Bruxelles – Harry Street Dublin Republic of Ireland
For those of you who get lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Dublin, I have two great suggestions, Fallon and Byrne (see separate review) and Bruxelles bar.
Bruxelles is a vibrant Irish bar, located just a few steps away from Dublin’s busiest shopping district Grafton Street, in the heart of Dublin and next to the Westbury Hotel, with only a two-minute walk from the Luas (electric commuter train) on St Stephen’s Green. Bruxelles has evolved over the years into a cosmopolitan bar and restaurant after playing a huge part in the birth of the Irish music scene around the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A statue dedicated to Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott watches over the bar from the street outside.
This evolution has welcomed celebrities from all over the world, Michael Flatley, Oasis, Paul Weller, Charlie Pride, John Denver, Snow Patrol, James Belushi,50 Cent, Ronnie Wood, to name but a few.
Due to its positon, Bruxelles provides an ideal solution for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s also a sports bar and a music bar. With so much going on its hard to choose a best time to visit, but my preference would be for a late lunch, where you can grab a seat on the outside terrace and absorb the unique Dublin atmosphere on a not so chilly day. Enjoy the “Craic” with locals whilst sampling some great Irish and International food and drink.
Make no mistake Bruxelles is a traditional Irish Pub, not the plastic kind that you see replicated from Prague to Peru, it’s the real thing, from the floor boards to the bar fittings Irish history is here and present in the dark wood fixtures and pictures that adorn the walls.
Obviously their menu changes with season and availability but if you can grab any of the dishes below you will get a great taste of what great Irish Pub food can offer.
Braised Beef in Guinness Stew – Tender chunks of prime Irish Beef slowly braised with root vegetables and potatoes in Guinness. – The Guinness gives this dish a depth of flavor you are unable to replicate without the richness of the Irish stout.
Irish Salmon 3 ways – A selection of smoked & BBQ salmon served with our Homemade Crispy Salmon Cake, tossed rocket leaves, capers & red onion served with Tartar sauce and Brown Bread – More cosmopolitan than the usual Irish Pub fayre but utilizing great Irish produce.
Bangers and Mash – A couple of Hicks Irish sausages served on creamy mashed potato, topped with onion rings and a rich onion gravy – Hick’s of Dun Laoghaire have been making sausages for three generations, their famous traditional pork sausages are handmade and are free from artificial coloring or flavorings and they use the same recipe that has been in their family for over 84 years.
Traditional Fish and Chips – Fresh Cod, deep fried in Guinness Batter and served with Fries, mushy peas & tartare sauce – A full fillet of Cod, not the small goujons you may be familiar with. Mushy peas are an acquired delicacy of Marrow Fat Peas soaked overnight to soften and boiled in salt and bicarbonate of soda until mushy and smooth in texture, great with fish or savory pies.
If you get a chance then try Galway Mussels, Bruxelles serve some of the best in the city.
In terms of drink options it would be Guinness, Guinness or Guinness. Seriously, if you have not had a pint of Guinness in Dublin you are missing one of life’s finer moments, don’t confuse this pint with any other Guinness you may have had elsewhere in the world, Guinness is different here, and all the better for it. Obviously there are other great Beer, Wine and Beverage offers here but don’t go away without a pint of the “Black Stuff”.
Don’t want to sound like a tourist just say “I’ll have a Guinness please” as no self-respecting Irish person would order anything less than a pint.
Service is good and friendly but not normally quick, this is not the city for power lunches that speed you out of the door, but rather Dublin is part of a new standard and attitude in Irish hospitality that welcomes a more relaxed drinking and dining experience. Ordering from the bar can be daunting for those not used to doing so and can resemble the rush before the closing bell at the NY stock exchange. But rest assured the bar staff will see you and serve customers in turn without you waiving your Euro’s frantically at them.
Bruxelles is an ideal eating and meeting place because it’s right in the heart of Dublin, the people and the city, so everyone’s welcome.
Once you have been there, you won’t want to leave.