The Butcher’s Board in The Eastern Seaboard, Drogheda. Ah. Maze. Ing.

Ever thought starting a food blog would turn out to be a great way to see a country? Nah. Me, neither. Turns out having a food blog, or even just an interest in food, can lead one on travels near and far, in search of the next delicious discovery for your taste buds.

I spent last Saturday in County Louth. You might be forgiven for thinking that Louth isn’t exactly the hub of deliciousness and food production in Ireland. I’m pretty sure I was of that opinion myself at one point.

But that was before I’d tasted Glebe Brethan cheese or Carlingford Oysters, or, indeed, had a chat with Catherine from The Runcible Spoon. Or walked through the doors of The Eastern Seaboard Bar and Grill in Drogheda.

Okay, so it’s still not the hub of food production in the country but it’s a sign of the wonderful things to be found – and consumed – in seemingly unlikely spots around Ireland. I know I’m having a ball finding these pockets of wondrous food scattered around, guided by the knowledge of my fellow Irish foodies and bloggers. I will never be a size 10 again. It’s a worthy sacrifice to make.

Clare from An American In Ireland had found a kind of culinary solace in The Eastern Seaboard in Drogheda upon moving to the town from LA. She called for a food blogger meet-up on Saturday, so that we would all get a chance to see the place for ourselves, as well as having a look around their newly opened Brown Hound Bakery and Mo’s To Go.

As it was the weekend of The Carlingford Oyster Festival, myself, Joanna Schaff and Aoife Spud thought we’d avail of Irish Rail’s €20 to anywhere return tickets and make the trek to Carlingford to shuck some oysters by lunchtime.

We were picked up in Dundalk by local cabbie Kevin, who drove us past The Dead Centre of town (the cemetery), saying how everyone was dying to get into it.

No sooner had we arrived in Carlingford were we grabbed for an interview with an Ulster radio station, enquiring as to whether it was the local oysters or men that had brought us all the way from Dublin. The answer was obvious and we broke away from the media as fast as we could in search of the festival oyster tent.

Joanna Schaff, myself and Aoife Spud in our 15 minutes of Louth fame

What we found was more of a festival gazebo than a tent, but it made no difference once we’d downed a few of the stunning freshly shucked by Kian Louet Feisser of The Carlingford Oyster Company.

Ah-mazing Carlingford Oysters

Sampling some Cooley Distillery Whiskeys

The festival gazebo was very handily placed next to the nearby Cooley Distillery’s stall, where we had a sup and a chat with the chairman and founder John Teeling about the history of his whiskey. Well, we supped and he chatted.

Lunch at PJ’s

After all that, we figured a light lunch might be in order. We scuttled into a packed PJ’s pub and had a few glasses of lovely Guinness, great chips and scrumptious calamari, served with some very disappointing oysters, I’m afraid. It’s hard to go from extremely fresh to fresh yesterday. We’re spoiled rotten. And so we should be.

It was time for us to hitch a lift back to Dundalk with Kevin, who had of course heard us on the radio. Having arrived as nobodies, we were leaving the area as local celebrities. What more could you ask after spending three hours in a place?

A quick 20 minute train ride later, we were in Drogheda and found ourselves wandering into the town in search of the highly recommended Trader’s coffee shop. A perfect latte and a delicious zingy lemon cake later, we were ready to meet the group of bloggers at The Eastern Seaboard Bar and Grill.

The Eastern Seaboard Bar and Grill was opened by Jeni and Rueven Diaz three years ago in a strip mall in a housing estate just outside Drogheda. Just last month they opened The Brown Hound Bakery and Mo’s To Go next door.

Our group of bloggers were shown around the bakery, all of us with our mouths open in wonderment at the perfect mix of chic kitsch and delicious cakes that surrounded us.

Just a snippet of the goods on offer at The Brown Hound Bakery

Mo’s To Go. The only chipper in Ireland where you can have oysters as you wait?

Mo’s To Go (named after Jeni’s mum, Mo) has got to be the only take-away in Ireland that you can order tabouleh as a side, a corn dog as a main, and slurp an oyster while you wait for your fish and chips. Incredible.

And what of the dinner at The Eastern Seaboard? Well. Let’s let the pictures do the talking, shall we? Below is a sample of what myself and the bloggers to my left and right were eating. I promise I didn’t eat everything below.

But I did have a taste everything. Obviously. Tis a blogger’s duty.

The Eastern Seaboard’s stunning bread, which is now sold in The Brown Hound bakery. 

Garlicky Crab Claws – €10

Butchers Board – €8.50

Crab Cakes – €7.90

With every main course, you get to choose two side dishes from a choice of twelve. A lovely idea which allows you to personalise your own meal. 

For my main, I went for one of the specials of the day, which was a beautiful Sea Trout. I chose the sides of tabouleh and garlicky zucchini. I forgot to take note of how much it was but it was around €18. 

Grilled Lamb Chops with apricot relish – €15.50

Coffee Jelly & Vanilla Ice-cream – €5.00

Little Pots of Warm Chocolate Heaven with citrus shortbread for dipping AMAZE – €5.50

Leaving The Eastern Seaboard, full and reeling from a delicious (and extremely reasonably priced) meal, I had the same feeling you get when you come out of the cinema. We had been taken away to another world once we walked through the restaurant’s door, so that leaving it and finding ourselves back in a housing estate in Drogheda felt surreal. And amazing. You could be anywhere.

And I’m sure Jeni and Rueven could be anywhere as well. But they’re not. They’ve chosen Drogheda and I think it’s awesome that there is a place captained by creative people like them, quietly taking over a strip mall near a commuter-town train station.

So make the trip down and see it for yourself. I’ll be back down as soon as possible, that’s for sure.

A big thanks to Clare for organising. And thanks to Aoife Daily Spud, Joanna Smorgasblog, Sharon and Bill Gunternation, Caryna from Caryna’s Cakes, Kuchennie and her friend Monica, Orla from Gracie Bakes, Kristin Dinner du Jour, Colette from Cakes Bakes And Other Bits and her daughter Grainne for the lovely company.

The Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill

1 Bryanstown Centre

Dublin Road


Co Louth