April 4, 2012

When it comes to Food Allergies ‘The Pig’s Tale’ is on the Pig’s Back

During the good weather (which is now like a dream as snow is threatened for the wicklow mountains and hail pelts down on me as I run for my lunch in the city) my father and I took a drive out to Wexford. We took a beautiful walk along the beach in Courtown as the surf was coming in and then went looking for a suitable feeding venue. As chance would have it we randomly decided to drive into Gorey and fell upon ‘The Pigs Tale’. It’s unassuming on the outside and didn’t lead me to believe in any way that they would cater specifically for Food Allergies but we decided to go in anyway, as it was Sunday and looked relatively modern.

Much to my surprise, as I opened my menu, I saw a host of clearly marked Gluten Free options (17 in total, including all 3 of the pork specialities)! And as I scanned the menu I spotted on the last page, a large statement claiming that they cater to Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Dairy Free diets if diners would ‘please inform [their] server if [they] have any dietary requirements’. At this point I knew that I had gotten very lucky.

The Dairy Free options were not marked out but the waiter seemed fully knowledgable and easily directed me to my choices with some customisation. The Vegetarian selection, however was quite slim with a very ‘run of the mill’ selection of one soup, one bruchetta with salad and a pasta dish. I would say that all three of these options might be Vegan adaptable (I would recommend calling ahead to confirm this) but I did feel that it didn't really qualify as ‘catering to Vegetarian diets’ which are quite common place these days.

My father, who is a famous steak eater got the Gluten Free Flame Grilled 10oz Irish Sirloin Steak which is 28 day dry aged and is served with a Flat Mushroom topped with red Onion Marmalade, homemade thick hand cut chips and with a choice of Peppercorn sauce or Garlic Butter and I got the Homemade Garlic & Basil Tempura Fish of the Day served with handcut chips, grilled Lemon customised to be Dairy Free which involved a simple switch from the the Mint Puree which contained Dairy, to a side salad. Both looked great and tasted quite nice in a traditional modern Irish/Mediterranean cuisine style.

The overall Food Allergy Free highlights for me was one, to see that outside of having dedicated Gluten Free options that menu items such as the Cannellini Bean, Tomato & Red Onion Bruchetta and the Mussels, lightly steamed in Garlic & Bacon both had the option of Gluten Free ciabatta instead of just omitting the problem item and leaving a lacking dish. The other highlight was that The Pig’s Tale are dedicated to locally sourced food - All of their suppliers are named on the menu with everything being sourced within Ireland, sometimes as local as fish from Gorey and meat from Enniscorthy.

The downfall, other than the slim Vegetarian pickings, was that the restaurant, which is seemingly new lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, which I feel is often the case with modern Irish interiors and on a Food Allergy level that the lunch menu is not as Free From Friendly with only two salads labelled as Gluten Free. But all in all we had a lovely meal, the staff were completely accepting of our dietary needs and were happily and easily able to direct us to suitable choices and in general, how much more luck can I ask for? - randomly driving into a town and picking a restaurant based on it’s door sign and fall upon an Allergy Friendly environment, completely willing to adapt and cater to our needs?!

The Pig’s Tale
95 Main Street
Co. Wexford
tel: 053 948 4440
web: www.thepigstale.ie
Opening Times: Sun - Thurs: 12:30 - 15:30 & 17:00 - 21:00; Fri - Sat 12:30 - 15:30 & 17:00 - 22:00

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