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Oct 19, 2012 11:40 AM

Doolin's Irish Pub-Durham, NC

I am going to try and be a better Chowhound and post more often so here is a report on today's outing.

Had a great lunch today at Doolin's Irish Pub on Shannon Road. (Same building as G2B Gastropub).

I like the look and feel of the place and really enjoyed the Irish music playing in the background.

Husband and I shared the Shepherd's Pie ($12). Menu description--"Traditional Irish baked dish overflowing with creamy potatoes, veggies and seasoned beef." The best rendition I can remember having. Nicely seasoned. Good flavor. We both loved it. It was a contest to see who could eat faster to get more than their fair share. Even though one should have been enough for us (it was a generous portion), I wish we had each gotten one- leftovers would be welcome. I wouldn't have minded having a side of something like pickled cabbage or beets for a little contrast but that is a minor quibble.

We never order dessert at lunch but couldn't resist the special which was sticky toffee pudding. So good--hot pudding with lots of cream and caramel. Light and not over sweet. The kind of dessert if you weren't out in public you'd lick the plate clean.

I look forward to trying some of the other Irish dishes listed on the menu.

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  1. I had no idea there was another restaurant in that building. And I really love sticky toffee pudding (the only time I get it here is when I make it myself, so this would be a real treat). Is this place new? Is it around the front of the building or what? How have I missed it?

    11 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      It is at the front of the building- I love it! I really enjoy their boxty, and the fish and chips is awesome. Very friendly staff, inviting atmosphere, and good kids menu for Lulu- check it out! I'm taking the family (in laws too!) tomorrow night.

      1. re: cburkhard

        My husband is out of town right now, but the moment I read this i emailed him with a sort of nudge nudge. Nice to hear a second very positive review.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Just wanted to let you know that the sticky toffee pudding is a special so not always available, but the waitress did say it is a frequent special. I've just got to get another helping of it. I will be interested to hear how it compares to a homemade version.

          1. re: Panski

            There is a great version of sticky toffee pudding on the Home Cooking board if you feel like trying it at home. I've made it myself a few times and love it. I think if you search Sticky toffee pudding and roxlet on that board you'll find it.

            [edit: found my copy of Roxlet's recipe: STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

            For the cake
8 ounces (225g/generous 1 cup) chopped dates

            ½ pint (300ml/1¼ cups) brewed tea

            4 ozs. (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter

            6 ozs. (170g/scant 1 cup) castor (superfine) sugar

            3 eggs

            8 ozs. (225g/scant 1½ cups) self-rising flour

            1 rounded teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)

            1 teaspoon vanilla essence

            1 teaspoon Espresso coffee or 2-3 teaspoons instant espresso
            Hot toffee sauce

            4 ozs. (100g/1 stick) butter

            6 ozs. (170g/3/4 cup) dark brown sugar

            4 ozs. (110g/generous ½ cup) granulated sugar

            10 ozs (285g/3/4 cup) golden syrup

            8 fl. ozs. (225 ml/1 cup) heavy cream

            ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

            8-inch (20.5cm) spring form tin with removable base.
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
            Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Brush the cake tin with oil, flour, then put oiled parchment on the base.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the sifted flour. Add the baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee to the date tea and stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 1-1½ hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cream and vanilla. Put back on the heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
To serve, pour some hot sauce around the cake and pour some additional sauce over the top. Put the remainder in a sauceboat, and serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.]

            And thanks for the info that it isn't always available. Better to be ready for that than to be disappointed. I also really love banoffee pie, a British dessert you don't often see here. Did that happen to be on the menu?

            1. re: LulusMom

              Hey, thanks for the recipe. I think we have dessert for this Christmas. The family always try to do something different.

              No to banoffee pie. I wonder if we could suggest it. There are only 4 desserts on the regular menu and they are pretty standard (Bailey's Brownie for example) though the warm apple crumble might call my name sometime soon.

              And, just as another heads up I did order the fish sandwich on our first trip and wasn't thrilled. Of course, having just come off a cruise and feeling slightly porkish, I skipped the bread and had a side of broccoli instead of fries, so what did I expect? Still, in the future I am going to stick with the traditional Irish dishes. I imagine beef tips with Irish whiskey will be next on our list.

              1. re: Panski

                You're very welcome (and thanks must go to Roxlet). We had it for our Christmas dinner last year and it was a huge hit. I'll be sure to ask about banoffee pie. I'd love to find one around here.

                Will very much keep your comments about the Irish food in mind when eating there, although I sure would love to find a good fish and chips.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Ditto on the fish and chips. Cburkhard said the fish and chips were "awesome" so maybe I just got the fish on an off day.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    I think I'll make a banoffee pie in the near future.

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Do you have a reliable recipe? I have one or two lying around but haven't tried them yet. I love the stuff!

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          Oh, it is so good and so decadent. If you try one of those recipes please let me know how it turns out.