The good gourmet: Kennedy's Food Store
Kennedy's Food Store/deli/café and bistro is one of those places I wish was local to me. The first thing I noticed about it was the warm and relaxed friendly welcome from Sarah Kennedy. It's small and downstairs, so manoeuvring a pram around the place on a Saturday morning might be tricky, but children are very welcome.
The specials of the day included one of my favourite dishes: smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on granary toast and roast tomatoes, (€7.95). Another was the real American treat of French toast with bacon and maple syrup or with caramelised bananas (€7.95).
There is also a regular breakfast menu, with the options of fried, scrambled or poached eggs with sausages, bacon, ham, tomatoes, beans and various other additions.
It's a cleverly laid-out breakfast menu, as you pick your eggs and then the additions, and the prices vary depending upon what your choice is, ranging from €5.50 up to €7.95.
I love the fact that the menu tells you where all the ingredients come from: bread is from the artisan Bretzel bakery or homemade at Kennedy's; black and white pudding is Clonakilty's finest; all the eggs come from Mrs O'Reilly's free-range farm in Co Cavan; the ham is from Hicks; and all the rest is made at Kennedy's.
Some really good-looking homemade scones caught my eye, including Linda's delicious cherry and walnut ones (€1 to go or €2 eat in). I brought some to take home for the kids.
Linda is the head chef and, in all rights, she gets credit for her excellent scones. Kennedy's is proud of making everything itself. Basically, the only bought-in ingredient is the mayo, which is used to make up the store's various salads and sandwiches.
The deli section is extensive, offering a wide choice of sit-in or take-out food. There's Shepherd's pie with a glass of wine for €10; without wine it costs €8. There's also homemade meatballs in a rich tomato sauce with spaghetti (€9.95 to go) -- all in good-size portions.
It also has an extensive list of sandwiches, some of which caught my eye, including the filling of roasted red peppers with cream cheese and lettuce (€4.50) or the simple yet tasty egg and chive combination (€4.65).
Something I rarely see in an Irish deli but adore is hot beef tomato stuffed with vegetables and tabouleh (€9.95 to sit-in, €6.75 to go).
I spotted a small stock of dried goods and a variety of De Cecco brands, including Sugo alla Siciliana sauce for €2.60. It's great spread on top of a ready-to-cook pizza base, topped with grated cheese and some Parma ham.
If you want a real treat, get some Panettone (€7.80), slice and grill it, as you would French toast, then top with some fresh pouring cream and enjoy.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Kennedy's has Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (€2). Buy loads of these American favourites. They freeze well and can then be grated over vanilla ice cream. Heaven.
Kennedy's also has a more bistro-style upstairs area, where it serves breakfast, and it also does dinner at night. The bistro is open Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm-11.30pm, with last orders at 9.30pm.
Kennedy's Food store, 5 Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3. Tel: 01-833 1400; www.kennedysfoodstore.com