The Wild Onion Cafe, Limerick (061) 440055
The Wild Onion on High Street, in the Milk market area of Limerick City is so popular on Saturday mornings that it's name is uttered in hushed tones. "The Wild Onion, you'll never get a table in there", people mutter. The owners have a bit of a Michael Caine like reputation for getting loud and boisterous with the staff and customers. It all sounded too good for words, I had to try it. Attempt No.1 was last week when I made plans with Maz, from Style Treaty, to meet for late brekkie. I made this plan just before I was invited to a party near my house which ended up rather, ahem, late. I'm a stickler for sticking to a plan, espescially when I'm the one who does the inviting. So I hauled my bleary head out of bed and down to this bustling eatery. Really, I was still asleep and though the food was being enjoyed by so many hungry heads, I could barely get through half of my French Toast, Sausage Patty and Hash Browns. I made conversation like a baboon, apologies, and left.
This morning I thought I'd try again and I had the sense to stick my head in and book a table with Ruth for 1pm, with the kids and friends. If you reserve, don't be late, it's rude to Ruth and you'll lose your slot. This time I'd had a good 11 hours kip so I started the day off like a happy baby. The sun was shining as we made our way round the market, meeting people and soaking up the great atmosphere. Son No.1 was busy tasting cheese and lamenting that all the white anchovies were sold out from the olive stand. Must go earlier next time.
Ruth squeezed us to our table in this small, and so unassuming cafe. The menu is American style breakfasts, Reubens and burgers. I chose the Eggs with hash browns and sausage patty, the small fella had a plain grilled chicken open sandwich and Son No. 1 had the same as me but with ham instead of sausage. A flask of coffee is put on the table and Ruth quickly brought us a jug of ice water with glasses, where was this so-called cranky owner, I wondered. The grub is all cooked by Bob in the diner style kitchen that's right there in front of you and is on your table before the kids get crochetty. I told them that if they misbehaved, they would have to do the dishes, Ruth backed me up on this. The old methods of parenting can sometimes be the best. The eggs were so good, how can there be such a difference in a fried egg? The patties are delicious and the fried potatoes are yummy but do need a little extra seasoning. The small fella loved his chicken but left the bread. My pal Laura is veggie so her meal had a veggie patty which she liked, a rare achievement for a cafe. Most don't even bother with a veggie option for a fry up. Given that this is hard-core brekkie there was none of that greasy after taste or yukky feeling you often get after a cook up like this. They say the cookies are great, I'll try them next time. For three of us the bill was Euro22.
I'm on a search for the best restaurant in Limerick. Best for food, service, atmosphere and overall eating experience. Please send me your suggestions.