gruel, 67 dame street, d2

I checked out Gruel on Dame Street yesterday. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile, as every guidebook I come across and loads of word-of-mouth has had nothing but good things to say about it. The warm, inviting atmosphere was a perfect refuge from the rainy, blustery day outside, and my companion and I ordered a pot of tea and chatted as the wonderful staff buzzed quietly around us. There weren’t that many people seat, but that was more likely due to the 11 AM hour than anything else–not quite breakfast and definitely not lunch, it’s more the elevenses hour, which has its own compelling qualities.

The nice thing about Gruel is that, in addition to artfully messy posters decorating and clashing every inch of space and the welcome feeling diners get from the moment they enter, the chef has put together a menu of roughly fifteen entrees that have been created to perfection. While a wide selection can be nice too, there’s something comforting about knowing that whatever you order from the menu is tried and tested enough to be kept on the menu. We decided to get something savoury and something sweet and split the two. While everything looked good, we got the waffle (which turned out to be a pancake) with fresh cream and berries, and the tomato, goat cheese, and rocket frittata with silver dollar potatoes. To say it was good would be an understatement–the fritatta was perfectly cooked, delicate but still creamy, with the sharp accent of the rocket a perfect accompaniment to the smooth goat cheese.

The pancake-waffle-whatever it was good had just the right consistency, thin but huge, almost falling off the place. I think the berries were probably frozen and then rewarmed, but the cream was definitely fresh-made, and the thought of syrup didn’t even cross my mind when I spread the whole concoction over the pancake. After the fritatta, it was like a perfect mid-day desert, sweet but not too sweet. We finished our tea but were reluctant to leave; the restaurant was warm and comfortable, and it’s easy to understand why these guys are open all hours of the day and night–someone will always be in there, taking in one of the kitchen’s wonderful roast sandwiches or their admirable pizza slices. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a favorite weekend spot for me, as it’s very reasonably priced and just around the corner.

2 Comments so far

  1. Sinéad (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

    Far be it from me to encourage morning drinking, but you should try and head back there in the evening. They’ve got a great drink selection and I love their organic ale. Super tasty.

  2. iblees (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

    one of the places that i always forget to visit… well next time. :-)

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