Yesterday I decided to pop home to my hometown of Ballinasloe, which is located about a forty five minute drive away from Galway City. Ballinasloe town is probably most famous for it’s October horse fair held annually in the town and rumoured to have been the fair in which Napoleon himself bought his horse. Our only claim to fame I would assume. Anyways one of the biggest issues with Ballinasloe town is the lack of dining options. There are plenty of bars (maybe too many) and not one but four Supermacs chain fast food restaurants, as it is also the hometown the the fast food chain. However despite all this my family and I continually find ourselves travelling to the nearby town of Athlone to go out for dinner. It is a shame but that is the reality. The only closest thing to a dining out at night option we have, is the bar/restaurant of the Shearwater hotel or pub grub.
However yesterday I discovered a little gem hidden just outside the town of Ballinasloe with easy access off the motorway. This gem is called the Moycarn Lodge. In the past I have frequented this establishment only when there was a big event on, such as 21sts, communions, retirement parties etc. However I failed to realise that they actually are a pretty impressive restaurant also. In fact one would assume as it hosts guest accommodation that it would just be a bar with simple bar food. However I am glad to say this is not the case and in fact at nighttime they have a separate room for their dinner time.
We arrived for an early dinner at 5pm and to be honest on catching sight of the bar I guiltily assumed not to expect much. Once handed the menus however this opinon quickly changed. The menu had a great variety of meals. From starters such as deep fried brie to main courses such as beef stif fry. There is literally something for everyone on this menu. I also couldn’t get over the reasonable prices of the courses. A side dish is only 2.95!
My mother and I decided to share a starter and settled on the deep frie. It came out in four segments served on a bed of lovely house saled and some kind of raspberry relish which complimented the bitterness of the brie brilliantly. Unfortunately we ate the starter so quickly because it looked so good that I forgot to take a picture! Take my word for it, it was yummy.
For the mains I chose an old reliable: Chicken goujons with a side salad and homemade wedges. Now I did have to pay extra for the wedges as the dish actually came with normal fries but I prefer wedges so I was a bit disappointed to pay extra but they were still quite tasty, in my opinion they were more like oven cooked chips not wedges at all but they were delicious. They are usually served with sweet chili sauce but I prefer garlic mayonnaise which was fantastic.
My mother ordered the house chicken curry which to be honest just tasted like the tin of McDonald’s curry sauce so it wasn’t homemade but it still was tasty. Her only complaint was that it had coriander through it, which in my family is a big no-no because it’s quite fragrant and tastes like perfume and it’s an odd complaint I know, but we all can’t stand it! So after doing an autopsy on her dinner for a good 10 minutes picking out the coriander, she was finally able to enjoy the meal. It was served really nicely as you see below, with plenty of vegetables which we both love.
With a glass of wine and a glass of cider the total of the mean came to €34 which was decent enough. The staff were friendly and very laid back so the experience was very relaxing. We stayed for another half an hour even after finishing our meals and could go up to the bar to pay the bill.
Overall Moycarn Lodge is definitely a place I’ll go back to for food. You would get more of the fine dining experience after 6pm I would say but for what we got I was very pleased. The only drawback was the inability to swap fried for wedges for free but despite this I still enjoyed my meal. I would definitely recommend it to those interested in a laid back venue with beautiful scenery and a friendly family atmosphere.
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The Busiest Bee 🙂