer than necessary hoping to hurry aid my decision.

''The menu is so simple" I stated trying to stall, "and by simple I do not mean the food items, I mean the uncluttered typography of the words on the page". The heat from the glare began to make me feel rather hot and bothered so I swiftly settled on the Salt and Pepper Squid and a shared bowl of Nev's hand-cut chips. Then I started to silently curse myself knowing that there was a very good chance the squid could come out chewy as rubber bands.

What was I thinking!!! Well - I was hoping that the squid (caught earlier that day) had lived a happy life in Irish waters (be they frigid), AND that they would have been lightly dredged in breadcrumbs, and fried for ultra seconds before being plopped into a cutesy little cabbage, arriving at my table with a sprinkling of some Maldon sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper. I know - I am asking for too much! Imagine my surprise when I got all that I was asking for and then some! The garlic mayonnaise which had not entered my food fantasy almost put me over the edge. Everything in moderation folks. Yummy!

Whilst waiting for the rest of our eats, the hot and happening 'A Band Called Wanda' started to set up! (no cover charge either!). They sat down and played a few tunes. Very Counting Crows and Christy Moore like. I loved them! They are getting ready to release an EP this week - so I see a birthday present in my future! (A Band Called Wanda – their website is and the have a Facebook page too with some tunes uploaded).

My hungry dining companion spied what others were chowing down on whilst we waited (15 mins), but between the music and the overly attentive crew they have enlisted to take care of the punters, we were well entertained. Although we shared each blissful bite, there were a few fleeting moments when I wished I was companion-less at the bar with my tasty treats.

The food. The Drinks. The AMAZING Crew. The Ambiance. The View.

The fact that it is in-town, and that everything on the menu is priced for less than twenty Euros, is down-right FANTASTIC! The owner, Tom Sheridan, gave all the credit to his very hard working staff. After hearing those words it is only fair to declare that Bar No. 8 - is my favourite place to eat in Galway (aside from ChezWise of course).

It is local, it is Galway. It is home!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today!



Laoch'Rione said...

Sounds great hon. Your writing is what really makes the mouth water though - I hate squid, but it reads like yum!!
(I have tried it, still hate it, so no am not trying it again lol!!!)

WiseMóna said...

Deep fried - you may be convinced. I have not thrown in the towel just yet :o)

Pama Mitchell said...

Nice photo of the food -- it makes me hungry!

WiseMóna said...

Thanks Pama - you and George would love this place. Although I did not mention it, they have quite the hefty wine list too. Mostly Italian, Spanish and a few French.

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