2-3 Charlotte Way, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
An unfortunate side effect of DBC membership (fighting the good fight against the dreaded cholesterol aside) is that sometimes you get a hankering for something other than beef. Well. I do anyway, although I suspect Rory would strongly disagree.
Just in time then this week we got a wee message from Stephen O’Reilly of both Pitt Bros and Block Burger – coincidentally, makers of burgers that currently occupy some of our top spots . He wanted to tell us about his new restaurant Mad Egg, which opened in March, and as one might surmise from the name, the menu is strictly bird based.
From their own website, they state: “Free-range birds hatched locally in a family-run farm. We tea brine for 48 hours to make them super tender and juicy. We then double dredge the Birds in spiked buttermilk and coat in our-house seasoned mix for that signature crunch” I don’t even know what a tea brine entails – are they steeped in a salty pot of Bewleys finest? Although I think any self confessed foodie worth their salt has brined some kind of bird in something over the last five years, or Nigella has taught us nothing. Nevertheless I was intrigued…
I’ll be the first to admit, chicken burgers are never the thing I think to order from the menu. There is so much that can go wrong with a chicken burger; dry, overcooked chicken; undercooked chicken; insipid sloppy batter, (or worse still breadcrumbs); or my personal hell, reformed chicken *shudder*. But the menu here looked delicious, and I also can’t pass up any opportunity to eat candied bacon.
We came for a visit on the May Bank Holiday. Even in the sweltering heat the place was packed out the door by 2pm. Sadly the number of people in there did nothing to help with the temperature, which was as hot inside as out, but we were given plenty of iced water, and if I hadn’t been barely out of bed, I might have even gone for one of the craft beers on offer.
We were given a word of warning from our host. The unique blend of seasoning packs quite a punch that, for some Irish palates could be considered too fiery. On that advice, Rory opted for The OG, sans sauce, hoping for the least spicy option (although I suspect the lemon and herb mayo he jettisoned may have had a considerable cooling effect). I went for the Honey Baby, Ryan; the Hot Chick, and Amanda; the Wild Thing.
The Honey Baby was delicious. The coating was indeed fiery, but it was offset beautifully by the honey butter. I couldn’t discern what, or where the the cinnamon rocks were, unless they were super subtle, but I don’t think that took away from the overall flavour. I would definitely order this again. My only gripe was that the structural integrity of the bun was irrevocably damaged by said honey butter, and fell apart within seconds. Coupled with the size of the chicken breast I was reduced to eating with a knife and fork like a right noo-nah. It did nothing for my street cred, which is already running low. I think, possibly if one whole leaf were used under the chicken breast, it might have saved the bun, and restored my cool.
Amanda said much the same about hers (she thought a stick through the middle might help with the messiness). Although initially skeptical of the buffalo-ranch combination, she thought it was absolutely delicious. She also wanted me to make special mention that having asked for no pickles, she got no pickles, which she says are just the worst.
As wife of Ryan, I am used to certain privileges – the most important of these is that I get to taste all of his food, just in case his is better. And this time his was. It wasn’t so hot that I couldn’t taste anything after; I thought, and he agreed, that all of the flavours complimented each other perfectly. I had serious food envy. Ryan was particularly enamoured with the hot salsa coupled with the chipotle coleslaw, and said it had a serious punch that left him sweating… and if I’d managed to steal more than a bite of his, I’d maybe agree. But I didn’t. So I can’t.
We all agreed that the chicken salt fries were amazing. If the seasoning they used was bottled and sold I would totally buy it.
Finally a word on dessert. Build your own cheesecakes! What an amazing concept. Whilst I enjoyed it, on that particular day I felt it was too hot for such a rich treat and it was crying out for some fresh fruit, maybe some fresh local strawberries or raspberries and a bit of a coulis rather than only chocolate or caramel options. However, Amanda said, and I quote: “That cheesecake is the best thing to ever happen to me. I’m still dreaming about it. I’m a fucking slut for chocolate.”
Overall, the burgers were delicious and definitely something different, although they were difficult to eat. The sides didn’t set the world on fire, but alongside these tasty burgers they didn’t need to. The Build-Your-Own cheesecake was a neat concept, but lacking in variety – with a little tweaking this could be extraordinary. Special thanks to Mark, who despite a super busy day took the time to explain the menu and look after us and make sure we were happy with everything.
Burgers – 8.5/10
Sides and desserts – 8/10
Value – 8/10 (€14 for a burger and a side).
Overall score – 8/10