The Pantry Portlaoise
The Pantry Portlaoise – Café and Walled Garden is no stranger to receiving appreciation. Over the years they’ve featured in local and national press as a place to visit. And because of their commitment to local Irish produce, they were the first café in Laois to be certified onto ‘The Laois TASTE Producers Provenance Scheme’, a scheme that certifies both food producers and the service and retail sectors that sell Laois made produce.
From jams and preserves by ‘G’s Gourmet Jams’ to organic oats from ‘The Merry Mill’, it isn’t just Laois produce The Pantry Portlaoise support, as they brew Dublin roasted coffee by 3FE, and Donegal roasted coffee by New Kid Coffee. They use milks and creams from The Village Dairy, Carlow, and cheeses from Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese, just to name a few.
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Open from Tuesday through to Saturday from 8.30am to 5pm, The Pantry Portlaoise can be found at 13 Market Square, a short stroll from its sister; the gorgeous and award-winning Nook & Cranny Gift Store.
Serving from morning through to late afternoon there’s the option to breakfast, lunch, brunch or enjoy a light dinner here. And their two menus, Breakfast and Lunch, give options that range from organic porridge to homemade chilli. And let us not forget the delicious sweet treats you’ll find hard to pass by, even on your way out the door as you pass the deli counter – sure you could always get it to go!
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The Pantry Portlaoise – Café and Walled Garden
My most recent visit was with a friend on a fresh bright Autumn morning. We dined outdoors in the walled garden, a lovely little spot nestled back behind the café, a little oasis of calm.
Walking through the indoor part of the café, we waited to be seated once outside. We had our choice of tables out in the open, as most diners opted for the under shade dining with its outdoor heating. A choice I’d be sure to pick on colder weather days.
On sunnier days the booths provide shade from the sun, and I’ve taken a mental note of these for when I’m back in Portlaoise and out and about with my littles and fancy dining outdoors – because booths are great when dining out with small children. They’re cosy, and safe and you can block the exit very easily from either side of the table with a cuddling arm, or elevated leg!
Not to sound cliché but sounding cliché because when I think of the service we received at The Pantry, the old phrase ‘service with a smile’ comes to mind. It was excellent, and just what you want and need from a good café – warm and friendly, informative and attentive.
My friend and I were there for a late breakfast, or as we are so used to calling it now; brunch. And so we ordered from the Breakfast Menu.
My friend ordered the ‘Pantry’s Egg Benedict‘ (€10.95) with poached free-range eggs, maple glazed back bacon, wilted spinach, Hollandaise sauce on English muffins. They were a delight to eyes and to the belly, or so I’m told. Fresh and tasty with perfectly poached eggs – which believe me isn’t a given, as I’ve been thoroughly disappointed of late with this dish at other establishments where my eggs have been hard boiled or the dish has been swimming in poached egg water.
My choice of blissful brunch naughtiness came in the form of the ‘Pantry’s French Toast‘ (€9.95) made with brioche, maple syrup, maple glazed back bacon and spiced pear compote. It was a feast for the eyes and the flavours of the maple bacon and syrup with the eggy brioche and spiced pear that gave me a nod to the wintery season ahead and made for a very happy dining experience.
Add to these the top-notch coffee and The Pantry Portlaoise left a very sweet taste indeed. We’ll be back for more!
For information on The Pantry Portlaoise Café & Walled Garden, to order online or to connect visit: thepantry.ie
Further Reading: The Queens Dalkey – Divine Dining in Dublin ‘Fit for a King’
PIN: Brunch at The Pantry Portlaoise – Dining Outdoors in Laois
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