EATING OUT: MCGROY'S, CULDAFF
2nd December 2012
Yesterday, on a fairly nippy winter morning we travelled to Glengad, Inishowen to see the start of the ‘Wile Goose Chase’, a locally organised charity event which involved walking 31 geese the 7 km (4.5 miles) from Glengad to Malin town on the first stage of their trip to market in Carndonagh the following day. After speaking to the organisers and taking photographs we decided to skip the walk and take ourselves off for lunch and being so near Culdaff, where else could we possibly go but the famous McGrory’s.
McGrory’s (bar, restaurant, events venue and hotel), which has been in the same family since 1824, is famous not only for its food and hospitality but for the range of musicians they bring to their “Backroom Bar” which includes many famous bands and singers.
However, it being only 1pm obviously there was no live music, only food (and drink, of course, should you be in the mood). We were promptly brought menus as we settled into a very comfortable seat in the warmth of the old fashioned bar.
There is a Bar Food Menu together with the day’s Specials Board which offers an extra 2 or so starters and mains. All their seafood and meat is locally sourced which is always a good thing in my opinion and especially in County Donegal where we have an abundance of the finest seafood easily available and excellent livestock.
I chose my starter and my main from the Specials Board: ‘Warm Duck Salad’ (€6) and ‘Baked Hake with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Crumb’ (€16 which includes one side order of choice ~ I chose the mashed potatoes). My husband chose from the Bar Food Menu:’ Seafood Chowder with Brown Bread’ (€6.80) and ‘Bacon & Cabbage with Mashed Potato and Creamy Leek Sauce’ (€12).
The starters range in price from €4 - €9 (the €9 is for half a dozen fresh oysters) and the mains range in price from €10.50 - €22 (steak being the most expensive dish).
After ordering from our very pleasant waitress we sat reading the Sunday papers enjoying the warmth inside while able to look out our window on the wintry day outside. After a short wait out starters arrived.
My duck was tender and super tasty and the salad was fresh and crisp. Of course I had to taste my husband’s seafood chowder and we declared “right up there with the best”. The chowder is packed with fish and shellfish AND the mussels were tender and properly cooked.
Our waitress returned to collect completely empty plates and after a short wait our mains arrived.
My husband’s choice of bacon and cabbage turned out to be a very large portion of slices of bacon steaks, lots of perfectly cooked Savoy cabbage, mashed potato and leek sauce. For €12 this is some dish. In fact as it turned out he was unable to finish it: it would have been enough on it’s own without the starter of seafood chowder ~ but in fairness, we were starving when we arrived.
My hake was perfectly cooked and topped with pesto flavoured crumbs and sun dried tomatoes. The mashed potato was creamy and tasty and there was also an accompanying small dressed salad on the plate.
After all this food neither of were able for a dessert but had we been able to we could have chosen from a choice of about five desserts all of which are priced at €4.50.
There is a Childrens’ Menu where all dishes are €5 which, very fairly, includes a jug of juice.
There are good options for vegetarians and gluten free dishes are available together with gluten free bread which is not something you see on many menus.
McGrory's also have a separate restaurant which opens on a Friday and Saturday night during the season but only on a Saturday night off season. I had a quick look at the dinner menu (served 6pm – 9pm) and the starters range from €4.75 - €8.95 and the mains €12.50 - €21.95.
McGory’s is wheelchair friendly (bar etc. on ground floor and a lift to the bedrooms) and has a separate loo for wheelchair access.
The bill for our lunch, including one cappuccino, came to €44.60.
I can guarantee you will not leave McGrory’s either hungry or feeling fleeced: their food delivers and delivers at a very reasonable price too.
McGrory’s TEL: + 353-74-9379104
(Click on any of the photographs below to enlarge).
12/5/2012 10:30:46 am
Lovely read Catherine , we go to McGrorys often and the food is always great , there Friday night live bands are super as is there fish Restaurant which opens at weekends ..
12/6/2012 03:08:51 am
Hi R. Yep great place and really enjoyed the food. Must make it up some weekend for the music.
4/11/2013 08:24:08 am
Hello! I am a writer, working on my second novel. The first one, The Strangling Angel, is based on my Harkin ancestor's experiences during The Great Famine. I traced them, over many years of research, to the townland of Keenagh, in the Cloncha/Culdaff parishes!
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