I went out for lunch today, with a good friend. It was a lovely, unseasonably warm day...so we took a walk down to the beach. We had lunch at an Irish Pub called Slainte by the Pier ( pronounced Slancha...for all you non-Gaelic speakers out there!) I am always glad to see a new restaurant suceed, and especially one with excellent food! The last time I was there, was about 8 pm on New Years Eve. A couple of friends, the P-Man and I had reservations at Le Vol Au Vent, and to our dismay... our table was still occupied by a group of happy French people who just didn't want to leave! We said that we would return in an hour or so...and wandered down to Slainte. It was 8 pm on New Years Eve, and the owner was nice enough to let us sit at the bar and have a drink and a snack...knowing that we had reservations at another restaurant! We had a few drinks, and some yummy potato skins to share... ( Slainte does phenomenal things with the humble potato...) listened to the entertainment...an excellent singer songwriter named Laine Henderson, paid our bill, and wandered down to eat our New Year's Eve meal.
Flash forward to today. I had a pulled pork sandwich, and a cup of clam chowder. My friend had the soup of the day, lamb and barley, and a green salad. I have a personal vendetta against chefs who cannot make a decent sandwich. How in the world are you going to succeed if you can't manage to create an edible mixture between 2 pieces of bread? I am glad to report that my sandwich was EXCELLENT! It was served on a soft roll ( probably potato) and contained small strips of tender pork smothered in a sweet and tangy bbq sauce. It also contained some nice mixed greens, a slice of fresh red onion, and a surprisingly flavourful slice of tomato...given the time of year. I ate every bit, including a fairly large crumb, that landed on my jacket! My clam chowder was also excellent. It was full of large chunks of potato, and clams,and carrots. The broth was well seasoned, and had a nice herbal flavour...perhaps thyme. It was loose and brothy, not thick and gloppy. My friend also had a wonderful soup. It was served in a lovely flat wide bowl, and you could see all the barley, and pieces of carrot and celery, and lamb. Her soup was served with a piece of Irish Soda Bread, that had a nice crumbly texture, that was a great sponge for the soup. Her salad was fresh and green, containing a mixture of frissee, red and green lettuces. It was a perfect accompaniment to the hearty soup.
We chatted there until 4pm, paid the bill and wandered back up the hill. It is hard to describe how a place feels...but this place feels right. I hope it stays on the beach for a long time.