09 April 2013

Dublin: The Cedar Tree

So I wrote this:

Guess who's on a nice relaxing train after another long day of amazing things!  I even have my tea cooling here in front of this ancient stone wall-filled countryside again.  Do you hate me?  I'd hate me.

That's a lie.  I'd love me.  I mean.

Then I took this picture:


THEEEENNNN I got motion sickness and had to stop writing.  Oh, karma.  You so silly.

Souwar
The Cedar Tree
11 St. Andrews St.
Dublin 2
Ireland
(353) (01) 677-2121

Once again, we have stumbled upon a Dublin restaurant that marks its vegetarian menu items with a nice green V.  It doesn't necessarily mean vegan though, so check with your server.  You'll still have boatloads of choices.

Matt and I had a freaking feast.  They've got this early bird special menu - like happy hour - and we grabbed this Vegetarian Mezze for €17 ($22.27) per person.


Our eyeballs popped out of our heads.  The server knew I couldn't eat dairy, so he pointed out all the dishes I shouldn't tuck into, which are the ones not pictured here: Shanklish, Fatayer Spinach, Fatayer Veg, Falafel, and Sambousek Cheese.  But the others were fair game: Hummus, Baba Ganouj, Mouhamarra, Tabouleh, Garlic Mushrooms, Spiced Potatoes, Maghmour, and Pickles.

I couldn't be bothered with things like manners or hand-washing; I grabbed a piece of pita and dove into the hummus, below.


And oh!  How pure it was!  The tahini tastes so fresh that you can tell they make it in-house.  The hint of lemon isn't strong, but suits the dip well.  Don't even get me started on how extraordinary the olive oil was.  The Baba Ganouj at the top tasted smokey and roasted in a very enticing way.  The flavor was lovely.  It also was drenched in this magical olive oil.  Perhaps one day I can be drenched in this magical olive oil.

Actually, no.


The Tabouleh at the top of the picture was a little unexpected - it's rare to see this dish without bulgar wheat, but this stuff worked.  Fresh, crispy, lemony, and unique; I shoveled it down.  The Mouhammara below had that beautiful orange color from the walnuts and red peppers pureed into it.  It tasted thick and faintly nutty, but man was it filling and rich.  Absolutely delicious.

The word "Pickles" may be slightly misleading. 


Do you see those stuffed beauties?  They're crammed full of goodies, like mushrooms and tomatoes!  All of it had this really great, sour, pickled taste.  They made me think of super dense, chewy dolmades.  Above is the Maghmour - a tomato-based chickpea dish - and the chickpeas and eggplants melted in my mouth.  The fresh, herbed tomato flavor permeated through everything.

Then came the Garlic Mushrooms and Spiced Potatoes.


The mushrooms, to be honest, did not impress me.  I'm very picky about my mushrooms, and these had too much of that mushroomy texture.  Nothing wrong with the flavor.  Just gross-feeling.  (Am I a grown-up?  Jury's still out.)  Matt couldn't get enough of the potatoes, which had exquisitely salted, garlicked, herbed, and crisped outsides.  If all fries tasted like this, the world would be a fatter place.

Vegans: the Baklava's all buttery.  Oh well.  You'll be so full and happy from your Mezze that you won't give a crap.  Go on.  I dare you.  You won't even give one crap.


If you do somehow care that you can't eat a butter-slathered monstrosity, go outside.  Look at this.  And then you will give even fewer craps.  Dublin!  It un-ruin your holiday.

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