We spent the last day of the summer holidays out on the River Shannon on my friends boat. Fancy, I hear you say. Not really, these friends just have their priorities in order, why spend a fortune on a holiday home that's always in one place when you can get something that goes where-ever you take it, Irish weather permitting of course. Even with five kids on board it was a really relaxing way to spend a day, and the first time I ever did that. Now I want a boat myself! After stuffing our faces with sandwiches and getting all that fresh air all day we were mad for something unhealthy to eat when we got back to the city. I'd heard about the famous chipper "Donkey" Ford's on Cathederal Square many times but had never been. I had to get given directions to the door, what kind of Limerick person am I?
To say the sign frontage is basic would be like saying pammy Anderson's boobs are large. There's just a small sign over a shabby doorway and not a photo of a burger meal in sight. The queue is consistent and moves fast, the menu is simple: chips, cod, whiting, battered sausage, battered burger, pies and fizzy drinks. The ladies working there sport hairnets and need say nothing more than "What you want love?", "Salt and vinegar?" and "Together or seperate?". Battered sausages are flung into the draining area at high speed and dished out just as fast. The turnover is so fast that no food ever piles up. Ford's has been here since the time of Angela's Ashes and Frankie McCourt, before that, I don't know. Though I bet poor Frankie could only ever stand outside and wistfully sniff the fried smells. Ford's is one of those real chippers that cook everything in lard, bad for vegetarians. Probably bad for regular humans too as I think lard isn't very healthy. What it does do, however, is heat up to higher temperatures that vegetable oil so the fish cooks faster and the batter gets crispier while the fish inside steams and cooks from the heat and not from the oil. There, that's the science bit.
We ordered three whiting and three chips, we were given four pieces of fish and a warm bundle of chips that my Son No.1 hugged closely to his belly for the drive back home. The cat went completley bonkers when we unwrapped the parcel and I was held ranson for almost a whole piece, his pupils went huge and he boinced off the walls, it had been just dry cat stuff until now. Our future order will be four portions! Ford's isn't easy to find. If you are in Limerick just park at St. John's Cathederal and ask someone.
And last but not least
GOOD LUCK TO THE LIMERICK TEAM IN THE ALL IRELAND HURLING FINAL ON SUNDAY!!!!