The golden arches have taken over the globe, but in Ireland, Mickey D’s, or Mack-ie Dee´s as they say over here, has some competition with the local chipper. Chipper?
Beside fast food chains, the best option for those who want food, and want it now are small, greasy ‘Take Away’ places. Take Away places consist of a small counter and sometimes display the battered concoctions right in front of you. You might also have access to a few menus. But there are no tables or chairs. It’s all very simple and to the point. The food is wrapped up in white butcher’s paper most of the time or for larger orders, a big brown paper bag.
These take away joints offer, chips, as in fish and chips. But rather than the dinky french fries that we are used to in the States, chips over here are thick cut. They are served a number of ways, the simplest option covered in salt and vinegar. Other choices include curry chips that have a spicy sauce spread over them, or a greasy option of cheese with garlic mayo. That’s basically just a ton of mayonnaise that has a bit of garlic flavoring. After a half of a small portion, your lips will feel like they’re lined with ChapStick from all the grease.
Chips are just the side order.
Like the fish, most everything else is you’ll find is battered. Think battered burgers and battered sausages, which are exactly what they sound like — a battered beef patty and a battered sausage link, both deep fried and crispy.
Chippers over here take deep-frying to a whole new level. Some of them even batter up mashed potatoes and call it a potato pie. Yikes. Don’t worry, you can always order some mushy peas on the side if you are in need of veggies.
Along with chippers, kebab shacks are also a popular alternative to the BK Lounge. Over here, the doner kebab is most common option on the menu. The lamb is roasted on a vertical spit and sliced while rotating. The meat is then wrapped up tight in a pita with a little salad and sauce. Some say that the doner kebab is the most popular item among fast food places in Europe.
There are also some small kebab eateries that offer the typical battered fare, some that only offer kebabs, and some that manage to mix the two to. My favorite is the latter and I found it in a small place in Cork called KC’s that is only open for a few hours a day and then again late at night to cater to all the pub goers. KC’s likes to stick a handful of chips at the bottom of the pita before stuffing the kebab. There is usually a line out the door. They are Dee-LISH!
There is already an Irish chain that caters to those leaving the pubs and offers up delicious kebabs at all hours of the night. Abrakadabra. They are everywhere. You can’t miss their green palm trees and red-lettered signs. Now the only other Irish competition that Abrakebara has are the local chippers and Supermac’s, the Irish McDonalds! I’m serious. The only difference is that everything has a 100% Irish stamp on it, even the napkins
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