Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON VISITING IRELAND & THE BROWN HOUND BAKERY IN DROGHEDA, COUNTY LOUTH

Growing up in a small town like Drogheda, I always wanted to get out of it. There’s nothing really that bad about it (I have to say as I get older I appreciate the charm of the town more and more) but I wanted to move to the big smoke and live among the beautiful shops and people (yes my life does sound slightly similar to that of Simon Doonan in BBC’s Beautiful People)and heading back to Drogheda for my Christmas trip home, there was one place I was dying to visit, a place that I wish had of been there when I was a growing up.
A few years back I had the pleasure of working with Jeni Glasgow and Reuven Diaz, who are the owners of the Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill. This is a Drogheda institution which has been around for several years now and over the last year and a bit they have opened up the Brown Hound Bakery just a stone’s throw away. One of the things that guests at the Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill have loved from day one is the complimentary loaf of bread you get after you order your meal.  Freshly baked each day, its topped with salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds and the loaf always goes down a treat with diners. So it was no surprise when Jeni and Reuven decided to open a bakery nearby.

The Brown Hound Bakery really is a great addition to the Eastern Seaboard family, the selection of cakes, biscuits, cookies and breads at the Brown Hound are exceptional. The Boston Cream Pie is not really a pie but a delicious citrus cake layered with velvety vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. The Mr. James Carrot & Olive Oil cake is made from freshly grated carrot, sultanas, olive oil, cinnamon topped with a cream cheese frosting. And with it having been Christmas and all at the time of being there, the apple and cranberry crumble pie was a festive version of their signature apple crumble pie, bejeweled with tart sweet cranberries. The perfect festive desert. Throughout my numerous visits to the bakery, I tried some of the various biscuits (the American cousin to the Irish scone). Buttermilk, parmesan cheese and fruity were just a few of the choices available, however my personal favorite was the apple monkey. A crisp biscuit with a soft apple-y filling. Perfect with a cup of their Greenbean coffee.
No matter where I went I could not escape these delicious treats. Even when I would make the decision to avoid the place (and believe me I thought I would need a second seat for the flight home the way I was eating throughout the holiday) I could not get away from all things Brown Hound. For example, one night I was invited to dinner at the home of my best friend Eimear and low and below at the end of the night two boxes of Brown Hound treats where brought out.  Biscuits, cupcakes and chocolate chip banana bread filled the boxes. I wept with joy and absolute horror as I could feel the waist of my jeans getting tighter and tighter as the days went by. Banana bread...It’s my absolute favorite and with the addition of chocolate chips...I could die.

I must add I was very lucky to get a lovely box of treats from Jeni, on the day I was travelling back to Melbourne. Packed away in a beautiful box was a selection of pecan caramel bars and the famous scout bar which is made up of a shortbread biscuit base, a layer of caramel which is topped with crushed pistachios and topped with shredded coconut. Whilst everyone was nibbling on bags of nuts and pretzels on the plane, I was high in the sky with gems from the Emerald Isle. Thank again Jeni. I think I put on a stone over the holidays thanks to all them trips to the bakery.  

 The Brown Hound is amazing and if by any chance you are passing through or heading to Drogheda anytime soon, you really need to hit this place. Another amazing triumph for the Eastern Seaboard family.

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