I like a nice breakfast; I just rarely have one. If I manage to down a decent coffee or two before noon I consider my morning to have been moderately less than miserable. When I’m back in my other home – just outside of Atlanta, Georgia – we will, on the odd weekend morning, stop at our local cheap and cheerful Waffle House, a southern U.S. institution. In the unlikely event you find yourself at one of their grills, add a double order of hash browns to whatever you’re having and ask for them scattered, smothered and covered. Unlike my American wife, whose taste runs to pecan waffles drowning in syrup and butter, I would forever forego anything Waffle House has to offer for a genuine Irish breakfast. And the “Real Corker” (their words) at Nash 19 on Princes Street is as good as it gets.
It consists of bacon, sausage, black pudding, egg, tomato, potato cake and toast. Coffee or tea is extra. Their potato cake – crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside – is ambrosial, and nothing like those flat, triangular slices of my north Roscommon childhood. Everything is of the finest quality – you can taste it in every forkful. And there is more than enough, so much so that if I stop there around a lazy 11am on a Saturday morning the urge to eat recedes again until late evening. Nash 19 is hugely popular, especially on weekends, so be prepared to queue, although to be fair any queue that forms moves right along. The staff are uniformly friendly and obliging; they find a spot for you even when it’s crowded; and, if you don’t already have it in hand, they will bring the breakfast to your table when it’s ready.
The bright white and off-white surroundings are cosy and cheerful; the seats are comfortable, especially the banquettes; there are always newspapers available; there is an art gallery towards the rear to distract the eye; and there is generally someone wandering from table to table with a top up coffee pot. You can opt for the “Little Corker” variation on the traditional Irish but there is much more than the standard fare on the breakfast menu. Brioche French toast, frittata, scones (which appear to be universally popular), granola, yoghurt, fresh fruit and more, with Eggs Benedict and its myriad variations an option on Saturdays. It would take several visits, albeit entirely pleasurable ones, to sample the menu in its entirety.
Breakfast service stops at 11:30am but Nash 19 also serve lunch – a sample menu is online – and they have a small food shop on the premises. I will report again if I return for lunch but I suspect it might prove difficult to bypass breakfast. A definite on the list of stops for my wife and anyone else who visits me in my Cork home.
Nash 19, 19, Princes Street, Cork City
Phone 021 427 0880
Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 3:30pm
Sat: 8:30am – 3:30pm
The “Real Corker” breakfast was €9.50, an Americano (not pictured) was €2.50