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Barn and bread

From an intimate dinner to wedding reception or simply a great night out — The Barn has something to suit everyone, writes Grub Spy Alan kelly

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The Barn’s stylish interior

The Barn’s stylish interior

The outside dining area at The Barn

The outside dining area at The Barn

One of The Barn's mouth-watering meals

One of The Barn's mouth-watering meals

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The Barn’s stylish interior

Wasn’t last year awful. Eating out was pretty much a lost cause for most of it, with doors closed and shutters down — thank goodness for takeaways. All those days and nights, locked indoors away from those we loved, staring at endless re-runs of Shitt’s Creek (actually that was — and still is, brilliant.) If it wasn’t for the Rose family and takeaways I reckon I’d have gone completely bananas.

Actually there were times when I came close to believing old-fashioned eating out was over and done with.

THE BARN
Glanmire, Co Cork
Four stars
Food €26; Drinks €11

For me, going out was always about fun, eating good food, and having the craic at the end of a hard week. But I don’t think any of us realized how important it was for our mental health.

I remember how desperate I was to get to a restaurant, any restaurant, after Christmas 2020. And when outdoor dining became all the rage, man was I delighted: anything to get out of the house. Although (let’s be honest) trying to enjoy a steak and chips in a gale-force wind under a flimsy gazebo was a bit of a trial.

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The outside dining area at The Barn

The outside dining area at The Barn

The outside dining area at The Barn

Fast forward to Christmas 2021 – and the weeks after. Suddenly we can almost forget the horror of last year and be wildly contented with our lot. We’re in the Barn Gastropub in Glanmire for an afternoon brunch, lunch, or whatever – so long as it was cooked ok, I really didn’t mind. We had a drink here a while back and promised ourselves a return. And I’m glad we did.

The essence of a pub (gastro or otherwise) should always be about merriment and relaxation. The Barn has it in spades — pristine, bright and spacious, with keen, knowledgable staff, and a menu covering all those familiar much-loved favourites.

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One of The Barn's mouth-watering meals

One of The Barn's mouth-watering meals

One of The Barn's mouth-watering meals

Getting simple stuff right is how I gauge any so-called gastro-pub. So, deciding to keep it simple we hit the burger menu. It’s hard to get Halloumi burgers wrong: and yet so many places manage to do just that.

The Barn’s version is pan-fried to crispy-outside-soft-inside perfection. Wedged inside a puffy sesame bun with a wodge of fresh lettuce, sliced tomato and some pickled cucumber, and finished with a dollop of their house burger sauce. Delicious. I demolished my crispy chicken burger with gusto. Constructed with the same lettuce-y tomato-y garnishes, offerings like these are sure to impress burger lovers everywhere. The fries, in comparison to the burgers, although cooked properly, are a tad bland and rather anonymous.

We share a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. It’s a proper rib-sticker that partners well with any burger fest. We satisfied our thirsts with a couple of Cute Hoor pale ales. Nicely chilled, full of hop flavours, with bready and butterscotch-y notes. In other words, it’s not a bad pint.

I don’t often wax lyrical about pubs – but I’d consider myself lucky if this was my local. Instead I’ll have to content myself with a little spin out to Glanmire every now and again. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel things (however temporarily) are getting back to normal.

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