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Serving up a real whopper

If you find yourself hankering for a juicy and delicious burger, then this Portlaoise restaurant will surely satisfy your meat cravings

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The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

The succulent burger at The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

The succulent burger at The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes

O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes

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The Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery.

Recently, and I’m not quite sure why, I’ve been having mad cravings for a burger. And not just any old burger, especially not one of those awful mock-healthy fake-meat yokes, the ones that make staunch carnivores pinch the gap between their eyes and shake their heads in sorrow.

 

 

JEREMIAH GRANT BAR & EATERY
65 Main St, Kylekiproe, Portlaoise, Co Laois
Four Stars
FOOD €28 DRINKS €6

 

I’m talking about a big, fat beefy thing shoved into a shiny brioche bun along with lorry-loads of smoky rashers, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and lettuce — and maybe some fiery jalapeno for good measure. And while I’m lacing my arteries and valves with everything that’s ruinous, I want to eat it indoors, away from umbrellas and canopies and wind-brakes that don’t actually brake the sodding wind.

And when I say indoors, I mean inside a pub. But not just any pub. It must have a proper gastro pub-style kitchen filled with searing heat, swearing and craic and a hipster grill chef who cares about his customers and loves to eat his own creations.

Of course, there are quite a few phenomenally successful burger food trucks out there now (and long may they continue) which proved themselves invaluable in those awful lockdown siege situations. However, I just miss sitting in a pub so much.

As it happens, we are cruising through Portlaoise when we notice the appellation ‘Jeremiah Grant Bar & Eatery’ emblazoned over a public house door. I remember reading about the bold Jeremiah, an infamous highwayman who made a couple of daring escapes from Maryborough prison (now a courthouse across the street) before finally getting himself publicly hanged (again, just across the street) and decided, since it was lunch time, to give this place a try.

Laid out in lots of different drinking and eating areas, including the now obligatory covered zone out back and a platoon of smiley staff, the pub is everything I hoped it would be.

The eponymous Highwayman Burger, while fittingly named, is not just there to grab your dosh — nor is it a boring mundane burger.

It’s half a pound of nicely-aged, loosely minced beef, charred to medium perfection and topped with cheddar cheese, a couple of smoky rashers, a blob of mildly-spiced burger sauce and some crispy onion rings — all tasty little support acts to the main event.

Size-wise, it could double as an armchair, and taste-wise, it’s an outrageously delicious burger that deserves a gold star.

The Boss goes for Jeremiah’s Crusty Open Ploughman’s Sambo. As descriptions go, this is pure befuddlement and surely a work in progress. As sandwiches go, it is pure enjoyment.

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Doorstep slices of sourdough, gorgeous thick slices of juicy baked ham, wedges of creamy brie, Ballymaloe relish, pickles rocket and sweet potato fries — a feast big enough for two. In fact, it’s so enormous we take half of it home in a doggy bag. The only downside are the sweet potato fries.

To be fair to the kitchen, I have never had sweet potato fries that were remotely crisp or satisfactory.

Sometimes I just want to eat food that doesn’t require a complicated menu — and it doesn’t have to be gourmet or perfect.

Good old-fashioned filling up and nurturing in a friendly pub is what I missed most during lockdown. Jeremiah’s bar fits that bill exactly.

 

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O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes

O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes

O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes

 

EATING on the go just got a whole lot tastier thanks to the newest offering at O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes nationwide.
First opened in Dublin in 1988, the Irish institution has just added the Backyard BBQ Chicken Melt to its menu.
And with its flavourful combo of Cajun chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, pulled ham and pickles, all wedged between O’Brien’s signature sourdough bread, it’s sure to fly out.
The toastie with the mostie is also loaded with coleslaw and BBQ mustard to properly tickle the tastebuds, whether it’s an impromptu picnic or a catch-up with a pal in one of the 100-plus cafes nationwide.
The Backyard BBQ Chicken Melt joins such made-to-order hunger busters as the Triple Decker and the Shambo. But there’s also a wide range of soups, salads, freshly-baked treats, barista coffees and speciality teas to choose from.

  • Find your nearest O’Brien’s at obriens.ie.

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