If you are looking for great, home cooked, traditional, wholesome and warming food in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, within the Mayo area, then look no further than the Hazel Bar and Restaurant in Ballyhaunis. The Hazel is a family run business, established in 1997, and has always had a reputation for the friendliest of welcomes, a warm inviting open fire, and the great locally sourced food
Now the owners Tim and Margaret Byrne boast a newly refurbished restaurant, Upstairs at The Hazel, which features even more tasty treats at fantastic value for money. Starting off with the delicious goat’s cheese bruschetta with garlic, pesto, and red onion marmalade, topped with melted goat’s cheese and served with a salad garnish it is melt in your mouth food.
The roast lamb cutlets with thyme were to die for, as was my roast monkfish with roast red pepper sauce.
There is a large selection of steaks, pastas, stir fries, and many more dishes, all reasonably priced. Look out for the cashew coated chicken fillet, which is a real delight.
All the tempting desserts are home made, and I would highly recommend the chocolate torte with warm Bailey’s sauce and vanilla ice cream. The restaurant is open every Friday and Saturday evening from 6pm to 9pm and seats 40+, so give it a try.
The Hazel Bar is open seven days a week serving top food from 8.30am to 8pm. Breakfast runs to noon and then an extensive bar menu follows, which includes daily specials. Right now you can get a free bowl of soup with delicious home-made soda bread with any of the daily specials.
The traditional bar menu is full of treats, from the slow roasted lamb shank with fluffy mash potatoes, buttered spinach, and a tomato and rosemary jus, to spicy chicken fajitas, served with warm flour tortillas, spicy tomato salsa, guacamole, and soured cream. The Hazel’s signature dish is the chicken Orlando, pan fried chicken breast topped with bacon and cheese, and the chefs special barbecue sauce, again delicious, and superb value for €11.90.
The homemade chowder is swimming with fish, the potato wedges with cheddar and finely chopped rasher is a Moorish concoction that works beautifully, and the spicy chicken wings that definitely complement a cool lager, are only for starters.
Mixed grills, succulent steaks, homemade burgers, pastas and salads fill the main course, with a nice variety of chicken dishes. Marrowfat peas are soaked overnight every Thursday and cooked on Friday morning for the homemade mushy peas that complement the beer battered cod and chips that have become a firm favourite at the Hazel.
Attention to detail on all the dishes has got to be credited to the chef Ethne Byrne, daughter of the owners, whose work ethic lifts the food to a higher level. The bar menu is simply great home cooked comfort food cooked at a very high level and that is a very rare thing to get these days, and you can taste the love and the care in every bite. All the food is locally sourced, from the local butcher and greengrocer which is lovely to see, and reassuring that business stays in the town.
There is also a healthy options menu, with wraps, pannini, and salads for those looking to not over indulge. The Hazel caters for all functions, Communions, confirmations, etc, and menus can be written for all to suit any budget.
Bookings are now being taken for Christmas, so why don’t you check out The Hazel in Ballyhaunis for a nice change. There is free on road parking and it is right in the centre of the town.