Borlottie

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Borlottie, on Baggot Street, needs a new door. The whole look of the place could use a re-vamp, but the first issue the designers should address the door. I was sitting by the door and everyone who walked in or out became my enemy. It wasn’t totally their faults. The door is not easy to close. The owners/managers clearly know this as there is a written sign on the door that says “please close door completely.” If only.

It’s a shame that the decor is not nicer (or chicer or cozier or slicker) because the food is good. If this place were in NYC (and it might as well be for the “CROSSFIT RECOMMENDED!” meals on the menu) I would slide past it to a slightly better looking salad/healthy lunch joint. No one should ever underestimate the power of a slick interior. I will go and sit a coffee shop because I like the light fixtures. I realize that says more about me than interior design, but I can’t be alone in this.

The main competition a few doors up is Cocu, and Cocu is far cozier and cuter if much tinier. Borlotte is vast. I like that there are more places to sit (and free wifi), so it should be comfortable to sit there. And warm. With a door that shuts properly, even if the queue usually goes out the door.

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The food is fresh. I had the house salad with marinated turkey breast as my protein. I like that turkey is showing up more and more on Irish menus in creative ways. My salad was tasty but not “I cannot wait to get back here” fabulous.

There are more options (hot pots, noodle soups, rice dishes) than up at Cocu, and from the intel I gathered from staring at other people’s plates, they seem to be good options. Most everyone finished their whole meal.

Here’s a thing, though: in a health food based dining joint you would hope to find an eye towards environmental impact. The hot pots are served in styrofoam/plastic containers. The salads are all in plastic. The bin looks like Al Gore’s worst nightmare. It’s not hard to source paper take away containers.

Though I was satisfied with my salad and thought the turkey was a lovely addition, I won’t be rushing back to Baggot Street weekly for a salad here. Get a new door, though, and we’ll talk about it.

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The Offending Door. And Opening Hours. And Me.

 

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Borlottie

Cocu

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Yep, it’s here. The perfect healthy pit stop for a busy day on Baggot Street.

Cocu is a tiny shop front right on the busy intersection of Baggot Street bridge. The menu is simple, the food is tasty, and the queues are out the door.

Don’t let that queue put you off; it moves quickly. Standing in line actually gives you a chance to consider what you want ┬áto eat. By the time you are ordering you can do your part to move the queue along because you are prepped and ready.

Like all the burrito places in town (and every town in the Western world), Cuco adopts the assembly line technique of lunch making: pick your protein, salad base, and a “sprinkle” (ie, extras such as herbs, seeds, etc), pay and move along to collect your box of goodness.

Bright, Primary-Color Coded, Tree-House Like Internior
Bright, Primary-Color Coded, Tree-House Like Interior

Cuco shouts from the rooftops (well, chalk-board walls, if we are being technical) about how all the food is locally sourced. Locally sourced food is supremely important to people who eat these days. Five years ago it was calorie count. Before that it was fat content. Today, we all just want to make sure the chicken we are eating came from down the road and suffered the same dark, cold winter we did.

A friend and I sat inside for lunch the other day. This is not as simple as it sounds. There is enough space inside the tree-house style room to sit five people comfortably. Each diner is facing out, staring at the queue. It was like watching a parade of young, healthy professionals pass by as we ate our lunch. If we were looking for handsome young men, we would have been very well off. There are also two tables outside should the weather be cooperating. These also offer prime queue viewing.

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Chicken!
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Pork!

She had pulled pork. I had Mediterranean┬áchicken. We were delighted with ourselves for the smart choices we each made and delighted with the salads themselves. We sat and chatted with a shiny two euro coin on our table for about half an hour before I realized that that coin was exactly enough to get us one “raw twix bar”. I simply LOVE eating treats that pass themselves off as healthy. They are “raw” and use almond flour instead of white flour and date syrup and palm sugar instead of white sugar. The raw twix bar was simply delicious, I don’t care what it is made out of. I am glad we split it too; overindulging even on raw treats isn’t smart. We didn’t partake in coffee, but it would have made an excellent accompaniment.┬áThe coffee is from 3fE, roasted a mere ten minute walk away. Local!

Sticky Raw Twix Goodness
Sticky Raw Twix Goodness
Local!
Local!

On a sunny summer day (of which I am convinced there will be many this year), it will be bliss to grab a salad in a box, a raw twix bar (or some other “healthy” “raw” treat) and sit on the canal and watch the world go by.

Cocu