Galway: L&N, Please Forgive Me.

I’ll admit: I used Wikipedia for this post. But really, who doesn’t use that site — ohh wait, the mere fact that anyone (i.e. rapist, serial killer, 2-month-old child, mentally deranged unicorn) can add information to the site and say it’s legit scares you? 🙂

According to my on-again (but mostly off-again) boyfriend Wikipedia, Galway is Ireland’s 5th largest city and its fastest growing.

Galway - Ireland(source)

After thinking deeply about the fact that my on-again boyfriend Wikipedia is dishonest, unreliable, and, at times, totally sketchy, I’ve decided to move on…

…to a much more reliable man: i.e., We clicked right away! (Okay, visible nerdiness is ending now.)

GalwayOnline (I know — the name has my heart beating fast too!) has told me soooo much about itself, such as…

  • It’s situated on the west coast of Ireland, along the River Corrib
  • It was founded by Anglo-Norman settlers in the 12th century and today is often referred to as Ireland’s “Capital of the West.”
  • It’s regarded as a “cultural Mecca” of sorts, as it plays host to the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races, and the Oyster Festival (book your tickets now, ladies & gents!)
  • It’s one of the fastest growing cities in Europe
  • The city is home to nearly 13,000 students during the academic year (and probably many more who, like us, visit it during their holiday!)

Blah, blah, blah. Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy that little geography lesson! 🙂

1. The Chow.

I know…you guys are going to kill me, but we did the whole pb (&j) thing A LOT for lunches during this stretch of the tour as well. We were only here for 2 days (and one was a full day-trip to the Cliffs of Moher), so while I packed my breakfasts/lunches/snacks, I did enjoy one really delish meal out in Galway for dinner with the girls.

But first, I have to tell you about an awesome find at…where else (what, you thought I was rollin’ in cash?!), a Galway convenience store:

Whole Earth basil & oregano So Crispy Italian Herb bites — made from all natural ingredients, so you can be good to the whole earth and your body (new spokeswoman in the making, dare I say?).

These served as the perfect sidekick to my peanut butter sandwich (on brown Irish soda bread, natch). I love me a pb sandwich as much as the next stellarly awesome 20-year-old, but honestly, every day? (I don’t know how Layne does it!)

Crispy. Crunchy. Lightly seasoned. And low-calorie/full of good-for-me ingredients/good for the planet, to boot? And who says convenience stores have crap food? 🙂

Now…on to the actual din din that I ordered in Galway at Riordan’s, which specializes in Real Home Cooked Irish Food (as opposed to that plastic, Fisher Price stuff, obvi)…

I have to say, I am loving my adventurous attitude towards trying new things during this semester abroad, especially when it comes to food (remember the best pasta I ever ate?). Well, I didn’t just go with any old thing on Riordan’s menu — I went with none other than…

the Irish Smoked Salmon on Fresh Brown Soda Bread. (because my obsession with brown soda bread doesn’t die easily…I’m not gonna lie I was 78% enticed to this dish because of that component!)

I would love to see Layne‘s and Natalie‘s reaction to this photo right about now. Every Christmas, there is a platter of raw beef set out that the adults (plus my cousin Nolan) spread on fresh bread and top generously with red onions and salt & peppa. And every Christmas, we make fun of that dish and say it’s one thing we can rest assured we’ll stay away from. My aunt Marlene even topped hers with Chex Mix this year(!)

Well, my Irish smoked salmon has an uncanny resemblance (okay, besides the fact that one is beef and one is fish — no, I’m not pullin’ a J. Simps here) to the infamous Christmas Day raw beef. But let me tell you, this was so yummy! I had never tried smoked salmon before, and at first it was a little creepy how tender and raw-ish the fish actually was. But once I covered it in onions (because that just makes it all better, right?! Man, my breath must have been kickin’!) and added copious amounts of s&p, I slightly fell in love. Sorry, GalwayOnline.

Served alongside the salmon (which I ate open-faced style, with Irish brown soda bread) was coleslaw which, again, I’m generally not a fan of. at. all. (Sidenote: I’m still semi-bitter at my Mom for the times my family would order KFC back in the day. I’d beg and plead for KFC’s deliciously creamy mac & cheese (which today I realize is undoubtedly full of ultra-processed ingredients and probably doesn’t have a percentage of actual cheese in it), but it was to no avail. She always got the coleslaw. Ugh…it’s not like she made any sacrifices for me at all in life :)) Back to the coleslaw. Even though I ate it, Riordan’s coleslaw was much too mayonnaise-laden for my taste. I wouldn’t order this again, for the record.


