The Book Cafe. Real Food Cafe and Grocer.
When home was still on Leonie Hill, i used to hog a seat at The Book Cafe (20 Martin Road), because not only could you do so with good conscience, the mark-up on food and drinks and the whole philosophy of the space expressly encouraged such lounging, reading, and enjoyment of free wifi. We were there again recently to chatter loudly about the fashion sense of art teachers; the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Lijiang; the ethnic minority of Mosuo – a matriarchal society where serial monogamy is the norm, there are no equivalent words for “murder” or “rape”, and there are no jails; and the swearing in of Israeli soldiers at Masada where they promise that “Masada shall not fall again”, in reference to the successful Roman siege of 73AD.
If only Real Food (110 Killiney Road) had opened their Killiney branch then. The two or three staff are too busy for small talk and leave you well alone, the cafe is generous enough with space and seating so that even if chilling-out isn’t specifically encouraged, you don’t feel like you’re depriving them of paying customers. Plus the food is much more to my taste. Also, there is a certain virtuosity in eating there:
At Real Food, all our meals, dressings and sauces are made from scratch using basic organic ingredients. Absolutely no artificially processed ingredients, preservatives, trans-fats and colouring landing onto your plate and into your stomach.
We know the importance of using quality oil in our cooking. No barrels of processed or recycled cheap oil in our kitchen but organic olive or sunflower oil for cooking and organic extra-virgin olive oil for dressing and finishing.
They’re open from 10am every day. Several groups have taken advantage of the space for large family brunches. The food is fairly tasty, and the relative with a tender conscience is adequately provided for, as is the Hindu, Buddhist, vegetarian and pescetarian.
The grocery section (lovely how they’ve replicated the centrepiece of hanging quotes across the two shops, and mirrored them in this space) sells some organic fresh vegetables, sunflower and wheatgrass and alfafa sprouts, free range eggs, biodynamic juices, organic nuts and chips, grains, toiletries.
The human mind and heart are strange:
- it is possible to be spurred to defend one’s country by the memory of that nation’s defeat at the hands of a group of people who no longer exist as a distinct entity, yet little if any memory remains of their own God who brought their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land and who dealt with them intimately in the centuries that followed, who warned them that if they did not acknowledge or obey him their whole nation would perish, and who still now lives and is in control, not the Israeli Defence Force, no matter how good their tactics and scary their Krav Maga;
- it is possible to make an effort to be careful what goes into our mouths (fresh organic food, macrobiotic diet, no faffing about with animal products), yet we aren’t too alarmed with what comes out of it. Even meticulous (ritual) cleanliness isn’t next to godliness:
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (Matthew 15:10-20)
Snapshots Along the Way