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

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Gourmet Lovers Guide to Galway and the surround!

Joes Café

The Dell Centre

Lahinch, Co. Clare

(less than 75km from Galway City)

Tel - 353 65 7086113

Email -

Between a rock and a hard place is where you will find one of my favourite cafés in Ireland. Tucked away in the centre of Lahinch town, Joes Café serves up some pretty amazing grub at recessionary rates! Over the past two years I have stopped into this coffee lovers paradise more than ten times and each time (being a sceptic) I expect it to be ‘not as good’ as the last visit, because that is usually what happens to all the good restaurants and cafés.

Virgins to the business, new restaurant owners dream big and bright, throw their love and money into getting their ‘dream’ up and running, then realise (after they have lured loyal followers) that it is impossible to make money in the industry unless you sell out, serve slop on a plate, hire untrained employees, pay them minimum wage and have them run the operation.

The owner, Joe McCarthy, is obviously stark raving mad because he has dug his heels in and it seems like he is in for the long haul. On a recent visit as I was strolling around Lahinch town (mid –winter, so it might have been more like a brusque walk), I asked several of the psycho winter-surfer dudes what they thought of Joes Café and the response was unanimous. Unequivocally the best spot for decent coffee in Lahinch (serving one of my favourite grinds Lavazza) and best vegetarian menu too!

A splash of California sunshine spills all over the walls, windows and tables inside Joes Café and the minute you enter this cosy nook, you are welcomed by appetizing smells and a very friendly staff. The menu is not your typical Irish menu and has items like Moroccan Stew (vegerarian), enormous field green salads topped with a piece of fresh fish (Joe being the fisherman), the blue-germ banana pancakes with baileys whipped cream, and the big-boy beef burger for the big boys! All these might tickle those taste buds, but I am fairly certain that the majority of patrons are there because of one item. The Pizza! Making his dough from scratch, and having invested heavily in his pizza oven, those thin crusted pizza pies topped in any which way you please are more appealing to the eye and senses than anything else for miles around, miles I tell you.

Of course there are a gazillion other menu items that will tempt you. If you sit and wait for a while, studying what everyone else is getting you will surely regret it, because everything arrives out to the tables promptly, piping hot (or temperature appropriate) and with a smile.

With nothing on the menu topping thirteen euros, conceivably one could graze there all day long, tapping away on ones laptop, taking a break to oogle a few surfers or pinch the cheeks of a fat baby next to you. Once ready to leave the comfort of Joes Café (and already plotting your next visit) the best thing to do is reflect on what brought you to Lahinch in the first place.

A stroll along the seashore of Lahinch sweeps me away

Skies of liquid colour, mountains heave and sway.

A short drive from my hometown, of Galway by the sea

Lahinch in lovely Ireland, is my favourite place to be.

It is local, it is not too far from Galway

And it sure as heck feels like home to me!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,



Aisy said...

oh goddam i love that moroccan stew!

WiseMóna said...

So do I. EVERYTHING I have eaten there is delicious!

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