For the most part I try to bring last night’s leftovers for my lunch at work, but there are times when this isn’t an option when say, for example, we were feeling particularly hungry (greedy) the night before and there wasn’t a morsel left. Also, sometimes it’s nice just to get out of the office and go off by yourself for a little while, without the gamble of meeting Awkward Arthur from Accounting in the staff canteen.
Now and again I get the urge to break free and I had once such urge last week. I texted Husband to see if he fancied a lunch date and of course, he did. I already knew where I wanted to go as I had walked past it the week before – Honest to Goodness on Dame Court.
The menu on their website boasts a wide range of fresh salads and sandwiches, and they also do a daily specials range of soups, sandwiches and salads. When I texted Husband I told him I’d found a place that did an oven-baked sandwich with chicken, chorizo, mozzarella and roasted red peppers with a chilli sauce (it was a Thursday). He didn’t need any more convincing.
The second we walked through the door we were greeted by a friendly and oh-so-efficient woman who showed us to a table with plenty of space, showed us where to park the buggy out of harm’s way, and quickly produced a booster seat for Baba to sit up at the table with us. She was like the Queen of Sheba sitting up there, waving at everyone and holding out her clenched fistfuls of food, offering to share her lunch with our surrounding comrades. Mmm, mushed up hummus and salad sandwich? Ermm, no thanks!
Husband didn’t even need to look at the menu because the special sandwich had already won him over. I, on the other hand, am always terrified I’ll have missed out on some hidden treasure if I don’t read every character on the menu thoroughly. As it happened, I didn’t realise until after I had ordered that I had been sitting with my back to the specials board, so missed out on whatever was listed there, but there was so much choice on the menu, I didn’t feel hard-done-by. I chose a Cobb salad with tuna, which had tomatoes, red onion, feta, carrot, boiled egg and mixed leaves with a vinaigrette dressing. Hearty. Of course, Husband went with the chicken and chorizo sandwich, and both of us were impressed to learn that they bake their own bread on the premises each day. He was given a choice of white, brown or tomato and opted for the tomato bread. We both drank water.
The food arrived quickly – they have an army of food prep staff behind their counter – which was great because I’m always anxious about getting back to work on time after lunch. My salad was piled high in a colourful cascade of freshness. Although I secretly dreamed it would be fresh tuna (yeah right, you won’t get that for €7!) it was tinned tuna that came on the salad, but it was lovely and tasty, and went very well with the rest of the ingredients in there. It also came with two pieces of the homemade bread which were delicious. Husband had finished his sandwich before I even got a good look at it, never mind a taste, but I can tell you that he really enjoyed it and even ate the couscous salad that came on the side. He normally considers salad to be a garnish, purely ornamental and not to be eaten.
Although there aren’t any specifically child-oriented options on the menu, Baba could have eaten almost of all of the options on the menu, so it would be a great place to order a sandwich or salad and share it with a child. As it was she ate most of my tomatoes and a good portion of my bread. After our meals we were offered coffee and cake, and on any other day we definitely would have indulged, given that our lunches were so good. But I had to rush back to work so it wasn’t an option that day. Next time, Gadget, next time!
The bill came to about €15 (I’ve lost the receipt and can’t remember the exact cost but I know I got change from twenty), which I think was very reasonable for such good food, prompt service and comfortable surroundings. The staff were so welcoming and accommodating; we didn’t once feel like we were in the way or taking up space that more lucrative customers could have had. As we left, every member of staff we passed thanked us and said goodbye, as if we were regulars. And I think, one day, we will be!