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The Cock Tavern (Dublin)

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Address: Main Street / Swords / Co.Dublin / Ireland / Tel: +353 (1) 840 5366

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      15.02.2010 11:08
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      A good place for the craic!

      The Cock Tavern in Swords, Dublin, is one of those Irish Pubs that are just great. It's situated around the middle of the main street and is easy to find. You walk in and everyone turns round to see who you are and nod a greeting. Within minutes someone will be talking to you and trying to find out your ancestry, religion, wallet health, where you come from. etc etc. Generally speaking some ould fella will be giving you the third degree and welcoming you at the same time. I love it! There is some parking in bays on the main road outside but if you can't find a space there are a couple of carparks within easy walking distance. It is the 'local' to many in the pretty town of Swords and as it is only a few miles from the airport it gets a lot of passing trade too. The nice thing is that it retains it's feeling of being a central, much loved place in the community. The interior of the Cock is dim when you enter, after your eyes have adjusted you will find lovely pinewood fittings and furniture, some interesting old light fitments, a very impressive slate floor, the compulsory 'ancient' advertising mirrors and a lot of people tucking into some of the best grub in town! The menu at the Cock Tavern is American themed and they do it very well. The rack of ribs at the Cock is mouthwateringly delicious! The Ceasar salads are served in stylish round bowls that are so big you could probably bathe in them! The soup is thick enough to stand a whole cutlery set in, never mind a spoon! Are you getting the idea? The food served here is plentiful, wholesome and very tasty! I'd say it was one of the best value eating places in the area. It is certainly very popular and whole families come in during the day for their lunch. There is an extensive menu of American favourites with some Mexican food thrown in for good measure. The staff are accomadting to any changes or extras you require and there are quite a few vegetarian options. It's possible to have a snack or a full three course meal. The salads are particularly good here with good sized portions of fresh local produce. The sandwiches are very filling and served with a portion of salad. The steaks look and taste delicious and the chef cooks them exactly as you request which is always a bonus. All the food is well presented and the eating area is kept spotlessly clean. I have never had a complaint about the food here and I am quite choosy! I'm afraid that I can't give you a breakdown of the prices because I am always on an expense account and if the prices are reasonable I don't take much notice. (Sorry!) It's just good, unpretentious, tasty food! There is a heated semi covered smoking area in the alley next to the pub. This is where I have had some great conversations with folk. In fact I think sometimes more goes on outside the pubs than inside since the smoking ban. The toilets are spacious and clean but looking as though they could do with a bit of redecorating. Because the pub is on a couple of levels it might not be easy for wheelchair access although the front dining room is accessible. I haven't noticed any ramps but I might be wrong. The alley at the side gives access to the rooms at the rear of the pub but moving around inside might be problematical because the tables and chairs are fairly close together. The main room is fairly large and welcoming with a central bar dominating the space. There are the usual banquette and stools around the walls and a good supply of stools if you want to sit up at the bar. There always seem to be a couple of newspapers about if you fancy a read with your pint. The staff are busy but still find time to ask after your health and make you welcome. The drinks at the Cock are slightly above average price for this part of the world and they stock a fairly extensive range of spirits. There seemed to be a lot of single malts there that I wouldn't have minded trying if I had the time! (and didn't have to work in the morning!) I am told by my colleague that they keep the best pint of Guiness in town. (I think everyone says this about their local!) I drink lager so I will have to take his word for it. There are function rooms for private hire upstairs which have been newly renovated. I haven't seen them so can't comment on their size or decor. There is no live entertainment here but there is extensive sports coverage on their large tv screens. It doesn't do much for me but the place is packed out on match nights and the atmosphere amongst the spectators is great. ~~~Silly story, miss this if you are in a rush!~~~ I was eating in there last week and a little boy appeared from nowhere and hoisted himself up at my table. He sprawled across the table as only kids can, and watched me eating a rib. "Is dat a bowun? (bone) Me Da won't let me have bowuns! He says der for de dog!" "These are rib bones, they're good for people!" "Am I a peepul? Can I have wan?" "Yes, you are a people, but one people is called a person." Blank look from the little person. "You can have one but you'd better ask your Mum first!" "Why? Are they her bowuns?" Now it's hard enough eating ribs decorously without trying not to choke laughing. I put my rib down and started to explain. He wasn't interested, he just wanted a 'bowun'. I gave up. "Sit on the chair properly and eat this." I gave him a small rib. "Do yer chew the bone then?" "No! just pull the meat off with your teeth! No! don't try to put it all in at once! Oh God! Where's your Mammy?" There was no obvious owner in sight. "Here, wipe the juice off your fingers!" (and face, and jumper, I looked at him and decided I was going to be in trouble!) "Have you just wandered in off the street on your own?" "No me Uncle Davy has just gone the betting shop." "Is he coming back for you?" (Soon, please God!") "Can I 'ave another bowun please?" I gave him another bone and prayed his Uncle Davy wasn't bringing him up on a vegetarian or kosher diet. The people on the next table were enjoying this exchange and offered him some chips. Their portion of chips could have kept half of Swords for the weekend. My colleague returned from the loo and having a smoke. He looked askance at the child who was liberally sharing the sauce off the ribs with the table and chair! "Where did you get him from? I can't take you anywhere!" The child who had just sat and blissfully devoured my rib, suddenly got down and went off before I'd had a chance to sanitise him a bit! I never met Uncle Davy or saw the kid again! These things happen in Irish pubs! You can't beat them! ~~~Conclusion~~~ A welcoming typical Irish pub with good, reasonably priced food, friendly staff and customers and lots of comfortable spaces to relax in. What more could you want? Call in if you are in the area but watch out for unattached kids!

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