I first heard of this restaurant, not long after it opened, when I met a girl who waitressed there on a part-time basis. She told me that it was really popular especially at breakfast time at the weekends. She assured me the food was excellent. But, as I didn’t know her very well, I wasn’t sure what her definition of ‘good food’ amounted to. Also, using ‘café’ in naming the premises immediately conjures up ‘bad things’ like ‘the greasy spoon’ or ‘the caf’ in Eastenders. The sort of place from which I’d run a mile.
Anyway, Lennox Café made it into The Dubliner – 100 Best Restaurants and last Sunday I fancied a power breakfast before heading off on a road-trip. I phoned earlier in the week to find out how busy the place might be on a Sunday morning and was advised to come in before 11:30 if I didn’t want to wait for a table. As it happened we arrived at 10:00 on the dot. The bijou downstairs area was jammers with only one very poky table remaining. Luckily, there was an upstairs room and we were shown to a table up there. This was a bright, airy room done in a duck egg blue with one wall having a feature floral wallpaper. The dark floorboards looked like they were the original ones. The tables were dark timber and the fabric covered chairs gave you the sense that you were in somebody’s dining room. There was a great sense of history to the room assisted by the presence of a few old photographs of the premises taken over the years. It was once a dairy, then an antique shop and now a café.
We studied the menu and made our choices. I, bravely, opted for Huevos Rancheros (eggs poached) and hubby chose the French Toast (with bacon and maple syrup). We also ordered tea for two with the proviso for it to be brought with the meal and not beforehand. All of this was done by 10:10. It was just after 10:30 when our food arrived. We thought that this was a bit slow as most of the downstairs guests were already dining when we sat down. This was my first time ever to order Huevos Rancheros so I have no yardstick by which to measure it. I liked it but I thought the flat bread was a bit too chewy and a bit too scorched. The French toast was made from doorsteps and the maple syrup was served in a shot-glass purchased from that great Swedish store located just off the M50. The cups and saucers were purposefully mismatched china.
The place filled up rapidly and was full by the time we got our breakfast. We overheard people at the next table saying that there was now a queue forming outside. JM&J this is not Soviet Russia, why would you queue for food on a Sunday morning? The place was nice, the food was tasty but it was definitely not worth queuing for. Sure enough, when we left, there was about half a dozen people waiting outside for tables to become free.
We paid €22.00 (including tip) for our breakfast. It was fine, nothing more nothing less.