Mulberrys is the name of the restaurant in the very beautiful Arboretum Garden Centre. The garden centre has consistently been voted the No 1 centre in Ireland, but I will deal with that in another tip.
Mulberrys is situated in a big warehouse-type of building, but that's where the comparison to warehouse ends. The restaurant is warm, bright, and friendly. There are plenty of tables set well apart and the high ceilings give a real feeling of space. There are large glass panels in the ceilings, too, letting in plenty of light. A series of continuous glass sliding doors occupies one entire wall and these open out into a covered area open to the garden centre itself.
The food is self service and there's a vast variety to choose from. There's an open salad bar with cold meats, quiches, and other baked cold dishes which can be heated at your request. In addition there's a variety of hot meals which are served from 12 noon to 3pm. You can mix and match to your hearts content.
The desserts are to die for and are set out on open display in chilled glass cabinets.
As you approach the cash desk you will come to the home made cakes and pastries. be prepared to loosen your blt. No matter how strict your diet you will not get past these!
Prices are very reasonable indeed and you can expect to pay around ten euro for a main course with all the trimmings, 2.50 for a large chunky slice of gateau etc.
Favorite Dish: All of the food, cakes, pastries, desserts etc here are home made. All are mouth wateringly delicious.
I highly recommend a slice of one of the home made gateaux together with a creamy latte. Last weekend I had pear and almond and I can still taste the amaretto that laced the topping!
Our relatives from Carlow picked Joe's for a family dinner for three [hungry] generations: kids, parents, grandmother.
The decor is slick and modern, with a Chinese touch. The center of each table is a turntable, with all the tasty dishes rotating and accessible to all. My beef Szechuan was delicious, and so were all the other dishes we ordered.
The service was good, although they didn't even try to suggest chopsticks to us, just gave us cutlery as a matter of fact.
As a local, I have to say that Pompei is by far the best restaurant in Carlow. Staff are friendly and attentive (without being pushy) and the atmosphere is light, airy and relaxed.
There is a real sense of a "real Italian restaurant" here: a large number of the staff are the owner's own family, Italian music plays in the background, there are loads of columns, stone reliefs and palms scattered throughout the restaurant. The restaurant is located overlooking the River Barrow (the town's main river) and beyond is the Town Park (which can be dangerous at night, just so you know!). In the evening times, the view is superbe, with the sun dancing on the water and swans crowding along the far shore.
The food here is rather decadent, with ample abouts of cream and cheese used (though not to excess). Mario, the owner, tells me that they only use natural ingredients - no bullion or MSG - so the food is of the highest quality.
Prices are slightly below average, with a good Early Bird menu between 5-7 (I think). Prices on the early bird are €15 for a starter and a pasta/pizza main or €20 for a starter and meat/fish main. Desserts are pricey - about €6-7. Coffee about €3 for a cappuccino (average price), which use wonderful coffee!
Favorite Dish: For starters, the Caesar Salad or prawn cocktail are good choices.
My favourite main dish would have to be the house special - Fusili Mario. It is a pasta dish with salmon, coated in a decadent cream sauce cooked with onions and vodka. Sounds like an odd combination, but it really works.
For dessert, the banoffi is a must. For those who don't know, banoffi is a biscuit base with banana and toffee covering, topped with cream. Sounds odd, but is a fabulous combination of flavours. Plus it's home made!
For those of you who are fond of coffee, have one here. Mario imports it directly from Italy, and I have to say, it is the best coffee I've ever tasted.
Dinn Ri is a huge complex in the town centre consisting of bar, restaurant, disco bar, nightclub and live venue. The Dinn Ri pub itself is set on different levels and there are lots of comfy seats. Although the menu isn't huge you should find something you like, food is inexpensive and you get big portions. I recommend this place if you are in town for the day and need to relax for a while. They also do great cocktails!
Favorite Dish: Chicken breast with pepper sauce and garlic potatoes. The "chicken special" toasted sandwiches are really nice too.
Athy Road, Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland
Good for: Families
Portlaoise Road, Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Dublin Street, Carlow, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families