May 18, 2013

Bison Bar and BBQ

Managing to find a place to eat that will suit a large group can be challenging at the best of times, even more so for a group of ten which consists mainly of 25 year old men. This was my challenge a few weeks ago when my brother celebrated his birthday and wanted to do something different for it. Where do you bring lads who are at their happiest in places like Zaytoon, BEAR and Gourmet Burger, where the food is dig your hands in, stuff it in your gob and end up with sauce dripping down your face style! I needed somewhere that could handle a group of big, noisy, hungry males who liked their grub and lots of it! Then in what can only be described as serendipitous timing, Stitch and Bear reviewed The Bison Bar & BBQ and I knew my dilemma was solved. 

The Bison Bar is right besides the Workman’s Club and is only a short stroll from Temple Bar. The Bison Bar only take bookings for groups of ten or more and we were one of the first groups to take advantage of this. Being able to book for a large group on a Friday night was great as the place was packed when we walked in. The Bison Bar is as casual as they come with seating consisting of low wooden stools and booths. The tables come equipped with squishy bottles of mustard and bbq sauce and a big roll of kitchen paper – always a good sign!! The only thing that was slightly annoying were the booth walls, which split up the group a little, though we didn't dwell on that too long as we were starving.

The Interior
The menu, while short, sounded delicious – smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage links, spilt chicken and pork ribs. Even at this it took us a while to decide with a lot of ‘if you get the brisket, I’ll get the pulled pork and we can share’ going on. There were also a few order changes when some of the lads realised that combo trays were possible. Let’s just say the staff were very patient with us especially when the food arrived and half the boys got confused about what they had ordered!! In fairness now the staff could have given them any of the dishes and they would have been happy, as it was they were ecstatic. 

Bring it on!!!
The brisket had a beautiful smokiness, the meat fell off the ribs, the pulled pork melted in the mouth and the chicken was juicy. All this meat was accompanied by sides including great crispy chips, chunky onions rings,  potato salad and coleslaw and to top it all off burnt end beans. These ‘devil beans’ have the brisket ends in them and are slow cooked to a sticky consistency. They were a little spicy for me, the name should have given it away, but one of the lads hovered them up! 

After finishing every last morsel on our trays the lads decided to finish the meal off with dessert. The choices were peach cobbler or chocolate brownie, both of which came with ice-cream. When they arrived out I got dessert envy and ordered one for myself! Both were lovely and surprisingly not too heavy after such a feed. The portions were smallish but this was probably for the best. At €5.95 I did think the desserts were a tad on the pricey side but as was pointed out to me most restaurants charge this if not more. 

All this meat was handily washed down by some great whisky sours and bison kicks which were on special that night for a fiver. The boys also put the fully stocked whisky bar to use and tried out a few different varieties. 

The Bison Bar and BBQ was a wonderful place to start the birthday night out. My brother tells me his mates haven’t stopped talking about it since their visit and indeed myself and the boyfriend have already been back for more!! I earned some serious brownie points for organising it all!! I would also like to say thanks to the staff who put up with us for the evening – sorry if we had you totally confused it was just all so good we wanted more of it!

The whole meal cost us €218 which was for ten meals, some of them combos, a few extra sides and desserts. Drinks were bought separately. The BBQ is available everyday at the Bison Bar, starting at midday and lasting until nine o'clock or until the meat runs out! They are now also doing lunch so if a brisket or pulled pork sandwich takes your fancy you know where to go!

Bison Bar, 11 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2
Twitter: @BisonDublin

 Bison Bar on Urbanspoon

May 14, 2013

May Food Festivals & Events: 13 - 26 May

A Taste of Leinster
A brand new event showcasing the best of local small and medium food producers in the Leinster area. Happening on the 18 & 19 May in Charlestown Shopping Centre, Finglas. Check out this recent blog post for more details.  

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 
Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival is a celebration of the traditional timber sailing boats of Ireland. It will be a weekend of sailing, talking, learning and partying in true West Cork style! On shore there will be the best of food and drink in the restaurants and bars. In the food tents lining the pier, West Cork's finest fish smokers; cheese makers and organic gardeners will offer their wares. From Friday 24 - 26 May.

Burren Slow Food Festival
The Burren Slow Food Festival is held in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare from the 17 -19 May. Beer tasting, Seafood Foraging and Food Camp are some of the events taking place.
The festival will take place in Lisdoonvarna. Tickets are 5 Euro per person and include entry to their raffle. 

