Last Tuesday I arose as usual at 8am. The thought of a bowl of oaty gruel filled me with revulsion. I had a brainwave. Now that I’m living in Limerick City Centre, I really ought to get to know the neighbourhood. As I haven’t been back long enough to make friends yet, evening outings are limited to the cinema where solitary attendance is routine. There’s no reason why solitary dining for breakfast should be an issue. I brushed my teeth and with my stylish manbag over my shoulder I wandered over to Caffe Waffe on Mallow Street. This is a café that has been around for years but as it’s only open from Monday to Friday, I’d never had a chance to sample its wares on my occasional weekend trips home. There was a large crowd present at 8.15 – mainly in a queue for coffee. I was dining in however. I briefly contemplated some scrambled eggs but decided instead on a bowl of porridge and a cappuccino. Despite how busy it was, service was prompt. A good, strong, warm coffee and big, tasty bowl of porridge topped with a generous helping of blueberries and strawberries, with a little tub of honey for people who like their porridge sweet. The honey remained unopened in my case. The porridge cost a fiver and the coffee €3.50 for a reasonable total of €8,50.
I skipped out of the café and decided I needed anther coffee before making my way home to start my day of corporate toil., Into Rift Larder (also on Mallow Street) I went at 8.45am where I ordered and paid for my coffee. Rift’s is a deli selling cheese, wine, coffee and other goodies. Plus it is a café. You pay at one counter and then go to the room next door to collect your order. It wasn’t as busy as Café Waffe and had more staff on duty yet service was at a snail’s pace. It took twenty minutes for my takeaway coffee to be ready, which seemed excessive. At 8.45am on a weekday the majority of customers are on their way to work, I would wager. A bit more focus and urgency would seem advisable. I started work five minutes late at 9.05 because of the lengthy wait for the caffeinated beverage.
The following morning I decided to repeat Tuesday’s breakfast excursion. The staff at Caffe Waffe seemed to remember me and were equally efficient and pleasant. Rift’s Larder was not quite as slow as the previous morning, but was still a bit too leisurely for that time of day. It’s a shame as the coffee there is tasty, it’s just that fifteen minutes for a takeaway coffee at rush hour is too long.
Today I am in Limerick again having caught the train from Dublin yesterday evening accompanied by another suitcase jammed full of my life. This morning I again contemplated a bowl of Dunne’s best, shuddered and made my way outdoors at 8.15am. This morning I would be trying Café Rosé on Roches Street. Again I ordered a porridge and cappuccino. The service was quick and the staff friendly. The cappuccino was weaker than in Caffe Waffe. The porridge was topped with sliced strawberries, almond slices and frothy milk. If that had been how it remained it would have been perfect. They had added honey to the bowl already however. This is just a personal preference, but I do not like honey on porridge. It is sweet and sickly to my tongue. I consumed the contents. I must try again later this week, when I will ask for the same food without the honey. The porridge and coffee were eight euros – marginally cheaper than Caffe Waffe. I would argue that currently Caffe Waffe has the edge for my palette. I called into Fika Café on Catherine Street at 8.45 for my pre-work takeaway cappuccino. A very tasty East Timor blend that cost a pricy four euros but was ready in less than five minutes, served with speed by the sole employee working there that morning.
Until I find an acceptable brand of homemade porridge, I think I may be trying a few more breakfasteriees in the coming weeks.