I was struck by the cool air immediately as I walked into the store. Cold, windowless, full of cheese decorating the shelves, I felt as if I were walking into a refrigerator. I walked around a bit to admire the cheeses. On the wall, there was a poster detailing which region in France the cheese had come from. I was not familiar with any of them. As I walked halfway through the shop, the server greeted me with a roll of cheese in his hand. I asked him what he sold here. He began listed the cheeses, charcuterie, and wines that were on display.
Then, he walked me into an even colder room in the back where there were about a dozen sandwiches in the making. All that existed at the moment were a couple of slices of bread with some mustard and dills spread on top of them. I told him that I wanted a sandwich, and he set aside one mustard and dill bread and furnished it with some Comté cheese and turkey breast. He added some leaves doused in olive oil and vinegar into the mix.
I asked if he could toast it. He said no.
I took my sandwich outside back into the presence of sun rays. It was warm. My sandwich was not. I don’t recall seeing any small refrigerators in the shop to display the already-made sandwiches. I suppose there is very little reason to refrigerate sandwiches when the entire shop is a refrigerator in itself. The cold sandwich was still in my hand. I looked around to find a suitable place to eat my sandwich. It was early enough in the day where most of the streets were clear, so I immediately zoomed onto a suitable spot.
I ate my sandwich from Cheesemonger on the steps of St. Ann’s Church looking over a business formal attire shop called James Herren. The spot was good; the view was not. But, as for toasting sandwiches, we do not always get what we want in our lives.
I took a bite into my sandwich. It was very bread-y. I took another bite. This time, I could taste some of the mustard. I took another bite. Now, I could taste the turkey and cheese. On my fourth bite, I could taste the entire concoction of meat, cheese, bread, greens, and dressing.
The initial flavors blended together well with a bite. The vinegar complemented the mustard well since the mustard was selected from one of the more fatty varieties. But then, as the parts digest in my saliva, I found the body of the bite to be a bit disappointing. The turkey seemed frozen. The distribution of flavor with the meat seemed off, as it seems that there was a separation between the actual taste and the meat itself. Call it a separation between extension and thought, if you will. The presence of the cheese seemed underwhelming. There was only a thin layer that covered the layer of mustard, and even with a pungent taste such as Comte, mustard and meat easily defined the palette regardless of the cheese. The dill pickles, however, were cute. I really liked the dill pickles.
Soup Dragon was located next to the River Liffey. It was a quaint little place, and when I arrived, I was the only person in the shop. I had ordered the spicy vegetable gumbo with a tuna melt sandwich from the specials menu. The canned tuna, I found out later, did not pair well with the water-y vegetables. It seemed that neither of the foods were flavored, but I did appreciate the diversity in textures. The carrots were well cooked in the soup, leaving a firm yet soft body that allowed my teeth to easily plunge through. The soda bread that came with the tuna melt was crisp and bodied. With the help of the soup, the mixture gave me a sense of satisfaction each time I swallowed. By the time I finished, I suppose I was satisfied.
A few bites in, a delivery person ordered a soup and sandwich and headed on his way. It did not seem, however, that he was ordering the meal for someone else. There is no reasoning I have for this belief, as it makes more sense that this person ordered the meal in place of someone else, but just from the dynamic between this person and the lady at the counter, I would imagine that he, too, enjoys their food and frequents this place. Alas, I am merely speculating on virtually no tangible information. It seems that a lot of my thoughts is speculating off a no tangible information. But, isn’t that the process of creation?
They were playing Lana Del Rey at one point. That made me happy.
Olivo’s Fish and Chips
I found it deeply humorous that one of the recommended dishes in Dublin was fish and chips. I suppose it made sense, given the similarities between the UK and Ireland. But, at the same time, it’s fish and chips. It reminds of the time I went to Brighton with my friend and searched for attractions there, only to be hit with: fish and chips.
I never quite found the appeal of fish and chips. It is, quite literally, fried fish with some fried potatoes. I assumed that it would be late-night snack to have while drunk, but it seems that individuals consume fish and chips throughout the entire day regardless of their levels of intoxication. But, for some reason, I had a craving for fish and chips. It was, after all, a day filled with walking, so I could very easily be craving the carbs and oils that have been conveniently converted into a dish called fish and chips.
I ordered the fish and chips from Olivo’s Fish and Chips because I assumed Olivo’s Fish and Chips served fish and chips. I assumed that Olivo’s Fish and Chips would sell fish and chips because Olivo’s fish and chips had “Fish and Chips” in its name. I was correct that Olivo’s Fish and Chips sold fish and chips. I also assumed that Olivo’s Fish and Chips would have decent fish and chips because Olivo’s Fish chips, with the same reasoning that Olivo’s Fish and Chips sold fish and chips, also had “Fish and Chips” in its name.
It was a take-out place. The vibe reminded me of the Crown Fried Chicken on 40th and Market because that is also a take-out place. Because I do not frequent takeout places that frequently, most take-out places seem quite similar to me. While I was waiting for my fish and chips, two girls, who couldn’t have been older than 12, walked in and ordered some fish and chips of their own. I received my fish and chips in a brown paper bag. The man at the counter asked me if I wanted salt and vinegar in my fish and chips. Yes i said yes i will yes
Because Olivo’s fish and chips was a take-out place, I took out my fish and chips to outside of the shop. I sat down on the curb with my plastic fork in one and and my brown paper bag in another hand. The sun was in the process of setting, imbuing the clouds with a delicate shade of pink. I would have loved to pluck some of the cloud off to eat as a cool and moist cotton candy, but unfortunately, that is not how clouds work. But that being said, cotton candy is quite dry and requires more moisture to enjoy to the fullest extent.
I have always been fascinated by the optimal distribution between fish and chip in each bite of fish and chips. There was a lot of chips and only one fillet of fish. How do I distribute my bites? It would seem that I required an uncomfortable surplus of chips in each bite in comparison to the fish. Otherwise, if I did not excessively consume chips with each bite of cod, then I would run into a lot of leftover chips, which would be even worse to finish than a mild addition of chips to my optimal distribution of fish and chips in each bite.
About two bites in, I realized that I was thirsty. I also forgot about how dense fish and chips was in terms of oils and carbs. I walked across the street to Centre, which I assumed was one of the local supermarkets in Dublin, and purchased a can of Beamish. I sat back down on the curb and continued to each my fish and chips. The beer complemented the taste quite wonderfully, as the tepid excess in the oils can be washed down quite efficiently by the beer. But, at that point, I was not consuming as much beer as to finish on time with the fish and chips, so I would have leftover beer in the end.
I finished my fish and chips a couple of moments before the sun had set. I finished my beer afterwards. I realized, only after I had finished, that there was a ping pong ball in my beer can. What a curious moment. Then, I headed to the Cobblestone, which I have read hosted some traditional Irish music every night after 8 PM. I wanted to see a violin in action, and I was determined to go. It has been so long since I have seen a violin.