Dublin Bay Wine Experience
The Dublin Bay Wine Experience is designed to promote responsible use of wine through education. It is a wine themed show offering interactive wine related events. Its focus is on global links between Ireland and the world of wine, and it will highlight brands, wine regions and wine personalities. There will also be tastings, masterclasses and other interactive activities. This event takes place in the Royal Marine Hotel on the 18 & 19 May and costs €15 per person or €25 per couple. Masterclasses are €12 extra.

Dublin City Soul Festival
Dublin City Soul Festival is a celebration of peace, unity & love taking place in Dublin from the 23 - 26 May.  There will also be a Restaurant Trail, a Gospel Brunch and a Soul Picnic in Merrion Square along with the brand new With Taste Food Village. Admission to Merrion Square is free though contributions are welcome.

Kildorrery International Food Fair
This event will take place in Kildorrery Co. Cork on the 19 May. Admission for this year's Food Fair on Sunday May 19th will once again be €5. They also have family passes priced at €15 which will admit 2 adults with children or 2 adults with one child will be admitted for €10.

National Countrysports Fair 
The International Food Festival at the National Countrysports Fair is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland. There will be a range of goods on offer including Irish breads, cheeses, smoked salmon, French crepes, organic fruit & vegetables & Asian cuisine. The fair takes place at Moira Demense, Co. Down on 25 & 26 May.
Sheridan’s Irish Food Fest
Sheridan’s Cheesemongers will host their fourth Irish food festival on Sunday 26th May, at their Virginia Road Station headquarters in Co Meath. A huge array of Ireland’s top food producers will be there to sell, sample and talk about their wonderful foods. There will be a range of workshops available with Irish food producers and chefs. There will also be free children’s entertainment, live music and traditional fair games and for the first time this year a Brown Bread competition inside the Brown Bread tent. There is a fee of €5 per family for entry and car-park; everything else is free including workshops and kids entertainment.

The Secret Beer Garden
The Secret Beer Garden Festival, hosted by Deveneys of Dundrum,  is taking place in the Pembroke District in Dundrum Town Centre on Saturday 25 May from 2 - 10pm.  This is a craft bottled beer festival with 100's of craft beers from around the world; live music; great food and an incredible atmosphere! Tickets cost €20.00 which includes access to all areas; an official festival tankard and 3 complimentary beer tokens and guarantees lots of great entertainment! 

Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival
The Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival's purpose is to provide people with an opportunity to enjoy an exciting world class urban recreational environment. On water activates include a wakeboarding competition, charity rubber ducky race, tour of naval vessel, water sport 'Come and Try It' sessions in sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, windsurfing and a canal barge gathering. On land activities include a food market, corporate golf challenge, street performers, balloon artists, face painters, fun fair attractions, open air art gallery & children's arts centre in the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre. Takes place in Grand Canal Plaza on the
18 & 19 May. 

The fourth Wexford Food and Wine Festival will be held in Wexford town from 24 - 26 May. There will a jam-packed schedule of events taking place including a crackling hog roast, cookery demonstrations, a Jazz Brunch and an open air food producers market. New to the 2013 line up  will be the addition of a number of specialist food producers who will be attending in the “Welsh Tent” to celebrate the Year of the Gathering.

If you would like to have your food event or festival added please contact Kat at thepurplepageireland (at) Dates are always subject to change so please check the event website before getting all geared up to go out!

May 13, 2013

This is Beer: Upcoming May Event

This is Beer multi-sensory beer tasting experience returns this May to Dublin. Their expert cicerones, (that’s a beer buff to you and me!) Marc Stroobandt and Fiona Smith, will guide you through a beer tasting journey like no other. This multi-sensory beer tasting experience lets you explore beer’s four natural ingredients, hops, barley, water and yeast, for a world of flavour.
I went to the one in 4 Dame Lane last November and it was a great night. I learnt a lot about beer and I have started to drink and try it instead of instantly dismissing it for wine!  The event is free to attend but places are limited so be quick to book your seat! This event is talking place on the 28th May in 37 Dawson Street. So book your spot and invite your fellow beer fans to experience beer and its four natural ingredients this May. To apply for your place just head on over to This is Beer’s Facebook page and fill in your details.

May 08, 2013

A Taste of Leinster

Not many food events take place on the northside of the city, maybe I’m missing something, but they seemed largely confined to the southside or outside Dublin. So it was with delight that I noticed that the inaugural ‘A Taste of Leinster’ will take place near Finglas, in the Charlestown Shopping Centre on the 18th & 19th May. It’s also part of my daily commute home so I am very happy about not having to travel too far to visit this one! 

