Limerick Irish Eatery (Quechee, Vermont)

(Update: Sometime in 2013, Limerick closed up shop)

The lousy winter continues here, so we again ended up heading north on Sunday, this time to the Trapp Family Lodge. Which again meant get breakfast on the way. We were a little later getting started, so instead of a repeat visit to Coffee Corner, we decided to check out a place that’s been on my hit list for a while: Limerick Irish Eatery. We figured we’d give them a try.

Limerick Irish Eatery opened up in Quechee, Vermont, in the space vacated by the closing of Maple Grove Bakery about a year ago. They’ve set the place up so that it both serves as a coffee bar for the takeout crowd, and having table service for those seeking a full meal. Menu-wise, the primary theme is “Irish Comfort Food”, with a menu focusing on Irish breakfast fare, sausages, meatloafs, and the like. And hey, they even have Guinness on tap.

Somewhat refreshingly, they’ve done a nice job of keeping the decor mild. I rather like a lot of Irish food and drink, and it’s nice that a place doesn’t feel like they need to cover every surface in either green, shamrocks, celtic knots, or leprechauns (or, as seems to be the case, all of these at once). The place is tastefully decorated and provides a fairly homey atmosphere.

However, we were here for breakfast, so after a quick review of the menu, we both decided to take the plunge and get the full Irish Breakfast. First of all, like the traditional full Irish breakfast most anywhere, this is a substantial breakfast. The version Limerick serves up features two eggs, two Irish-style bacon rashers, two sausage links, several chunks of white pudding, several chunks of black pudding, a few sliced of tomato, some fried mushrooms, Irish breakfast potatoes, and a substantial chunk Irish Soda bread. It’s definitely one of those “Well, we’re skipping lunch—and possibly dinner” sorts of meals, and it’s rather a lot of food just kind of jumbled on the plate.

But I’ll have to say I’m impressed with the meat products. The bacon was two substantial rashers of Irish style bacon (back bacon, like I’m used to from my various UK and Ireland trip), nicely fried up with just a bit of sear on them, so it’s good to see that they’ve got a good supplier for this (and I need to go bug Charles over at Umpleby’s Bakery to find some back bacon like this so that he can have Bacon Butties on his new hot breakfast menu). More importantly, the breakfast had both black pudding, and it’s related cousin white pudding, which was a pleasant surprise, since both of these are fairly rare in the US breakfast world (indeed, I’m sure the average American thinks from the name that black and white pudding is some sort of dessert dish). Both were rather flavorful, sliced up and seared nicely. I’ve missed my black pudding from my UK trips (and the related dish from Spain, morcilla), so it’s good to know where I can find some around here. The sausages were your basic breakfast sausages, albeit nicely fried up. And the mushrooms added a nice savory note to the dish. So, aside from most likely having several days’ worth of fat and sodium intake, this is quite a fine breakfast. About the only thing I thought I was missing was a bottle of brown sauce (I’ll admit it, I have a brown sauce addiction).

For the rest of the meal, however, I was a little bit disappointed. The Irish breakfast potatoes were basically just some parboiled and very lightly fried potatoes, bordering on undercooked, and really lacking some flavor. A little more frying and these would probably have been quite good, but served as ther were? They were just kinda there. The eggs were good, but nothing special. And the soda bread, while being decent enough (I’ve had some truly miserable soda bread served to me in the US, usually accompanying some sort of “Saint Patrick’s Day” special), was a lot more sweet than I’m accustomed to.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of potential at Limerick, and I rather enjoyed the meal as a whole. But I think a few upgrades could turn a “good” breakfast into a “great” one.

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