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Get Stuffed




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"Pour it three quarters full and let it settle. Then when you top it up, it shouldn’t have more than a finger width of head. Watch the bartender is not being sly with a 45 degree angle to get head either. There should be no bubbles." Presentation is key with this heavy brown nectar.

He also recommends to get used to the taste of Guinness, it’s essential to drink three in one sitting.

"The first to get the taste, the second to appreciate it and the third to help you stick around for a fourth," he quipped.

After my first, I see he’s not really joking. I’m hooked and would love nothing more than to stay all day propped at the bar chatting, but it’s only 11 a.m. and I have things to do.

Like move on to the menu, which is still maintained by Hungarian head chef Bela Krajnyak.

"He’s a great guy, very well established in this town so it’s wonderful to be able to keep him," said Cosgrove. Krajnyak likes to change the menu on a seasonal basis, to keep abreast of changes in culinary tastes, but still maintains the tried and true basics that walk out the door every day. That would be steak and Guinness pies, shepherds pies, Irish stews and fish & chips.

The start of spring signals the return of the Dubh Linn Gate’s two-for-one dinner deals. It’s an incentive that Cosgrove said works well for them.

"Every night we have a different offering and we pack them in, which is great. We don’t want to be just a tourists’ bar, we welcome the locals with open arms too.

"People perceive the Dubh Linn Gate to be an expensive place to drink beer, which I just don’t get," said Cosgrove, who whipped behind the bar again to prove his point. He puts two beer glasses on the bar and fills them with water. "We serve 20 ounce pints here as opposed to everywhere else that serves 16 or even 14 ounce sleeves. See the difference?"

I can.

"We fill our beers completely to the top too, there’s no cutting corners. We’re not in the business of ripping people off."

One thing I’ve always loved about Irish pubs is how welcome they make you feel and in the 20 minutes I’ve spent with Cosgrove and several of his staff, I’m almost sad to leave. I ask five-year Dubh Linn gate bartender, Chas, if he gets many people that come in for one and stay all day.

"Yeah all the time. When they first come in I’ll ask them if they want to run a tab and they say ‘no, we’re just here for one’. Next thing you know it’s 11:30, I’m finished and they’re still here. It’s great."