If you ask any student or ex student from Galway where they drink in Galway city, I think The Cellar Bar will be among the top places. It has also been a regular for locals, tourists, and weekenders. It was unfortunately closed down last January for a few months and now is in new ownership, up and running seven days a week.
It has always had a good name for value and consistently good bar food. The new owners must be keeping the standards up, as the day I was there it was midweek at 12.30pm and packed. Every table had diners tucking into lunches and sandwiches. There is a pretty attractive daily special available seven days a week and the selection changes every day, it costs €9.95 and it is a two course deal. The day I visited the choices were pan fried Cajun chicken fillet on creamed potatoes and sautéed onions with a creamy pepper sauce followed by ice cream with chocolate sauce, or white onion soup followed by toasted triple decker on multigrain break with bacon, sausage, tomato, cucumber and chips. Not a bad deal for less than a tenner.
I chose the white onion soup, as I have not seen that on a menu for years. It was a favourite soup of mine when I was a whippersnapper, so I thought it would be interesting to see if it matched up in my taste memory banks. Yes it did, it was homemade, not too ‘oniony’, nice and creamy and was excellent. I opted for the 8oz gourmet burger plus spicy wedges, €10.45. As you can see in the picture, this is one serious burger; at least 8oz of good mince topped with a large rasher and melted cheese. I do not often order spicy wedges as they tend to be covered in MSG, but these ones were good and moist in the middle. The portion was so big I could not finish it, however for anyone with a big appetite this will certainly be perfect. I followed up with sticky toffee pudding and ice cream, €4.25. This was a big portion also but more importantly it was really good with lots of homemade toffee sauce. In fact, just the soup and dessert would probably have filled me.
Breakfast is served from 10am until midday and the main food menu served from midday until 9pm – all open seven days a week.
Support your local restaurants
Even though we are in a recession, and according to a Newstalk poll of nearly 500 listeners nearly 80 per cent of those interviewed said they had ceased to eat out, there are still new restaurants opening in and around Galway. In fact The Cellar is an example of this, except in this case it is a reopening. I see Cava has just opened a restaurant called Aniar in the premises that Abalone was in, at least two new fish and chip places have opened, one on Shop Street and one near the Taibhdhearc, Jess Murphy has opened Kia on Sea Road, and I just noticed that a new restaurant is due to open across from Byrne’s tyres in Oranmore. All of these ventures are creating employment and buying services locally, so I would appeal to readers to support them. Our Government tells us that some sections of the population have lots of savings, so get out and spend some of it or we will just keep digging ourselves an even deeper hole. Prices and deals have never been more available, so go on, bring the family out for dinner or call that friend you keep meaning to have over but never seem to have time to entertain.
If you have any spectacular meals out please let me know at [email protected]