• Cyril McAree

‘Damn Fine’ Casual Food Coming To Galway’s New Burger Joint

Galway’s new burger joint The Burgatory is a fine-casual, American diner-inspired restaurant and is due to open in the Spanish Arch area of Galway city at the beginning of July 2017. The Burgatory will place its focus on serving authentic burgers, fried chicken, both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ shakes, and sides. The menu makes extensive use of high-end Irish and locally produced West of Ireland ingredients, including McCarthy’s of Kanturk black pudding in the signature “Damnation Burger” and Colleran’s bacon in the Bacon Cheeseburger, while the 100% grass-fed Hereford beef is from Castlemine Farms and the ethically-reared chicken is from The Friendly Farmer. The selection of sides features choices such as Raw Kale Super Salad and Deep Fried Pickles.

The dessert menu verges on the decadent with choices such as Homemade Gelato Shakes and Tubs in enticing combinations such as salted caramel popcorn, homemade chocolate hazelnut brownie and banana, or you can create your own.

A devilish selection of ‘Hard Shakes’ includes Jagermeister, Bourbon and Spiced Rum as choices, while craft beers also feature strongly. A Burgatory own-brew, draught ‘August’s’ pale ale, from a recipe handed down by the owners’ great-grandfather, will be launched at the end of the summer.

The Burgatory is the evolution of a dream and mission that its owners, husband and wife team Enda Hoolmaa and Tara Haugh, have been working towards since they first started road-testing their burger concept with a mobile food unit - Harlowe Food Truck - at food and music festivals, including the Galway Food Festival and Electric Picnic 2016. The couple then retired the food truck to focus on opening the burger restaurant of their dreams. Both Enda and Tara are seasoned restaurant pros, with Enda being the co-owner with his mother of Martine’s Restaurant on Quay Street, in Galway, where Tara has also worked for the past seven years as general manager.

A number of differentiating facts distinguish The Burgatory, not least an investment in local food suppliers, ethically sourced, local ingredients, high-end kitchen equipment and fine-dining cooking techniques. The result is a “fine-casual” dining concept, where the quality of the food, drinks and service is restaurant standard.

Chef-owner Enda Hoolmaa said, “When we say fine-casual, we mean that we want to bring all the skills and ethics from a restaurant into a burger joint. We still source the best of Irish beef and chicken using local suppliers, the same as those used in fine dining restaurants. We still hand-mince the beef, brine our chicken and use pressure fryers to cook it. All these skills and equipment are normally reserved for a restaurant, leaving ‘fast food’ with inferior products at knock-down prices. All our food is carefully selected and prepared but in a casual environment and at a faster pace.”

Co-owner Tara Haugh runs front-of-house. After many years at the coalface of the hospitality industry she has learnt a thing or two about ensuring best customer experience. Tara said, “Eating out isn't just about delicious food - it's about giving our customers a great experience. Our fine casual ethos extends to our service too. Customers will get restaurant quality service at a faster pace, in a relaxed and fun environment, and always with great music!”

The Burgatory is due to open at the beginning of July 2017 at Spanish Arch, Galway city. Opening hours are 12.00pm-11.00pm daily.

For more information see the website at http://burgatory.ie

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