So last night we ventured out to Sandymount to get our Kansas BBQ. Browsing Twitter a while back I came across this pop-up taking place in Itsa Cafe in Sandymount and promptly booked a table. We arrived earlier than planned to Sandymount so decided to check in with TCs to see if they had a table ready we’d take it then and if not we’d go find a bar for a drink and come back at the right time.
Arriving into Itsa it was clear there wouldn’t be a problem table wise and we were told to choose whichever table we wanted, we went for the table for 2 next to the window, which once the door had been closed, was perfect.
Menus arrived and on asking for the wine list were told there’s 2 choices, red or white – it is a pop after all! However they have nice cocktails and beers also. We decided to start with a couple of mojitos and ordered a portion of the Husgpuppies, fried cornmeal fritters with a sweet and sour BBQ sauce to help us peruse the menu for a bit. The Mojitos had a good glug of alcohol in them, nice minty flavour – pretty good mojitos. And the Hushpuppies were heavenly little fried balls of loveliness and I’d happily order them time and time again.
I honestly could have ordered anything from the menu – the pulled pork nachos sharing platter looked utterly gorgeous but my husband is not a nachos fan so that was out the window! I chose the buffalo shrimp and he went for the wings. We also ordered a bottle of the red wine, a malbec. At €22 the wine is well priced but a little average in taste. I think I’d rather pay more for a nicer bottle… maybe we should have stuck to the cocktails or beer!
The prawns were coated just enough in the lovely buffalo style sauce, large & juicy – dipped into the blue cheese dip, they were gorgeous. The wings basket was huge… he couldn’t even manage them all, I had to help! Very hot (as in to touch, not spicy) at first it took a while to be able to eat them properly! Two suitably messy BBQ starters…
Onto the mains, I ordered the Kansas ribs and he decided to go for the pulled pork sambo. The ribs came with a slaw on the side and the pulled pork with the slaw and fries. We also ordered a side of the beans. The amount of ribs that came on the plate was insane – lucky I was hungry but he also helped me out! The slaw was the most disappointing part of the mains – not very tasty and lets down the rest of the food. I would happily order a big bowl of those beans and eat them without anything else, so good! Of the 2 mains, the ribs were the start – the pulled pork while good, didn’t live up to the ribs.
We knew we had to have dessert so paused a while after the mains, to digest and try to find a small bit of room for sweet things! We shared the Mississippi mud pie which came highly recommended! And decided since we were there we’d go for a 2nd bottle of the red wine (it got better as we drank, surprisingly!). The mud pie was good, really good… decadent, rich and delicious. Easily enough in one to share though!
Our total bill including a bottle of the bbq sauce to take away (€3) came to €125. No one item was too expensive, just the combination of all the dishes, cocktails and a couple of bottles of wine – we were quite happy with the bill as it was and I felt we got value for money.
The most disappointing part was how empty it was – we arrived around 7.15pm and left around 9.30pm so in theory were there during peak time on the Saturday night yet the place was maybe 1/3 full throughout the evening. Perhaps its location in Sandymount which is hampering this… I’d certainly go back for the food – both starters and the ribs and beans were just incredibly good. Next time, we’d stick to cocktails or beer and definitely order the hushpuppies again. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening – pity there wasn’t more people there to enjoy it too.