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Honest to Goodness Cafe and Bakery

It's actually quite difficult to find a good sambo in Dublin city centre. Up until recently and apart from some notable exceptions, sandwich bar offerings have largely been of the overly-chilled-plastic-chicken-panini variety, sold in pre-packed plastic boxes and smothered in commercial mayo or cheap margarine. Intent on saving us from all of these dastardly food deeds, enter our sandwich-super-hero: Honest To Goodness in the market arcade, just off South Great Georges Street.
What catches the eye, initially, on entering Honest To Goodness, is the extraordinarily funky design of the tiny room. There is only seating for perhaps twenty people but maximum use has been made of the available space, with a brown/orange/black leather backed banquette on either side; quirky, contemporary lights and buckets with wooden spoons balanced like old-school weighing scales from the ceiling. What is also striking is the aroma of freshly baked bread (and cakes) that assaults the senses, on arrival. The commitment of the proprietors, Martin Ansbro and Darragh Birkett, to home cooked, preservative-free food, is obvious from even a cursory perusal of the menu, which includes exotic relishes, roast Irish beef, roast vegetables, cous-cous, hummous, Brie and jalapeno mayo among its' list of sandwich items! Beverages include a fantastic array of organic - fair trade teas and coffees and Friday's special 'sloppy-joes" have become the stuff of legends! Delicious, homemade Irish beef chilli with just the right amount of kick in some house-baked bread of your choice is served with the daily changing herby, fragrant salad.

All bread (there is a choice of four) and cakes are baked in-house, something, which is extremely rare in Irish cafes, and even this alone is to be lauded, particularly in such a small place. Try the "Honest Club"; roasted Irish turkey, crispy Ballincollig bacon, tomato, Swiss cheese, mixed leaves and mayo on brown bread with freshly sliced, Irish turkey or the spectacular "Beef it Up"; real roasted Irish beef, caramelised red onion, tomato, horseradish, mixed leaves, on white.... this is a melt- in-the-mouth winning combination and again, even the relish and horseradish dressing is made on the premises. Follow with some good strong tea and blueberry muffins, (the homemade brownies run out very early), once more, the fresh blueberries in the muffins were a rare treat, the cakes themselves, light and delicious. If there's no room to sit down they will gladly do take away and, weather permitting, you can take your delicious lunch to nearby St Stephen's Green and while away the hours.
Honest to goodness food like this is hard to come by...pop in for a Croque Madame or some french toast on a lazy Sunday, when they serve brunch. If everything is executed with the same commitment to good food, you're in for a real treat.
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