Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review of Cafe Carlo, O'Connell Street

The following review has be composed entirely by Brian who was good enough to accompany me for a first adventure into the world of City Deals FOOD. I have to say, one of the best sites for all that jazz is it aggregates all the deals into one email.

Back to Brian....

In the absence of his better half, Matt allowed me the pleasure of a man-date with his excellency (still think I was invited to provide the lift) which I was more than happy to accept. Café Carlo is somewhere I had come across on a few occasions before, mostly offering a similar deal to ours on other deals websites. Yes, I do occasionally read one of those hundred emails we all receive a day!
I wasn’t quite sure on what to expect, €30 for 2 fillet steaks, fries dips and a bottle of wine seems like a steal.. but all in all I was quite pleasantly surprised. We found parking on the quays very handily and set off in search of Café Carlo armed with an iPhone. The signage in fairness could be better but we found it pretty easily and were greeted by a very friendly waiter. A quick look around confirmed that the restaurants online deals strategy was indeed working as the place was full of couples (no doubt manned with their Pigsback voucher stuffed into the wallet!). There was a bit of a delay as Matt had cleverly printed the wrong voucher, but all was solved with a quick visit to the reception of the adjoining ‘hotel’. I call it a ‘hotel’…. Well you can see for yourselves!!

We decided that although the voucher was for mains and a bit of vino, we would indulge and give the place a good once over… We looked at the menu and as typical MEN we both ordered the spicy wings and bleu cheese dip. The wings came fairly snappy and they looked tasty, although to be fair, for €6.95 I would have preferred a few more (6 pieces). You normally get what you expect with wings and these were no different; tasty, spicy and messy on the fingers. All around, a good start to the meal.

Quick word about the waiter. Very helpful and friendly and immediately swapped our bottle of red (as per the voucher) for a bottle of white upon a somewhat cheeky request. The wine was pretty sharp but honestly, wine all leads the same way so we were happy enough!

I was really looking forward to the ‘lava stone’ steak experience as it was something I had never tried before. Seems a bit odd that you pay somebody for steak and then cook it yourself, but it was definitely an enjoyable experience. The steak was very generous but in my opinion was more sirloin than fillet, and lacked that fluffy fillet texture that you expect. Maybe I am being harsh but as a first review I wanna do it right ;) Was very tasty and enjoyable however and I thought the sides of pepper sauce and garlic butter complimented it very well. The home cut fries were also delicious and I’m a big fan of fries with pepper sauce so I really was happy out!

No meal really is complete without taking a ‘look’ at the desert menu and myself and Matty were most definitely going to oblige! Matty straight away decided he was going to have a Toblerone cheesecake and I went for the ould reliable of chocolate fudge cake and vanilla ice cream. The deserts were definitely pre bought but they were good, sweet and hit the spot as one may say.

I think Café Carlo served us well, we left satisfied, full and more importantly with a few coffers in the pocket. I think the meal was good, but slightly lacking a bit of atmosphere but I had a good time over good food with a good friend. Cant really ask for much more than that.

I do think however that the €55 we paid for the meal (€30 voucher and €25 extras) was enough and about the right price, I wouldn’t be paying the total menu price for what we got of nearly €95. Lesson of the day; check those deals emails the odd time.. you can definitely pick up a good meal for a reasonable price!

Big thanks to Brian for his editorial debut on madforthegrub  as always, Twitter and Facebook are there for updates and comments. 

Have a good one!

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