Papa'z Bistro - Food Review with Ann Maire Carroll.

Middle Street would have been considered for many years a culinary no-go zone. In fact it was safe to say that the best thing about it as far as food was concerned, aside from the late lamented Da Tang Noodle House, was the short cut into the back door of the King's Head.

Years ago, before Dominos had come to town and Papa Johns was not even invented, your choices for pizza were Monroe’s in Dominick Street or Milano’s on Middle Street. Now the options for pizza are many and varied, and nowhere more so than Middle Street as it is home to the ever popular Dough Bros, Milano's, and Venice, you will not be left wanting for choices. In fact Middle Street has seen a real reversal of fortune in more recent times, with long standing favorites such as Cava Bodega and Kappa Ya and new kid on the block Marmalade Bakery. In the building that once housed Vina Mara, we now have one more delicious option.

Located near the Cornstore, Papa'z is quickly making a name for itself for its relaxed and sociable atmosphere. It is a haven for harassed parents, ideal for date night diners, friends and family gatherings, and you can even bring your dog. Those of you familiar with Limerick may already be aquainted with Papa'z Bistro, a long standing favourite for delicious food in relaxed surroundings near the Milk Market in the city centre. They are well settled in their new Galway restaurant where they are proving they are not just another pizza place.

Papa'z has something that the other pizza places don't have, and that is choices — and lots of them. Salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and a wide range of starters, a comprehensive drinks menu, and not-to-be-skipped homemade desserts. Owner Gill has put a whole lot of thought into this menu. It ranges from flat breads smothered in onion jam and goat's cheese to the delightfully bonkers crispy chicken coated in Taytos. All the sauces, dressings, and breads are prepared in house each day, and if you like the condiments, you can even buy a bottle to take home with you.

It is easy to see why many parents of young children avoid restaurants and prefer to eat at home. The thrown food will hit only members of the immediate family, and few things match the embarrassment of a meltdown in a restaurant. But sometimes it’s necessary, and even fun, to eat out. Believe it or not, some parents want to dine out in a way that doesn’t involve plastic trays or eating leftover cocktail sausages while watching over their child in a pool of multi-coloured balls. It is important to choose a child-friendly restaurant, preferably one casual enough to absorb any noise the little darlings might make.

Not all restaurants embrace children, but Papa'z is one of the city’s most child-friendly spots, with the team going out of their way to accommodate small customers (and not a chip in sight ), while serving food that Mum and Dad will want to eat too. It offers great value, and the food is freshly made and always consistent. You will have no problem finding parking for your Bugaboo either, plenty of space between these tables. Papa'z is well worth a visit and a great addition to Middle Street's newly thriving dining scene.

Papa'z Bistro, 19 Middle St, Galway. Email: [email protected].

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