Great, but not grand

Takes some getting used to

Takes some getting used to

Actually there were three reasons I wanted to visit this typical tiny pub in a remote suburb on the outskirts of Dublin. First is the name, „The Gravediggers“, which locals have tacked on to the place because it is located right next to the entrance to Dublin’s biggest cemetery. Second, it ranked #11 among all the almost 2,000 restaurants and pubs in the Irish capital, which is saying a mouthful since Dublin, at least in recent years, has sprouted a whole crop of good or very good places to eat, and you can find a decent pub on almost every corner. The third was its convenient location on the road from downtown to the airport, and since we had to grab a plane at four we had time to eat and even drink a pint of what is, according to other reviewers on TripAdvisor, the „best Guinness in town“.

Yeah, it  was good, mainly because they keep their tap system clean and the pressure low, but otherwise, hey, a Guinness is a Guinness is a Guinness, ain’t it?

Otherwise, the place was a mild disappointment. For one thing, it’s old, having been rebuilt in its present form by the father of the current proprietress; the snug looks like something out of an old black-and-white Dickens film. And instead of the „pub grub“ we were hoping for they serve stuff like wraps, for God’s sake!

What drew me especially was a picture on the website of a steaming plate of Irish Stew. On the day we visited they were serving instead what they claim is another typical Dublin dish, Coddle, which is traditionally made with pork sausages, ham, and potatoes. Unfortunately they substitute something called „cocktail sausages“ which look like overfed maggots and taste literally of nothing.

The only real highlight were the homemade desserts of which Anne Kavanagh, the owner, is justly proud and which left us in a conciliatory mood. But overall I’d say the place is seriously overrated on TripAdvisor: Its good, but not great, and I would definitely not rank it among the Top Ten (or eleven) in all of Dublin.

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2 Antworten auf Great, but not grand

  1. Großes Kompliment zu diesen wunderbaren Restauraunt-und Menuekritiken, die ich wirklich gerne lese. Wie trefflich der DigitalTransformation-Wanderprediger und passionierte Feinschmecker Tim Cole zu differenzieren und zu werten weiß, ist mir in allerbester Erinnerung. Es geht nicht immer nur um Austern oder Roast Beef ( das er übrigens excellent zuzubereiten weiß). Da sind zum Beispiel seine Elogen auf die authentischen Backhausprodukte des Dörfleins Anhausen auf der Schwäbischen Alb oder die sehr schmackhaften Sauren Kutteln beim Stadtfest in Hayingen. Wenn einer wie Cole gleich zwei Teller (a`3 €) nachbestellt, kommt das nicht von ungefähr. In Sachen gut essen und trinken sehe ich Tim Cole auf einem Podest mit dem legendären Wolfram Siebeck (u.a. „Die Deutschen und ihre Küche“.) Her mit dem nächsten Beitrag aus diesem Themenspektrum!

    Fritz Bräuninger

  2. Hi Tim
    I am glad you did find us, and thought the email I sent you with advice on our Lunch Service times and details on what we offer was of help, and I am disappointed that perhaps we didn’t meet your expected expectations. Our ranking of 11 is surprising even to us after all we are not a restaurant and do not offer what our City Centre contemporaries do.
    Our location is a distance from the City Centre and our priority is our regular and supportive clients. Although we are a small operation we do try to offer a selection to cater for as many tastes as possible, not always possible in a small operation. I did say in the email that we offer at lunchtime a small but varied selection at good value, and recommended room is left for Anne’s desserts. I checked our Lunch Menu for your visit on Monday, we offered 2 types of soup, various selection of toasties and sandwiches, 2 types of risotto, a crostini (3 with various toppings), pizza slice, Bacon, Cabbage & Onion marinated in Cider and Mustard Seed in Filo Pastry (2 per portion) Coddle ( Pork Ribs, Bacon Pieces, Onion & Potato in a clear broth with added Sausages) and the Wrap (‚For God’s sake) of roasted vegetables, and three dessert options. All our items are homemade with fresh and locally sourced products.
    No food was returned and there was no expression or dissatisfaction made to any staff member, we would’ve happily served your Coddle without the sausages if preferred, a dish that is famed for it’s lack of visual beauty. Coddle is a traditional dish with it’s origins dating back to Dublin of the 1700s. It is as traditional to Dublin as a Blah is to Waterford, Spice Beef to Cork, or Lamb to Wicklow. We are not, thankfully, a Gastro Pub and we personally don’t use the expression of ‚Pub Grub‘ in any of our post or media and it’s not something we plan to offer.
    Please note we do not have a website attached to John Kavanagh The Gravediggers, we do have a popular FB page, Twitter account and instagram account and reply to any queries we receive via phone or email. I do apologize if my email before your visit mislead you.
    Our Guinness is consistent, as it should be: according to Diageo who invest thousands each year on their quality control. Guinness should taste as good in Dublin as anywhere else in the world. But we do sell more kegs of Guinness than any other Public House in Dublin, so we assume it’s good. And our customers would inform us if it wasn’t to their standard.
    Perhaps Trip Advisor Reviewers have inflated their personal experience, we are delighted that people have taken the time to get out of the city to pay us a visit. We often suggest to visitors to leave the expectations and experiences of others behind, to ditch the guide book and seek of your own piece of Dublin Heaven. Perhaps then you’ll find your perfect Pint in a corner pub of our city, and one that offers ‚Pub Grub‘, John Kavanagh The Gravediggers is not that nor will it be that kind of pub. It’s a no nonsense working class pub on the city limits, that’s still in the caring hands of the Kavanagh family since 1833, close to eighth generations, so we like to think we’re getting something right. It may not be the Dublin Pub you assumed or expected, but it’s one we’re very proud to call home, it’s a piece of Dublin Heaven to us. Thanks for stopping by Tim.

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