Each time there is a great spot opening on the Northside I giggle with excitement. It's my part of the city you see and I like highlighting its hidden gems, so here is the new cafe to watch: Blas Cafe in the Chocolate Factory.
The Chocolate factory is a community space where creative people work in their studios, they also have an event venue, art gallery and a cafe on the ground floor.
Blas Cafe is a little gem that I'm happy to have discovered before it got too busy, this will certainly change. If you know about the Fumbally, think of Blas as its Northside counterpart.
A spacious, bright space with white walls, big wooden tables and a strong artsy feel. There is a drum hanging from the ceiling, a comfy burgundy velvet sofa, mismatched chairs and art displayed in a corner: I'm in love.
As I approach the counter I notice Wall & Keogh's teas and Wild Flour Bakery's cakes, it is already promising. The lunch menu is compact: soup, two meaty sandwiches, two vegetarian sandwiches and a hot dish. However it changes regularly and with a Moroccan chef, expect the dishes to be flavoursome (they have eggs berber with merguez sausage patties for brunch on Saturdays!). The coffee is from Roasted Brown I'm told and coffee lovers will certainly approve.
As I sit by myself at a table with my laptop and use their free wifi I look around and like what I see, Dublin's cafe scene is certainly getting very exciting.
A friendly gentleman brings my beef po boy (€6.95) to the table served on a enamel plate. I see it's real bread straight away and ask where it's from. It's from Tartine Bakery, owned by French man Thilbault Peigne who I know. His bread is top quality and among the best you can find in Dublin. The shredded beef is tender and juicy, served with tomato, a crunchy pickle, some lettuce and mayo. Not very original maybe but simple and tasty, I lick my fingers with contentment.
I order a pear, almond and cardamom cake (€3.50) for quality control purposes. It looks slightly dry outside but as I bite in it it's just soft, moist and delicate. I'm always happy when I see Kate Packwood's cakes in a cafe as they're the perfect size and level of sweetness that I want with a good (paper) cup of peppermint tea.
So do I like Blas? You can certainly tell. It's very new but looks like a winner already and I just hope there will still be a table for me after I reveal one of Dublin's best-kept secrets.
26, King's Inn Street
Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 16:00
Sat: 10:00 - 16:00
This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.