A European Lunch: Tuula’s

Shhh, come here. 

I almost don’t want to tell you about this.  The food was delicious and the shop was so lovely and quiet, almost like a secret.  If you find out and tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, well, you get the point.  But I think Tuula would like to see you. 

We have been meaning to stop into Tuula’s European Cafe for quite a while now and I’m so glad we finally did.  It’s a little spot in Dublin in the same shopping center (gasp!) as a Kroger’s, Pei Wei and Hoggy’s.  But Tuula’s seemed worlds away, which was very nice. 

A group of eastern Europeans were sitting, drinking coffee, discussing what I can only assume was international politics outside at one of the wrought iron cafe tables in the sunshine.  I took this as a very good omen.  Inside, the cheerful and helpful Tuula herself was manning the counter.   She is a busy woman, making all of the pretty quiches, stratas and pastries herself daily.

I chose a pick two lunch special for $9 and had the vegetable strata and the pumpkin and fennel soup.

The strata was beautiful with a lovely cool tomato fondue spooned over the top of the warm strata.  The strata itself was layered with pesto, spinach, cream cheese, feta, and tomatoes.  To pair with the strata, I had the pumpkin fennel soup.  The tender pieces of fennel in the creamy pumpkin soup gave it a lovely freshness.  The soup was topped with two gorgonzola croutons for some crunch.

Also at the table was a fig and prosciutto salad with blackberries and goat cheese.  The strong goat’s cheese really stood up the sweet figs and the prosciutto was top-notch.

Although we didn’t avail ourselves of the pastries, cookies and cakes she had on display, I can see coming back here very soon for another great cup of coffee, a sweet snack and a peaceful moment to try to decipher some of the reading material available, which is right up my alley: Edible Columbus, Martha Stewart and a Finnish House and Kitchen magazine.  Tuula’s also has free Wi-Fi if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path to drink some coffee and do some work. 

If you’re way up Sawmill sometime and are feeling peckish and want to stop somewhere that’s not a chain, give Tuula’s a shout, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Tuula’s European Cafe, 3856 Hard Road, Dublin, 614.923.3083

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