I travelled to Killarney recently with one simple objective: to do, see and eat as many things as possible within a brief window of time.
That meant that every meal I had had to be highly regimented. Now usually "regimented" would imply that each of those meals would be strictly healthy, but I'd like to assure you that this was not the case.
My meals were regimented to be strictly delicious — and so that's why I had to pay Petit Delice a visit while in town.
I arrived at the café just before 9am, literally right after they'd opened the front door. I was greeted by the lady at the counter when I entered, she was French and I took that as a good sign. The French know their pastry after all, they've perfected the stuff.
Honestly I just wanted to dive straight into something sweet, but figured I should probably begin with something savoury, so I opted for a mustard sausage roll and a latte.
As I took my seat and waited for my breakfast, I took in my surroundings. The café was quiet while I was there, the only other customers at the time being an Irish couple and a small group of German-speakers.
I appreciated the look of the place, with its exposed brick, hanging chains and burlap sack cloth draped around table tops with "Café De Costa Rica" printed across it. The seating looked like it was reconstructed from old crates, like they'd washed up on a Killarney lake shore and were repurposed for some kind of cargo cult to coffee and cakes. I was into it.
Eventually my sausage roll was ready and I wolfed it down. The meat was similar to that of a hot dog, with a thin layer of mustard covering it, while the pastry encasing it light and flaky, a world away from the miserable, dried-up husks you often see at deli counters. This was the good stuff.
After making quick work of the sausage roll, I figured it was about time for my breakfast-dessert, so I picked the treat that caught my eye the most: a strawberry tart.
It was a simple treat, nothing overly extravagant, but the juicy, bright red strawberries that crowned this beauty called to me through the sneeze guard. The tart was just chunky fresh fruit and a thin layer of cream upon biscuit.
The tart's base was hard, I only had a fork but I could’ve really used a knife as well to break it up, but my pride would never let me admit that.
In retrospect, I was probably meant to eat the thing by hand.
After I'd finished my strawberry tart and washed it down with my tasty latte, I couldn't help but feel I had to get at least one more thing. For the road like.
The problem was, however, how the hell was I supposed to choose?! Everything looked so damn delice. Not to mention petit.
After much deliberating, picture taking and generally irritating the folks in the queue behind me as well as the server in front of me, I’d settled on the raspberry roulade as my takeaway snack.
I munched on that delicious little fecker while awaiting the boat from Ross Castle to the Gap Of Dunloe and, I have to say, it managed to top both the sausage and the strawberry tart.
The only regret I had leaving Petit Delice was that I didn't grab even more treats on the way out. Story of my life.