I’m always surprised that people who claim to be animal lovers and grudge puppies have no problem eating heavily farmed pork and chicken, when they might not. Free-range and outdoor farming are more expensive, and while not without their nuances, they are a step in the right direction, although not a viable option for everyone. When the truth comes out, don’t ask why free-range chickens are so expensive, rather ask why intensively farmed chickens are so cheap.
I know most of the chicken used in foodservice is not Irish. The chicken in sandwiches you buy at gas stations and supermarkets, and in your fast-food favorite chicken fillet – our national dish – can be traced back to Brazil or Thailand Lan. That’s why food businesses that use Irish chicken put so much emphasis on this item in their menus.
Free-range chicken and outdoor-raised pork tend to be kept in high-end restaurants, where price is no longer an issue. That’s why it’s all the more impressive that the sandwich shop Tír, which recently opened a second branch on Hatch Street, uses both.
And that’s not all. As well as free-range chicken from Feighcullen Farms in Co Kildare and ham from happy outdoor pig farmers at Donabate Dexter Farm north of Co Dublin, which also offers Tír’s beef, the bread comes from Bretzel Bakery and vegetables are also local.
The distance these ingredients travel on their way to your lunchtime sandwich is written on a sign behind the counter in Baggot Street. Careful sourcing is certainly worthy of the ‘Seasonal Irish Bread’ slogan in the window, which reflects Tír’s core values of sustainability and sustainability.
But what about the sandwiches themselves – are they delicious? Do they follow Tír’s third core value of deliciousness?
Thankfully, the answer to that question is yes, and the product has expanded beyond sandwiches to include bowls, for those who don’t like eating a large piece of bread at lunchtime, lest demand The need for a nap is in danger of overwhelming. So now you can order your favorite combination of ingredients in the form of a bowl or sandwich.
I ordered two sandwiches and two bowls from the daytime menu (Tír also serves breakfast, but closes at 3pm) and covers all bases. This is not my first visit. In recent months, I’ve enjoyed the chicken bowl (9€), the combination of warm chicken with a winter roast (creamy, crispy and with a hint of apple cider vinegar), stuffing, mayo, lettuce Crispy and a wonderful homemade fermented hot sauce is the reward for ticking a dull task off my to-do list. It’s a substantial salad, and one that I love so much that, every time I think about trying something different, I give up at the last minute.
A smoked ham sandwich with Irish cheese, sweet winter pickles and mustard mayo, with a ground pork cracker-inspired topping, turned out to be one of the best we’ve had. I’ve been eating for a long time, the flavors and textures are just as balanced as they would be in a dish in a restaurant. The bread is a soft ciabatta, the sandwiches are huge and cost €9.
Smoke-grilled Dexter beef patty has the beautiful taste of real smoke from the house smoker and features onion jam, cheddar cheese, horseradish mayo and salt and vinegar crisps. Onion jam was too sweet for my taste, and the crisps were a bit off as they were soft when I brought the sandwich home, but it was still delicious. At €10, this is the most expensive option.
And then there’s the vegetarian option, a bowl of honey-roasted celeriac (vegetables!) and beets, with pickled mushrooms, cheese, greens, pink garlic mayo and some toasted pumpkin seeds. I’m not sure how this would go in bread form but, as a tasty seasonal salad, it’s fine. That’s €8.50. The soup turned out to be cilantro – seasonal for sure but not my favorite. It could be made with more seasoning.
Now, as office workers are returning to their desks, Tír and other establishments that rely on that business are returning to their own. With all our food security and sustainability in mind, Tír deserves recognition for staying true to its core values while keeping prices on par with other places serving the same a customer base and using less palatable ingredients, proving that prioritizing provenance is not just about preserving the upper end of the market. Lunch for four, plus a soup, costs 43€. Extraordinary value.
Breakfast granola with yogurt and seasonal mix is €3.75.
A large beef and soup sandwich will cost €16.
Tir, 9 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4; tirfood.ie
https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/food-reviews/tir-review-irishness-and-sustainability-are-the-core-values-of-this-baggot-street-lunch-spot-41454342.html Tír review: ‘Irish and sustainability are at the core of this Baggot Street lunch spot’