The pandemic has changed the way many of us shop for groceries. One of the positives was the resurgence of the neighborhood grocer. In Dublin, the Arnold siblings’ Lennox Street Grocer in Portobello is now firmly established at the heart of the community, as is Marlowe & Co a little further west at The Tenters. Similar independent shops have popped up across Dublin and in cities across Ireland, offering a shopping experience that caters to local needs. I hope they continue to thrive as they make running to get dinner a joy rather than a chore.
In early 2020 Chris founded Chapman weekly.ie, a delivery service designed to make grocery shopping easier for consumers who wanted to buy quality groceries but didn’t have time to trek from the butcher to the grocer to the fishmonger to the cheese shop and pick up an item here and there. Covid saw the demand for the service increasing exponentially and he had to find larger premises. Eventually he found a warehouse in Harold’s Cross big enough to also be a retail store and put a full kitchen in one end because there was plenty of room there. Now it’s a café, function room and shop, and you can hire it out for private dining if you ask nicely.
I first went there a few months ago when I happened upon the warehouse while visiting an artist at the nearby Mart Gallery & Studios and we popped in for (very good, cloud picker) coffee. I left with a bunch of good stuff: a Ring’s Chicken, cheese and olive oil from Lilliput Stores, a giant bag of black peppercorns, the biggest jar of anchovies I’ve ever seen, a few cans of those addictive Perello Olives – Gordal Olives Canned in brine with guindilla chili for a bit of spiciness – and a stash of Assassination Custard’s excellent piccalilli.
Last week I went back once for lunch, another time to grab some cakes as a treat, and a third time to eat a picnic lunch in the car on the way west. I haven’t been into homemade gnocchi, weekend brunch (the French toast is Insta-famous), or the Sunday lunch special, but I guess it’s only a matter of time.
For Tuesday lunch, a friend and I share some of the lunch dishes, starting with a trio of hummus — lemon, carrot, and beetroot — with crunchy chimichurri flatbread. The hummus is pretty to look at, served with toasted nuts and sprinkled herbs, and the flavors are good; it would be a fine solo lunch for €8.
Chef Felipe Zytkiewies dresses the roasted veggies – tomato, zucchini and red peppers – in a toasted rye sourdough sandwich (€7.50) with a chimichurri and tahini salsa that’s quite tasty, although we feel some buyer regret because we didn’t opt for the less-healthy-sounding three-cheese toastie or the one stuffed with marinated chicken thighs with chorizo Kewpie mayo.
Our third dish is a quinoa-based salad bowl (€8.50) that manages to be both virtuous and enjoyable, the cereal topped with roasted butternut squash and broccoli, avocado, pickled red onions and a good helping of hummus.
On Thursday I’ll be back for lemon drizzle cake and banana bread (€3 each) – which my house expert says are “fine but unexciting”. I find both on the dry side. But I also grab the tastiest Wicklow raspberries (the best I’ve had all summer) for €8 for a huge punnet, lovely Amalfi lemons, super fresh patch farm lettuce leaves and a can of squid in smoked paprika sauce (granted, that is a niche buy, but a very tasty one). I resist Quillo’s Spanish chips, although admittedly I’m curious about the fried egg flavor. I meet a friend who works nearby and tells me that she shops here every day.
I’m too late for Pigs on the Green’s free-range pork sausage rolls. So we’ll stop by for some of these on Friday (€5). There’s a close relationship between the pork and leek and the chorizo versions, both are very good. The dough is nice and fluffy, the chutney really spicy, the leaves well arranged. A BLT McCarthy’s Crispy Bacon (€7.50) is a bit of a disaster in terms of dripping (this Dijon mayonnaise is very fluffy), but tastes wonderful.
The lovely folks behind Bahay’s Philippine grocery store will be showing up here next month (check their social media for ticket info) and I expect Sunday lunch to be a minor thing as we head into the fall. In the meantime, you can stop by for breakfast, lunch, dinner for McLoughlin’s steaks, milk and bread, breakfast or whatever you’re eating.
Overnight oats for breakfast cost €5.
The Sunday Chef’s specials vary from week to week, but a chicken tempura burger recently cost €14.
Warehouse Food Market & Cafe, Greenmount Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6, Warehousefoodmarket.ie
https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/food-reviews/warehouse-food-market-and-cafe-review-we-experience-buyers-remorse-in-not-opting-for-the-three-cheese-toastie-41857313.html Warehouse Food Market & Cafe Review: “We experience shopper regret for not choosing the three cheese toastie”