The Guide has always had a soft spot for this pub on the seafront in the pretty village of Blackrock – which, although very close to Dundalk, is not at all suburban and retains the atmosphere of an independent community.
The Brake has a loyal local clientele and its smart frontage complete with colourful well-maintained window boxes entices new customers in.
Inside, it's all warmth and country charm - old pine and rural bric-à-brac, with open fires and friendly staff.
It’s a great place to stop just for a late afternoon cup of tea but, even better if you’re hungry, it has a well-deserved reputation for good bar meals, and not just the usual pub staples, but a very wide choice including proper home-made chicken kiev, and all kinds of seafood especially Dundalk Bay prawns.
There are plenty of meat dishes, too, especially steaks, and accompaniments are particularly good, all arranged buffet style, all for a moderate price. Beware of the unusual opening hours though this is a late afternoon into evening place.
The equally attractive Clermont Arms, a few doors along, is a sister establishment.