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'If you only sell one thing... make sure it's perfect'

 

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TRUCK MY LIFE: The Ramblin’ Sole offers a delicious selection of food

TRUCK MY LIFE: The Ramblin’ Sole offers a delicious selection of food

TRUCK MY LIFE: The Ramblin’ Sole offers a delicious selection of food

I was just thinking the other day as the Boss and I take a ramble around the gorgeous little farmers market in Douglas, how everywhere we turn nowadays, a new farmers market or whatever-you-want market has already popped up.

Because of this dreaded lockdown, demand for interesting top quality eating-out food is so high, canny chefs and fledgling entrepreneurs are taking full advantage, which is great for us all. Since travelling within county lines was reintroduced, we were desperate to take off and check some of them out. Killavullen, Midleton, Ballincollig, Clonakilty and Skibbereen are just a few to be going on with.

I won't lie: farmers markets were never really my thing. Thankfully, though, what's happening in markets today has hugely changed.

For a brand new slant on the boring old market set-up, the small-ish Saturday market in Douglas, unpromisingly located on a busy intersection, is a fabulous example of what I mean. Here, as elsewhere, restaurant dining is being challenged by something different. There is literally something here for everybody and all of it uncompromisingly good.

If you only sell one thing, you have to make sure it's perfect. The Ramblin' Sole food truck exemplifies that. The freshest hake, untouched by time (almost) is served in a box heaving with fried spuds, chorizo sauce, onion relish and rocket.

At €12 a pop, it is superb. The queues in front of Brendan's Burrito and the Nut Case Food Company are testament to the joys for those who can wait patiently to be stuffed. For lovers of Brendan's homemade tortillas rammed with black beans, rice, a knockout homemade salsa, chopped jalapenos and all the usual Tex-Mex accoutrements, they are very addictive. Similar scenes at the Nut Case nut burgers. I order a huge €7 burger, filled to bursting with cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, smoky chipotle, cooked on coconut oil and served in a hunky bap.

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Nut Case burger

Nut Case burger

Nut Case burger

There are flurries of activity around the fishmongers and Badger and Dodo's coffee truck: in fact it's the longest queue here - understandable since it's the best coffee in Cork. Much the same at the Arbutus bread stall. In my humble opinion, their strong white sourdough is still the best in the entire country. I'm delighted locals around here still regard artisan bread as your only man.

I've also been out to Midleton and Clonakilty, where I can confidently report an abundance of street food delights will await the hungry traveller. Only one complaint, really. The necessary lack of seating makes eating difficult and dribbling a certainty, so you'll need to bring napkins. Lots of napkins.

One thing is absolutely for certain, when the country fully reopens, staycationers will be having a culinary ball wherever they go.

Cork hasn't yet fully embraced the food-truck movement - and it is a movement. But I predict it will grow, and before too long, Ireland's culinary landscape will be unrecognisable.

Actually, based on what I'm seeing in just one county, we'll be reaching that point before we know it. Damn fine food and a damn fine day.

 

The Ramblin' Sole

★★★★★

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