Select: food and fuel in a dirty old town

Two festivals this week celebrate all things Dublin – it’ll be hungry work

Two quintessentially Dublin-centric festivals collide over the coming week. The Dublin One City, One Book festival will this year use film, music and spoken word to celebrate the Barrytown Trilogy – Roddy Doyle's funny, moving and endlessly quoted tales of the Rabbitte family from his novels The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990) and The Van (1991). Meanwhile, Musictown is a 10-day celebration of the capital's rich musical culture, with gigs, talks and workshops in some interesting venues around town until April 19th.

On Friday, April 10th, head to the Irish Film Institute (6, Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2) where a Musictown show, Sounds of Silents, will screen rare silent films made in Dublin from 1897 to 1960, with live improvised scores by five contemporary musicians including Eoghan Neff on fiddle and electronics, and Seán MacErlaine on reeds and electronics. Tickets €12/€10 from The show kicks off at 8.30pm, so head into the IFI's café bar beforehand and share a plate of their loaded potato nachos (€7.20), with homemade potato chips with melted cheddar, spicy salsa, guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos, and follow it up with a tasty falafel (€7.65) served in a pitta, with salad and hummus, or a hearty veggie and lentil stew (€8.95), with curried yoghurt and toasted pitta. We like how they mark a number of the dishes on this menu with an "F" to indicate which are the fastest dishes to make for anyone pressed for time.

If you prefer to move your feet – and everything else – to the music, Hank Shocklee, the former Public Enemy producer and member of The Bomb Squad, is doing a Q&A and genre-warping DJ set at the Sugar Club (Street, Dublin 2, on Friday, April 10th. Doors to this Musictown gig open at 7.30pm. Pop to East Side Tavern across the road for a pre-gig drink – they do an excellent Whiskey Sour (€9.90) – and try some salty Ortiz sardines with smoked paprika and lemon, served with sourdough (€10) or a bowl of mussels with wild garlic and crème fraiche (€9).

On Sunday, April 12th, the two festivals join forces: Barrytown meets Musictown is a literary and musical celebration of the Barrytown Trilogy at Vicar Street (58-59 Thomas St, Dublin 2. Tickets €30, plus service charge, from Glen Hansard, Imelda May, Colm Meaney, Aidan Gillen, Peter Coonan, Nelli Conroy and more will perform on the night. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. Prepare for your night of Dublinia by visiting the institution that is The Lord Edward (23 Christchurch Place, Dublin 2) before the show. Sadly the old restaurant here closed last month after nearly 50 years in business, but the pub remains open, so climb the stairs to the first floor, pull up a stool and sample another Dublin institution – the toasted special: a ham, cheese, tomato and onion toastie (€4.90) and wash it down with a pint of Guinness.


Some of our favourite scenes from The Van were Doyle's hilarious portrayal of a country gone mad during the Italia '90 World Cup. Head to the 1872 room in the Aviva Stadium next Thursday, April 16th at 7pm for an event that's sure to help you relive those glory days. Remembering Italia '90 will see pundits Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and Bill O'Herlihy recall that mythical summer. Tickets €5 from When you've had your fill of reminiscing, stroll down the road to a proper Italian chipper, Ezio's (12 Bath Avenue, Dublin 4) for some Van-style cod and chips (€8.80) - not a fried nappy in sight. Ezio also does great battered sausages (€2) and proper thick, chipper curry sauce (€1.70).

Finally, get your mouth around some proper Dublin slang at What's the story bud? – a night of spoken word and soul from Roddy Doyle, John Cummins, Jess Kav and The Brown Bread Players at 8pm next Saturday, April 18th, at The Workman's Club (10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. Tickets €5 at the door). Before you head in there, pop next door to Bison Bar (11 Wellington Quay) and wrap your chops around half a rack of sticky pork ribs (€13.95) that have been slow roasted in the smoker over night. Try their tasty burnt-end beans or old-school potato salad (both €3.95) and wash it down with a bottle of Joker IPA, before heading in to hear Doyle – the definitive Dublin joker – in action.