The Front Door, located in Cross Street and High Street, Galway, is a pub and restaurant with two addresses; it is called The Front Door if you access it from Cross Street and Sonny’s if you enter from High Street. It must be pretty confusing for tourists and visitors who perhaps call in to the two different addresses and wonder why it all looks familiar. The name Sonny’s is taken from the original Sonny the Tailor’s that was in High Street for many years. It has the look and feel of a pub that has been there for many years and has a great atmosphere.
On the day I visited there were lots of tourists having lunch, and when I asked some of them for their opinion, most said they just stumbled on to the place and the food was so good in quality and value that they returned during their holiday for lunch most days. There are certainly plenty of menus to choose from; there is a pizza menu with all the expected offerings at around €12 each and one special I spotted looks to be a great deal, a large pizza with chicken wings and a pint of Miller beer for €12.45.
There is a daily lunch specials menu that I chose from. My original choice was for the chef’s special of gnocchi carbonara for €9.95, but my waiter asked if I ever had their fisherman’s pie, I had not, so ordered same for €10.95. This arrived in a large bowl topped off with mashed potatoes and melted cheese with a large side salad. The pie was as good as it gets, steaming hot, filled with lots of chunky white fish and salmon. The dressing on the salad was so tasty I asked if the chef would tell me how it was made, honey and mustard was the reply. Looking around at the other diners I could see that the favourites were beef and Guinness stew, €10.95, and the steak sandwich, €10.95. We may be a city on the sea, but we do love our beef, locals and tourists alike. For dessert, I had crème brulée, €4.95, which had a nice caramel crust, and while the custard was good I would prefer if the caramel was heated just before serving as this gives a bit of warmth to the custard.
As I watched to see how the staff interacted with the customers, I could not fail to see why Galway pubs have a good name, the friendliness and bit of ‘old chat’ goes down well. Check out the website on www.frontdoorpub.com or telephone (091 ) 563757.
Groupons – what are they?
You may or may not have heard this term over the last 12 months. It is pretty new and really only taking hold in Ireland in the recent past. I have been subscribing to some of them and have bought some fantastic deals. They are a ‘deal of the day’ website with just one offer in your city on that day. The deal can be anything from a restaurant deal to a haircut to any merchant offering one product for that day at a whopping discount. The discount is typically from 40 to 80 per cent, and it is not a scam. How do you do it? First, you have to sign up, sites such as www.livingsocial.com or www.boardsdeals.ie are the ones I have subscribed to.
Each day you will get an email with an offer that will expire within 24 hours usually; sometime there is a caveat that a certain number of people must avail of the deal before it is actually available. You will see a counter on the screen — hit buy, and you then pay for it via credit card and some time later you will get an email with your voucher number. As I click on www.livingsocial.com today I see a deal in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone offering an overnight getaway for two people with breakfast and a river cruise and a cocktail each for €99. The screen says it is a 60 per cent saving, it also states that so far 88 people purchased it and that there is one day remaining on the offer. Obviously when you read this article it will be long expired, I am just quoting an example of one of the previous offers available. If you are a restaurateur or business person you can use these sites to generate instant cash when you need it, albeit at a big discount. For the public it is a way to get a bargain.