Tell us what you want — and the cheapest dinner in town (with wine)

Many restaurant owners are busy designing new menus, special offers, early birds, etc. However I would like to ask you the readers what you would like to see from our eateries in Galway, and what matters to you and your family when eating out. I will publish the most popular requests in a future article and the restaurant proprietors can take it from there. Send me an e-mail, [email protected] with your comments, don’t agonise over it, just tell me the first one, two, or three things that come to mind or things that are most important to you when eating out. For example: types of food, pricing, parking, opening hours, service, food and wine matching dishes, special gourmet dinners, etc.

Are there any readers who would like to form an ‘eating out’ club where we could guarantee a restaurant to have a sizeable number of customers on a mid week night and in return get a top class gourmet evening at a favourable price? If so, e-mail me directly and should I receive sufficient interest I will contact everyone and arrange an evening out, I might even be able to persuade the editor to buy us all a glass of champagne.

On a recent visit to Marks & Spencer, I noticed a ‘lunch deal’ advertised on a large billboard. It offered a choice of sandwich, fancy crisps, and a bottle of water for €2.75. The sandwich I chose was prawn salad on brown bread and it was excellent and I thought to myself, now that is excellent value for money. I also noticed a dinner for two offer including a bottle of wine for €12.95. I am somewhat anti processed foods, so I reckoned it would be tasteless or just plain awful. Well nothing could be further from the truth, for €12.95 I choose a main course of beef meatballs in tomato sauce and provolone cheese plus a 440g dish of dauphinoise potatoes. For dessert, I choose a chocolate fudge pudding that has to be cooked off in the oven. There are about six different wines to choose from (full bottles in case you are doubting me ), however I choose the non alcoholic option of two litres of Spanish orange juice instead.

The meatballs and the sauce were excellent, the dauphinoise potatoes were definitely the best of their type that I have ever sampled, and as for the chocolate pudding, served with some whipped cream it was excellent Normally I feel that these kinds of meals have a taste which is off-putting/bland and they are usually consigned to the rubbish bin before finishing. However, not any of these, and at €12.95 for the whole lot including wine or juice it’s impossible to beat. Now for the bad news, it not always available, usually every second weekend, and no guarantee it will last forever but in terms of cooking a dinner with zero fuss and minimum outlay it is worth checking out.

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