American hipsters, eat your heart out. Brother Hubbard in Dublin, Ireland has your foodie brunches beat with its local, homemade and quirky Mediterranean-influenced food that will make even the grumpiest, most ironic tourist or Dubliner cheer up and shut up about that band that you’ve probably never heard of.
While I’m lucky to call Dublin a second home, and have friends and family there to show me around and make sure I’m not committing any Dublin faux pas (even though I willingly do, from time to time – I am a tourist, after all), the funny thing about this place is that half the Dubliners I know that I mention it to have never heard of it. That’s like hipster GOLD!
Anyway, my good friend Eoin and his lovely friend Claire took me and Luke here during our New Year’s Week jaunt to the Emerald Isle after I requested something delicious for brunch. My prayers were answered. Situated just on the north side of the Liffey on Capel Street (which, just in case you want to know, is pronounced “CAY-pull” and does not rhyme with “chapel” with no “h”…just FYI), this little local gem and its even littler coffee bar next door crams in as many patrons as can fit, while a line (queue) of folks wait outside for their name to be called.
Pro-Tip #1: Show up early or be prepared to wait.
We gave our name and waited only about 15 minutes for our table of four. However, it was on the back patio (which was adorable, by the way – covered and filled with a few picnic tables and some space heaters). The space heaters kept shutting off (circuit kept blowing whenever they used certain machines in the kitchen), but we just wrapped ourselves up and soldiered on.
Luckily, after the wait is over and if you’re a bit chilly, you can order some of the most delicious coffee in Dublin. Like, real coffee. Not espresso, and not instant coffee. DRIP COFFEE. Cue the chorus of angels! It comes with its own adorable little caddy of (bonus points!) raw sugar.
Pro-Tip #2: Get the Large Carafe of filter coffee and share with a friend. Or just drink it all yourself, because you are so, so hungover.
You even get a lesson on where your coffee came from. And tasting notes. Because, some people like that kind of thing. I think it was neat, but I want tasting notes for one thing only: Alcohol. Specifically, wine, beer, and the occasional scotch (I am NOT a scotch drinker….wish I could be!).
Speaking of hangovers, the water here is not just plain water which makes it actually quite delicious to drink – lemon wedges and mint infused ours with a lovely essence and made the substance that I normally despise drinking much more palatable.
Pro-Tip #3: Picky Eaters will probably only want the semolina pancakes.
AND THAT’S OKAY.
everything here is spiced, and foreign, and lovely. YOU? You want the pulled pork and beans.
The cheeky menu celebrates the house-made cannellini beans (think Heinz canned beans, but then imagine that someone like Eric Ripert made them for you, instead, and took out the sugar just leaving the delicious, fragrant, tomato-based sauce), as well as the stand-out Pulled Pork Sandwich (voted Best Sandwich in Dublin!) and Mediterranean ingredients like hummus, lemony yogurt, sumac, and olives.
Our party divided and conquered the menu. Eoin decided on the aptly-titled Breakfast of Champignons (see what they did there?), a mushroom-based brunch dish with toast, eggs and a bleu cheese sauce; I had the Br. Hubbard Beans and Pulled Pork Special and asked for a ramekin of the lemon yogurt on the side – I wanted to try it so bad, I made it work. It definitely worked. It was the beans, pulled pork (huge portion!), poached eggs, sumac and za’atar sprinkled on top with a side of delicious sourdough toast.
Claire opted for the Br. Hubbard Beans Classic (sans pork) and Luke went for the…wait for it!…Croque Madame. I take no responsibility for his poor decision. When confronted with delicious Med cuisine and you pick the safe choice, I am saddened.
We all really enjoyed our food, so I guess that’s the point, right? It was delicious. And we also enjoyed the perfect-sized portions, which was good, because this place’s baked goods are out of this world.
The takeaway? Save room for a sweet ending with a Scone with Orange Blossom Butter. Oh my God. Delicious Irish butter as a base and then you add orange blossom preserves to it, and mix it up for me and then give it to me to cover my delicious scone? I love you, Brother Hubbard.
How To Find Brother Hubbard
153 Capel St, Dublin 1
Phone: 01-441 11 12
Hours: Mon. – Fri. , 8am – 5.30pm, Sat. – Sun. 10am – 5pm
Have you been to Brother Hubbard? Share your story here in the comments!