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  1. Okay, we're fresh back from Dublin and I felt like sharing some food centered thoughts: Fish and Chips - They may be better in London but my goodness it's like nothing back in the states. I actually ate it or 3 meals (thankfully not all in the same day). The best was from some chipper down a side street for 5 euro. Chips - Not like you get them in the states, it was kinda like a cross between fast food style and a steak fry. Brown Sauce - Tasty, still haven't looked up what it's made out of but I tried it out of curiosity. I rather liked it. I don't know if my use of it as a chip sauce was considered 'acceptable' or not. :) Irish Stew and Sheppard's Pie- Loved both of them, though the stew get's top billing. I've decided I rather like lamb. It was the only red meat I ate while I was there. Also tried some of Beefche's lamb cutlets one night. White & Black Pudding, and Bacon - The white pudding was kinda tasty but the black pudding was only okay. The bacon/rashers were overly salted to my taste, it made the tomato that was part of the Irish breakfast a necessity. Wheaten Soda Bread - Oh my goodness. I loved this stuff, and the butter they have in Ireland is something quite amazing. There was a bakery near our hotel and more than one meal consisted of bread, butter and grapes. In fact for Sunday (because we didn't want to shop) we bough a loaf of wheaten soda bread, a loaf of sourdough, some sirene (think Bulgarian feta), smoked Russian salami, and some grapes on Saturday and that's what we ate for all three meals on Sunday. Produce - Now the exchange rate may be throwing my mental calculations off, but there was a market street near the hotel (same one the bakery was on actually), and the produce I say there was cheaper than I would expect in the states and better quality. I could get a kilo of grapes for 1.5 Euro (so 2.2lbs for 2.10 or so not the cheapest possible in the States but a decent cost nonetheless). Marmalade - I bought some for the wheaten soda bread at Tesco (actually I stopped at Tesco quite a lot as there was one near the hotel as well). It was different than in the states, it was quite bitter compared to what I'm used to (it was thick cut which plays into it I imagine). It worked well though with the sweetness of the wheaten soda bread and the butter. Tesco - Seems like a grocery version of Wal-greens, it had decent prices, at least I could get my 7-Up Free for 2 Euro for 2, and get some bottled water (2 liter bottles for refilling our soda bottles). 7-Up Free - I like this better than Sprite Zero, sadly they don't have it in the States (that I noticed). We only drank bottled sodas while there except for the first night when Beefche ordered a Coke. A mistake, a small amount (which admittedly was expected) but hardly cold (and no ice, which was also expected from my conversations on here with various UKers like Mahone) and way expensive. A lesson learned, it reinforced our conviction to only get water with meals. No Ice - While I can understand why no ice in a flavored beverage there was a scarcity of ice. It wouldn't have been so bad if the water was refrigerated but it was from the tap (no compaints about the source from me except from the temperature) which mean hardly cold glass of water with my meals. The last place we ate at actually gave us a pitcher of ice water with lemons, it brought a tear of joy to my eye. No Water Fountains - I noticed this rather quickly, I did not notice a single water fountain while I was there. It wasn't too bad, by refilling our soda bottles with 2 liters of water from Tesco we could keep hydrated but a nice American style refrigerated water fountain would have made me cry and leap for joy had it been encountered. Okay, that's enough rambling from now, though one final thought not food related: Watching BBC and Sky coverage of the riots in London made me and Beefche glad that we were in Ireland and not there. I'm sure we would have been fine as I'm sure the areas effected aren't prime tourist territory but it's still a disturbing thought.