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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 Mar

Happy Paddy’s day to all of you nice people in whatever corner of the globe this finds you. I googled Irish proverbs- you know, embracing the plastic Paddy for the day that’s in it. My favourite:

“If you put a silk dress on a goat he is a goat still.”

Well. That has upset my plans for today greatly.

Paddy’s Day always brings up conflicting emotions in my mind.

Today anyone (un)lucky enough to be in Dublin city-center will be surrounded by tourists tracing back their Irish roots, to a surname they can’t pronounce, because their great-granny’s cat once crossed the road in front of someone who was from Roscommon.

On Tuesday or whenever Joe Duffy is put back on the air, there will be the usual torrent of aul ones complaining about the youth of today, how the parade was a little too joyful and how this wouldn’t have happened if Bertie was still in charge- he wasn’t that bad after all.

My latest Paddy’s Day pet-peeve is the torrent of  Irish recipes’ I have seen from abroad. Making what typically look like pretty hideous concoctions.  Corned beef and cabbage cupcakes, topped with Guinness frosting, served with a healthy side-order of stereotypes.

Playful, tongue in cheek rant over. Good memories:

Standing on a window-ledge watching the parade with my godmother years ago. (Dame Street- it used to be the English tourism board’s office- think its something different now…)

When our school won a rugby tournament for the first time in 33 years and we walked the trophy across the Liffey. Then proceeded to walk it up O’Connell street and beyond. Gardai weren’t overly thrilled mind…. Someone was threatened with arrest for waving a flag…. no really. They remain at large.

And there was one, just one, in my living memory that was actually sunny. I remember walking around town sweltering. I don’t know what the forecast is for today, but I presume there will be several marching band members from Texas or similar that are treated for hypothermia. Batons frozen in hand.

So what are your Paddy’s Day memories? What does it mean to you?

Chicken- plucked or coloured?

21 Feb

As some of you may or may not know, I’m doing Shave or Dye 2013. It’s a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. If you want to read up more about Shave or Dye- there are details here:


Anyways- last year I shaved my head and raised money for this great cause but this year I thought I would do it a little differently and put the decision in someone elses hands- you!!!

I am going to let you decide what happens to my precious hair.



a) Shaved

b) Dye it silver- in an attempt to become more at one with the blog- The Silver David. (Dyed properly as opposed to that silly spray on stuff in a can.)



If you would like to donate to my Shave or Dye effort, you can do so here:


I’ll be shaving/dyeing my hair in early March. I’ll let the poll run until then.  Pictures will follow.


Thanks 🙂



Brussels- where to eat….

6 Feb
Shane in a Joyce pod at the Parlamentarium (Visitor center showcasing all the great and good of the EU = A euro-sceptics idea of hell.)

Shane in a Joyce pod at the Parlamentarium (Visitor center showcasing all the great and good of the EU = A euro-sceptics idea of hell.)

In November, I found myself traveling back to Brussels to visit my friend Shane, more commonly known as my accomplice in dining. The trip was arranged only a few days in advance- so Shane unfortunately had to work for most of it. The cheek. This left me to explore Brussels by myself. That’s a nice way of saying I got lost a bit. On the plus I found some nice spots that I think are worth mentioning. You can read my previous Brussels food guide here. And for those of you hoping to visit Bruges, there you go.

Frites. Let’s get this one out there from the off. Here’s a little known fact. Brussels is powered significantly by the leftover oil from the frites making process. That’s a lie, it’s not. Nearly every corner you turn, there are frites stands. Shane, the brave soul that he is, is endeavouring to try out as many as he can. I mentioned a good few in my last post but as the weather was a little cooler, one was less inclined to eat outside. I did try one that was really good. Fritland. Judging by the reviews on that website, other people would agree.

Noordzee on a fresh Sunday afternoon

Noordzee on a fresh Sunday afternoon

We ventured back to Noordzee, which despite the cooler temperature was as busy as we had seen it mid summer. Be mindful of the opening hours, it certainly wasn’t open every time I walked by. Again the food was very tasty and it was still lovely to stand out in the adjoining square with some seafood. Tapas style portions- worth a visit. We also returned to Barbeton– this time for a coffee- lovely cosy spot. These two establishments are quite close to each other.

The first evening, after the frites and the food at Noordzee, we decided ( in our infinite wisdom) to stop and have some tapas before dinner. Infinitely wise.

photo 4-2

We ventured into Como Como. Now one of two things happened to this restaurant. Either it was formerly a sushi joint and they decided to keep the conveyor. Or some bright spark thought it was a novel way to serve tapas. Either way I won’t argue as Shane, his better half and I all enjoyed ourselves. Initially there was quite a limp selection whizzing by, but soon there was a great variety of meat, fish and vegetable tapas all whirling by. They were cranked out at quite a rate- no match for us though! The staff were very friendly too, and made for a very pleasant pre dinner amuse bouche.

Dinner was had in the excellent Les Brassins. I had the Carbonnades flamandes. A stew, slow cooked, with a wonderful sweetness owing to the Belgian beer it was cooked in. What wasn’t excellent? The staff. But thankfully they ignored us once we ignored them. It’s a relaxed enough place so staff/diner interaction isn’t massive.

A wonderful burger was had by all in Les Super Filles du Tram. Cool restaurant, staff were energetic and the burgers were very tasty.

Now all this wandering and eating requires little pick-me-ups from time to time. Exki are your friend in this regard. A nice chain of cafes. They do good food, nice cakes and good coffee. Throw in free wifi and you are onto a winner. Pleasant spots located all over  the city to while away a few minutes or hours.

Another spot for the coffee lovers amongst you is Corica. In brief, long counter, lots of coffees. Apparently 27 different Arabica blends according to their website. They also have Kopi Luwak. I didn’t try it. (Actually if anyone has- please comment below and tell me what it was like?)


I have a feeling I will be going back to Brussels again (Take note Shane).


Have you any tips or favourite places you like to eat? Where must I try? Any suggestions welcome below.

The silver chicken 2012 anti-roundup

31 Dec

I have seen some very pretty round-ups of the year done on other blogs. Collages of beautiful photos, musings about the year passed, and hopes for the year yet to come.

You won’t find that here I’m afraid. The silver chicken headed south for the winter, to deepest, darkest West Cork. So my access to normal blogging infrastructure has been curtailed somewhat.

2012 for the blog has been a great year. The blog has grown and I have met so many fantastic people through it, at a variety of events. You know who you are. It has been great to meet other bloggers, it sounds a lot healthier in society’s eyes than “Someone I know from the Internet.” I kid of course. The food-blogging community is an absolutely wonderful thing to be part of. It is a fantastic collection of people who are very passionate about what they do and what they consume. This is to be celebrated and supported.

I would like to thank anyone who has followed the blog in 2012, it’s nice to know people appreciate my take on blogging.

God knows what 2013 will bring, but sure isn’t that what makes life interesting?

Happy Christmas

25 Dec

It’s finally here. Santa’s birthday. So let the food be eaten, the crackers pulled and the squabbles had.

I would like to wish all of you nice people a very happy Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever that may be. To my family abroad, thinking of you. Also thinking of my late grandfather today, he would have been 83. I still expect to see him sitting at the top of the table for Christmas dinner.

Enjoy this day of celebration, it’s a good day to be a silver chicken rather than a bronze turkey.

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