April 17, 2012
Last Saturday I finally took the trip out to Dalkey Select Stores. I’ve been meaning to do it for aaaaages but something always came up which left me wondering just what does go on down in Dalkey in the famous Select Stores?... So last Saturday I was happily educated with the answer! Select Stores is like a Health Food Shop but is more Food than Supplement... And as all we Food Allergic and Food Intolerant know, where there are ‘healthy’, 'alternative' foods there are sure to be Free From Allergy Friendly products to try! Dalkey Select Stores have a juice bar, a salad bar and savouries (courtesy of Blazing Salads), teas, some warm foods and a few tables amid the piled high shelves and massive windows which come together to make a really comfortable and positive ‘wholefood’ feel. Afterwards I was daydreaming about having my morning porridge in Select Stores, looking out into the waking village (the powerful nut filled porridge comes highly recommended by staff!).
What makes Dalkey Select Stores different and worth the trek, is that rather than being a ‘health food store’ they give me the impression of being more of a ‘lifestyle’ store. Sure, they have a few supplements in stock such as Higher Nature and Patrick Holford but they also have a very large Fruit & Veg section. People really gather in and happily chat away while sipping their smoothies (I got the Miller Mix-up Super Smoothie which I’ll tell you about later!) and munching on their salads and savouries.
The shelves are made for browsing and rambling. Every corner contains something new and even though each section is not extensive, ie: I didn’t see Gluten Free Pizza Bases, but I did see a cross reference of Gluten Free and Spelt based pastas such as Doves Spiral Brown Rice pasta, Brown Rice Udon noodles and Spelt Spinach Tagliatelle. Tucked away in one corner were Health related books, another corner housed a healthy stock of Eco cleaners and up the front was a small natural cosmetics section containing brands such as Trilogy, Faith in Nature, Dr. Haushka, Burts Bees, Green People and Weleda. There were food brands and flavours that I'm yet to elsewhere in Dublin yet like Stevia Sugar Substitute sold by the jar and Ecomil Sesame Milk! There was even a little tasting table set out on the day we arrived with cheeses, bread, crackers and chorizo for sampling different oils and pestos. Of course I couldn’t try any but it all added to the overall happy, content vibe.
Top of the Pops was the cake table up front with Gluten Free Foodie and The Gluten Free Bakery goods (many of which are Dairy Free+ and otherwise Food Allergy Friendly). And of course the Smoothie Bar was a big hit too (see the Juice/Smoothies menu. Note: Many of the smoothies contain yoghurt which can easily be omitted but beware before ordering or accepting any taste testers - I had to abandon the taste tester which was offered to us filled with something pineapple and smelling amazing due to yoghurt ingredients. I was recommended to try the Miller Mix-Up Super Smoothie which sounded horrific but was actually quite tasty, albeit very green.
The Miller Mix-up contains:
Like I said, it doesn’t read well and if it hadn’t been recommended I NEVER would’ve ventured that direction but it was surprisingly better than expected and a massive size for it’s €5 price tag.
I would definitely recommend Dalkey Select Stores to locals, to day-trippers from the city looking for a resting spot and anybody looking for some unlikely or off the beaten track Allergy Free food products that you won’t find everywhere like the Curry Sauce Co. 9 which I’ll review next!), Jarred Clams, Cottage Cookies Ltd and Gertie’s squares/bars all of which I can’t vouch for other than their newness to the market! Obviously Select Stores isn’t bursting at the seems with Free From foods but there is a nice selection and you are bound to find something you haven’t tried yet.
The only downfall I could say, and it’s a very noteworthy, and somewhat serious one, is that the ingredients listings on the muffins and squares at the smoothie counter can’t be trusted. I almost bought the most amazing looking Spelt muffin only to find out that the ingredients taped to the cover were not what was inside... So do remember to ask the staff to confirm the ingredients before purchasing and eating!!! Other than that F. wanted me to mention that the aisles and definitely not buggy/pram-friendly being very narrow and twisty... which we noticed as we sipped our massive smoothies and watched a family of 5 maneuver themselves through the shelves and tables...
Have you been to Dalkey Select Stores? What do you think? What is your favourite smoothie!?
Dalkey Select Stores
1 Railway Road
Dalkey, Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 285 9611
opening Times: Mon - Fri 07:30 -18:30; Sat 08:00 - 18:00; Sun 10:00 - 17:00; closed Bank holidays. Juice bar closes 1hour before closing