Over 70 businesses are exhibiting at 'A Taste of Leinster' with a wide variety of products from around the county including some of my favourites such as Burke’s Icecream, Bellingham Blue Cheesethe Foods of Athenry and The Pieman who I recently discovered in the Honest2Goodness Market in Glasnevin. There will also be cookery demonstrations by Clodagh McKenna, Liz Moore and Rory Morahan throughout the weekend. 

There doesn’t seem to be a firm schedule as of yet except for Clodagh McKenna’s demonstration at 2pm on the Saturday but you can follow them on Facebook & Twitter for more updates.

Glenisk Pop Up Shop: Getting Upfront & Personal

Glenisk has recently launched a new pop-up store in Dublin. Situated at the corner of Dawson  Street and Duke Street, the store is called Glenisk Upfront & Personal, playing on the theme of pop up and shop front, and celebrating the opportunity to meet customers in person. The store, which will open for 10 weeks, aims to demonstrate the versatility of its organic yogurt, through a series of creative flavour combinations of the sweet and savoury variety.

Glenisk’s Upfront & Personal is being managed by Christine Jordan, who has spent three months devising recipes for the store. The recipes feature many leading Irish food producers, like Goatsbridge Smoked Trout and Burren Smokehouse Organic Salmon, while also embracing global food themes. As well as smoked fish, savoury options include Carrot, Beetroot & Apple Salad with Orange Harissa Dressing; Greek Salad; and Mexican Bean & Avocado combinations. Each savoury dish is served with delicious Rosemary & Olive Oil Crostini, baked especially for Glenisk at Moore Street’s renowned Paris Bakery.


Sweet treats include Greek Style Natural Yogurt with Dark Chocolate, Orange, Pistachio & Honey; Turkish Figs in Spiced Syrup with Toasted Almonds; Fresh Fruit, Granola & Honey; and Banana, Caramel & Milk Chocolate. The store will also offer a wide selection of delicious Cheesecakes and Smoothies, prepared with Glenisk Organic Yogurt and Crème Fraiche.


Glenisk MD Vincent Cleary comments: “Glenisk celebrated 25 years in business last year; our fantastic growth in recent years has been achieved largely through embracing new ideas and developing new products. As we embark on the next 25 years, our Upfront & Personal store hopefully demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to meet our customers in person and share our ideas; and we look forward to welcoming them to the store to hear their ideas. We can promise them a brand new approach to enjoying yogurt, and the best of Irish ingredients.”

The recipes will be updated each day and Glenisk hopes that customers will share their own ideas for flavour combinations. Savoury yogurt dishes and smoothies are priced at €3.50 while sweet dishes and  cheesecakes will be €3. Glenisk’s range of organic yogurt, fresh milk, fresh cream and crème fraiche will be available in the store, along with the brand’s goats milk and goats yogurt.

Glenisk Upfront & Personal will also host a selection of foodie events, cookery demonstrations and supper clubs. To find out more information, visit at, connect at Glenisk’s Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter at @glenisk for daily updates. Visitors to Glenisk’s Facebook page can also download a free voucher, allowing them to bring a friend for free for lunch or breakfast.

May 07, 2013

Street Feast 2013: Help celebrate your local community

On June 23rd communities across the country will gather for their annual Street Feast. Street Feast is a neighbourhood street party that is hosted by you and your neighbours and repeated in communities all over Ireland at the same time. They are local lunches that can be held anywhere, out on the street; in a local park; in a field or in your front garden. It's all about getting people together to celebrate their local community, eat good food and strengthen community links.

Sounds like a great idea doesn't it, so how do you get involved I hear you say?? Well you have two options; you can either go to a local Street Feast or you can run your own. To find out if one is happening near you just have a look here.  

Or better yet run your own, it's very simple to do and here are six reasons why you should:

  • To celebrate our streets, cul-de-sacs, neighbourhoods & local communities. 
  • To support and shine a light on the communities, networks and organisations that are holding everything together.
  • To have fun. To laugh. To stop for a moment. To open up and give-up our shyness for a day. It’s so much better with others…
  • To encourage more life on the streets, feel safer and reduce loneliness and isolation.
  • To share great local food, home-grown produce, cracking stories, bad jokes, practical skills, useful tools, different customs, common ground… 
  • To show what can be achieved when a small group of neighbours come together and try something special
To make running your own Street Feast as easy as possible the Street Feast crew have complied a guide full of tips, recipes and even sample posters and invitations. The guide is available here.  Also make sure to register your Feast at - tell them where and why you are doing it and they will send you a party pack! 
Lastly don’t forget to check out the Street Feast website and blog posts for more help on how to put on your Feast. So get involved and get celebrating your local community this June.