Handily located on the N80, just across the road from Stradbally Estate (home of the Electric Picnic and Annual Steam Rally), Chris Maguire's delightful daytime café and food hall is just what every hungry traveller hopes to happen on - delicious homemade and organic fare, served with charm by knowledgeable staff, in appealing and unusual contemporary surroundings.
A lovely bright square room with large front windows, it’s a street level unit in a new apartment complex, with plenty of on-street parking.
Colourful food-related artwork enhances the spacious, modern eating area – and the stylish décor includes some unusual contemporary chairs by artist Franz Caffrey, who uses fallen trees gathered in the midlands. All of which sets the tone for a very pleasant café indeed.
The menu is not over-extensive or over-ambitious – the emphasis here is on tasty, simple food and value for money, and they are proud to promote local produce, including organic beef and lamb from the family farm, Coolanowle, in Co Carlow (see entry).
Quality ingredients lift casual bites like a toasted chicken sandwich (€6.25) or a vegetarian option of roasted vegetable tart with home fries (€7.50) out of the ordinary.
Everything is fresh (you can see your food being prepared at the counter) and desserts, such as a yummy pavlova roulade (€2.70), are all homemade in their own kitchen each morning, along with the freshly-baked breads.
Finish with a well-made cappuccino (€2.70), perhaps - drinks available include wines, Italian coffee and a wide selection of teas along with freshly squeezed fruit juices and smoothies.
Top notch fresh and dried goods are also available to take away in the Foodhall – and the Maguires also have a catering company, Organic Fayre/The Food Fayre, which you will find at a wide variety of events around the country.
A good find.