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Gill Carroll is rewriting the book in 37 West, Galway

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

If you walked Sally, PJ and John McKenna into a restaurant and handed them the menu, you could lay a bet that the three things they would never order would be a chicken melt, a burger, and chicken skewers.
Yet there the three of them are, in Gill Carroll's 37 West in Galway, and they have just ordered the chicken melt with jalapeños, the caveman burger, and the chicken skewers with peppers and onions.
Why? Because Ms Carroll is rewriting the book of what is good, and what is bad. The melt, the burger and the skewers are usually bad. In 37 West, the melt is glorious, the burger is brilliant, and the skewers of chicken are delicious.
The burger was so fine it put us in mind of a recent New Yorker cartoon where a diner in a restaurant, looks up and asks the waiter: “Are any of the burgers innovative?”
This was that burger: innovative. A stack of juicy meat, beef tomato, portobello mushroom and fanned avocado under a crown of buckwheat bap, this was the burger reimagined for people who want to eat healthy when they eat a burger. It's a classic.
But then so is the chicken melt, a fusion of Bandon Vale cheese and good chicken on excellent bread, all of it ignited by that jalapeño. Simple, and so smart.
The chicken skewers were threaded through peppers and onions, served on rocket leaves with a mayo dip and pitta pouches. Again, simple and smart.
37 West reveals the strength of Galway's culinary culture. It could coast by just as a student place - it's opposite NUI Galway - but whilst the students are there for the takeaways, the rest of the crowd are the typical, superbly dressed, Galway heads, from families to girls lunching together. The crowd are here because the food rocks, and to have food of this quality in a modest, but very hip room shows just how much depth there is to the city's food. The staff are, of course, simply brilliant.
37 Newcastle Road, Galway Tel: (091) 524122

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