2. Galway…through the photos.

This “slideshow” captures my 2-day venture into Galway: from our 9-5 trip to the Cliffs of Moher (absolutely, positively, never-ever-seen-anything-more, stunning) to my friend Alyssa’s “creative” breakfast. From walking along the harbor to strolling through the (slightly overrated) Spanish Arch…

We don't stay anywhere that's not classy.

banana rolled up hot-dog style on a p.b.'d slice of bread. Nbd.

3. Random tidbits of information 🙂

  • Hunter rain boots start out comfy. They really do. Months ago, I would say they were my most comfortable, wear-in-any-type-of-weather and all occasions standby pair of footwear. Even my fave blogger Julie of PBfingers loves ’em (she’s got the same ones!). After walking around for days and days (up hills, down hills, up “cliffs,” down “cliffs”), they are no longer comfy. At all. You couldn’t pay me to wear them again (for at least a week or two ;)). But I mustn’t dimish the true value of these babies. I still love ’em (they work for anything and are cute, to boot!), but maybe bring another pair of shoes in addition to these and a pair of moccasins on your next vacay.
  • Even people who hate the cold (I ask myself every day why I live in Wisconsin and study in Chicago) forget the fact that it’s farreeezzzinnngg when you’re faced with undescribable natural beauty…
  • My recent success with liking the new food(s) that I’ve tried is convincing me to keep trying new things! While I’m sure I’ll hit a few misses along the way, the successes will more than make up for them. And my taste buds will thank me for introducing them to something other than peanut butter, chickpeas, and bananas 🙂

*This blog title is short for: Layne & Natalie, please forgive me for injesting a substance that so strongly resembles Christmas Day raw beef…and liking it.


About ciaotochow

ciao to chow: initially created as a little spot on the web devoted to the "chow" I find while studying abroad in Rome. But really, ciao to chow is about my life: the day-to-day experiences, funny stories, moments of laughter, and the food...that continue to inspire me and make me grateful for each new day.
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7 Responses to Galway: L&N, Please Forgive Me.

  1. Julie says:

    As a dedicated C2C reader I’m a little puzzled as to why there is NO question at the end of this post!?! I pride myself on my ability and sheer wit when it comes to answering these questions. The question at the end is like a prize for reading the post, kind of like the toy at the bottom of a cereal box, or in a McD’s happy meal…but I digress.

    Man, that salmon looks even more raw in the pictures than it did on the table…I didn’t realize just how uncooked it really was! Props to you girly for trying new foods-variety is the spice of life (other than pepper, haha!)! Question for you: at the end of the part where you talk about the infamous salmon and then the coleslaw, you said you wouldn’t order “it” again, what is “it?” The coleslaw or the salmon? One last thing for my fellow readers: the other girls at the table had tradional Irish fare as well: Shepherds Pie and Irish Stew! YUMMMY!

  2. MareMare says:

    The cliffs look totally amazin, ma’ lassie!! I especially love the photo of you sitting w/them in the background. Save that one for the family room!
    Thanks for sharing, hugs to you! xxxooo

  3. The views are stunning! 😀 I love the Banana and Peanut Butter in a Hot Dog Bun creation! 😀


  4. LinnE says:

    I’m so impressed that you ate that smoked salmon!!! The pictures are be-a-uuuuutiful!! It’s looks amazing. Love you!

  5. Natalie says:

    This place looks beautiful anna!! What does not look beautiful, is your food (although I am honored to be in the title of this post 🙂 ). I’m sure everybody else in the Meseck family is proud…does this mean you’ll be eating raw beef and salmon next year? Anyways, continue exploring beautiful places and eating crazy food! I can’t wait for crazy, daredevil, uncooked salmon tasting, irish beer drinking anna to come back to Wisconsin.


  6. Andrew says:

    Anna, I can’t believe you went past the sign that said do not pass this point. I’d be too nervous to do something like that.

  7. Pingback: Edinburgh: Encounters with The Great Gatsby & Dumbledore | ciaotochow

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