The past month has seen many of us return to our workplaces after spending most of the two years at our makeshift desks at home.
After the daily commute with evolving dress codes, we have to re-acquaint ourselves with aspects of office life that we have largely forgotten about.
There is also the issue of what we eat. With business closing during the shutdown, your old places of trust may have disappeared, or the pandemic may have turned your approach to depressing lunches at the desk.
And with the UK megachain Pret a Manger coming to Ireland later this year, the future of office lunches is bright. Here we round up the expert selections, meal deals and contract purchases available in stores.
MOST FAVORITE FOOD
Mei Chin, Blanca Valencia and Dee Laffan are co-hosts of Seasoning bag podcasts and all feature Ayla, a Turkish food market on Capel Street. “Spinach (€3) was rich, rich and delicious, but it had the spinach part so it made us feel like we were doing something healthy,” says Mei. “Also, you can get Turkish tea with it if you like.”
On the same street, they like Padoca, a Brazilian bakery, especially tapioca pancakes (8.50€). “You can choose savory varieties like cheese, tomato and oregano, or sweet, guava and cheese,” says Mei.
Eveleen Coyle’s FabFoodTrails.iespecializes in organizing walking tours in Dublin and Cork, like The Pepper Pot in the Powerscourt Centre, which feature “smoked salmon, cream cheese and pickled cucumber on their own outstanding bagels” (€9). ), and showcases “excellent delicacies” at the Loose Canon (from €7.50) in George’s Street Arcade.
Writer and food historian Regina Sexton named Rocket Man on Princes Street as her destination. She talks about the cafe, which has salads from €3.50 and sandwiches from €6,90.
In the UK Market, Eveleen likes Farmgate Café for lunch takeaways Wednesday through Friday, with soups from €5 and sandwiches from €6. And for Palestinian cuisine, there’s Izz Café on George’s Quay, which has flatbread meals from €8.90, soups from €6.50 or, if frugal, try Eveleen’s option, the taster’s mix, for €18.90, including hummus, tabbouleh, beetroot hummus, babaganoush, makdous and pickles with fresh bread.
Food writer Valerie O’Connor calls Rift Coffee on Mallow Street her top choice for a “fun, hearty party,” offering cold cuts and cheese sandwiches (€7.50). ), the coconut chicken baguette (€8.50) and the best-selling hot pot (€8), which changes daily.
The Grove on Cecil Street is Valerie’s “vegetarian insider tip”, and she praises their fresh salads, quick cakes, burgers and curries (from €4.50 for takeout) . “Cheese and spinach pie with a variety of salads (from €8.50) are my favorites,” she says.
Copia Green on Dublin Road is another favorite. Valerie recommends the “crispy and fresh” Winter Bliss Bowl (€13.50) featuring falafel chickpeas, spiced squash and roasted carrot hummus for “health-conscious eaters”, or for For something simpler, she recommends the Limerick ham and mature cheddar bread (€7.50).
McCambridge’s on Shop Street received thanks from two of our experts, Sheena Dignam of GalwayFoodTours.com and food writer Barbara Collins. Sheena praises the eatery for having “one of the best buns in the city” (from €5.50), their honey-baked ham sandwiches, and Barbara is a fan of the dish. Grilled Gubbeen sausage and cheese on organic ciabatta.
Barbara also recommends Middle Street’s Marmalade Bakery for cinnamon rolls and sausage rolls (€3.50), while Sheena prefers hot dog rolls (€4.50) at Ground and Co in Salthill . “They are great and have great soups (€5.50) and sandwiches (from €8.90),” she said.
The Phoenix Yard Market on O’Connell Street is a top recommendation from Shell Holden, director and co-owner of Best in Fest, who have hosted both the Waterford Harvest Festival and the Winter Festival.
“It’s a great street food market open seven days a week, offering a wide variety of cuisines from Nigeria, the Caribbean, Poland, Hungary and Mexico, including vegetarian options,” she said. Her favorites are Socafro Kitchen, where chicken boxes start at €13.99; Crazy Vegetable, has burgers, wraps and toasts from €7; and Grill Bike, selling Polish sausage, pork neck and vegan sausage from €7.
The cafe at Bishop’s Palace is another favorite with soups (€5.50), salads (from €10) and toasts (from €12), and Shell also likes the Stable Yard diner on Barronstrand for Get flatbreads (from €9.95), salads (from €5) and sandwiches (€7.95) from Mediterranean Deli.
Café Sol offers Dunnes great value meal deals, including sandwiches, wraps or salads with crisps and water for €3.95. At Dunnes locations with Baxter & Greene delis, you can get one of their lunchboxes, with supreme Irish chicken or poached salt and pepper salmon with two salads, for €5.
For more variety, Tesco offers two meal deals: Good to Go with sushi or salad and water for €3.49, and a classic lunch of sandwiches, wraps or salads with snacks and drinks for 3.99 €.
Meal offers include sandwiches, flatbreads, wraps or salads with snacks and drinks for €4.99. There are options for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike, with sandwiches like chicken and stuffing, wraps including chicken caesar, Thai veggie or falafel with sauerkraut and onion hummus caramel, and chicken salad pots and sweet noodles or Asian chicken noodles.
If you prefer a hot drink with your lunch, the meal deal is €7.75 giving you your choice of a hot drink and a wrap, sandwich or toast. There’s scrambled eggs and watercress, vegan falafel and sweet potato wrap, gluten-free fries, chicken quesadillas, Mexican ciabattas, Croque Monsieur sourdough or tuna melt-in-your-mouth pie to choose from.
For €6 you can find a wide range of salad bowls, such as the Mezzo, a Middle Eastern-inspired vegetarian salad with spiced cauliflower burger, Tom Durcan spiced beef and supergrain salad , bowl of BBQ salmon quinoa with potato salad and cucumber pickles, or shredded ham, egg and minced meat with pulled Irish ham.
Available in Dublin, Meath, Galway and Laois, all menu items can be served as burritos (7.25€) or bowls (8.50€). With the option to add chicken or falafel, flavors include the best-selling Tex Mex with black beans, corn, cheddar and avocado; Smoke House with tomato, cheddar cheese, red onion and spicy yogurt sauce and Pangoa with Fresca salsa, avocado, coriander and spicy BBQ sauce.
On a tighter budget, Lidl has Spice Box and Thai Veg spice packs in the Street Kitchen range (2.49€), or a choice of classic deli packages (2.15€), which includes falafel, Cajun , turkey or hummus. Its Deluxe Soup (1.89€), with wild vegetables and mushrooms, is a budget-friendly option, or feature Dublin Meat Co’s healthy Fit Foods ready meals, which include curries. Thai red chicken, sweet chili noodles, meatballs with whole-wheat pasta and turkey burrito bowl (all €4.19).
The Eat & Go range includes sandwiches (1.99€), side rolls (3.09€), skins (2.15€) and pasta salad (2.19€), such as Cajun chicken side , Southern-style chicken rolls or pesto pasta with mozzarella. For a richer lunch, have the ready-made chicken curry, spaghetti bolognese or the Wicklow Nutriquick burrito bowl (3.69€).
https://www.independent.ie/life/the-best-value-lunch-deals-for-the-return-to-office-dining-41404778.html Best value lunch deal when back to the office for dinner