For various reasons, a small celebration was required and last night was the appointed time. The instigator decided we would go to L'Gueuleton. None of us had ever been there. It's on Fade St, so obviously I'd love to be able to say "shut up, that's awesome!" Sadly, it wasn't. In a move that always smacks of trumped up self-importance, L'Gueuleton doesn't do reservations. So we couldn't get a table for 3 people at 19:30 on a Wednesday. A bit of wandering ensued and we ended up at El Bahia, a Moroccan restaurant on Wicklow St. It's apparently the only Moroccan restaurant in Dublin too. They were able to seat us after a short wait in "The Tent". Shut up, that's awesome, you say, and I have to agree. Cushions, raffia mats, an actual tent fitted inside the room, replete with a beaded curtain entrance. I'm lucky enough to have been to real Morocco (as opposed to fake Morocco) and it felt like I was back there. The food was gorgeous, the waiter was gorgeous, the company was fantastic and a great time was had. We left about 23:00. It was very reasonably priced too.
The building that houses El Bahia is very close to my heart. Many many hours of my time in college were spent in its previous incarnation The Alpha, a much beloved greasy spoon run by Patricia. People may remember the awesome Jumbo breakfast (2 eggs, 2 sausages, 2 rashers, black and white pudding, fried potatoes, tea, toast and half a fried tomato, which I always gave to Taryn) for a fiver, which contributed in its own way to my waistline for much of the late 1990s/ early 2000s. The same guys who bought it from Patricia are still running El Bahia now. Initially they ran it as a going concern and then closed down to renovate and re-opened as it is now. That they still operate several years later is a testament to the quality of their food and service. Oooh, nostalgia was alive and well in Dublin City last night.