My awesomer half and I were in town (yeah, we're back in Dublin-land) and we stopped for lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. We have also been to the one at Liffey Valley Shopping Center, but I like this one better. The interior is smaller and more cozy and lets face it, it's not in a mall. Points are added for not being anywhere near a cosmetics cart with an employee who loudly interrupts the personal conversation you are having and says, "EXCUSE ME CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?" when you are obviously trying to avoid eye contact. It makes me wish I was carrying some sort of power tool just so I could reply with, "Excuse me may I sharpen my chainsaw on your spleen?"
Yes, real restaurants on real streets are so much nicer. Malls with large open spaces and a million square meters of hard reflective surfaces have a way of bouncing sound around so that your skull reverberates. I think they are acoustically designed to push you into stores, just to get away from the din of reflected sound. This is some kind of psychological crap architects pull on shoppers to guide them out of public spaces and into retail ones.
Anyway, look at this beautiful warm brick building. On a scale of 1 to a billion, malls are like a 3 and buildings like this are around 999 million on the aesthetically-pleasing-places scale.
My awesomer half got her favorite: The Chicken Satay Burger. It had lettuce, tomatoes and a delicious chutney type of relish inside.
I ordered a Bleu Cheese Burger, and man was it good! The burger was a nice quality beef, juicy and cooked exactly right. The lettuce was a fresh piece of butter lettuce, not the crummy iceberg that most burger joints dish out. The thin rings of red onion were pleasantly moderate. I find that most burgers are served with a fat wad of onion that tastes like a punch in the jaw. Less is more in the onion department.
We shared a bowl of fries. The rosemary on top was a nice touch.
The interior decor was a funky rouge-et-noir thing. It made me think this had previously been a very avant-garde sushi restaurant. The geometric wooden-lattice lights were cool.
One little touch that Gourmet Burger Kitchen does is to dole out the ketchup into these cute little squeeze bottles.
We opted for the smaller size burgers and found the portions to be just right. Our burgers were 7 euros each and with drinks and fries, lunch for two came out to be about 21 euros. Our waitress was a cheerful Polish girl who was doing her best to look like a blonde co-ed from UCLA. Service was attentive and professional, quick and accurate. What's even better is that my awesomer-half treated me to lunch! I'm a lucky guy.