the ucc campus has an art gallery, which tells you how lucky we are. and the gallery has a café, which shows you that we’re not only lucky, but ridiculously fortunate. it’s called fresco, and during the beginning of the study abroad program we had a brunch there. i went back for my first solo dining experience there.
the glug: any espresso drink you can imagine. apparently nutella lattes are also a specialty of theirs.
the grub: a small but generous bistro menu, with fine salads and grain dishes and sandwiches.
the service: one can order at the counter for takeaway, or sit down and order from the table. i was confused at first and asked if i could order at the counter but dine-in, partly because i was a little embarrassed to wait at a table as a solo diner. but the servers were perfectly friendly and flexible.
the sounds: there seemed to be a pretty good playlist of alternative/indie playing in the background, but i couldn’t hear it too well over the sounds of the kitchen.
the aesthetic: open airy space, a glass wall/sliding door to an (admittedly dreary [because come on this is ireland]) veranda letting in plenty of light, brushed steel tables
the vessels: white daintily simple ceramics
the baristas: many seem to be italian, at least not irish. this has resulted in some failures in communication but nothing serious. they are kind and attentive; when i sat across from the open sliding door the barista i ordered from made sure both i and the customers outside were in a comfortable temperature.
the clientele: a mix of students popping in for takeaway coffee (a few occasionally staying longer for chats) and people who appear to be campus visitors, maybe visiting the museum as well.
accept card: yes i think so
the weaknesses: the real sit-down dishes are very expensive. if you don’t like overhearing the kitchen, you won’t like dining here. usac had a brunch for us where are options were either pancakes (crêpes) or french toast, and people didn’t seem too pleased with either. my personal peeve was that the chocolate sauce on the crêpes was thin and milky.
strengths: cheap takeaway for anything except a nutella latte. good baristas who really seem like they know what they’re doing. a generous hunk of brown bread with your soup. a glass of complimentary water with your food.
i could’ve sworn i took a picture of my pumpkin soup that i ordered here, but i can’t find it now. anyway, it was pretty good except for the odd tough chili skins in it.