I was drawn in, hesitantly at first, by the fact that I could get a sandwich and cup of soup for $9.95. I thought it was a great deal but wondered (perhaps cynically,) whether that was all the meal would be worth. Would it be some wholemeal sandwich stained with the sogginess of day-old tomatoes drowned in way too much mayonnaise? Would it be a Subway kind of place where the bread is the only good thing? Would there only be a watery chicken noodle soup on the menu? Let me tell you just how pleasantly surprised I was...
Dannyboy's is an American-style, two-story joint with a menu that soars above you as you walk in. Place your order and walk further inside to wait to for it and you'll see the bread, made of only 5 ingredients, being pulled out of the oven and filled with whatever you've chosen. It's not fancy bread, but gosh it is good! It has this chewy golden crust with a soft centre that resembles puff pastry. Pull it apart and the scent of warm bread clouds your nostrils as it stretches beautifully to reveal layers, just like puff pastry. This heavenly bread is universal at Dannyboy's; it's used for the sandwiches and when you order a soup, you also get a piece. Now, the cup of soup may seem to be a small serving but it is filling enough with that perfect portion of bread. I'm serious about ratios in my food so when I mopped up the last of my soup with the last of my bread, I was impressed.
I always order the Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with a BLT while Josh orders the Roasted Vine Tomato Soup with his BLT. The tomato soup is so refreshing and rich - perfect for winter. It has this little zingy hit that comes from the addition of balsamic vinegar. Such sophisticated flavours work really well together because there is just the right amount of balsamic in there to balance out the tomato.
The broccoli and cheddar soup came as a big surprise to me. See, I don't actually eat the stalks of my broccoli... I only like the 'leaves'. But I had heard good things about this soup so the only thing I was unsure of was getting the little leaves stuck in my teeth! Just so you know, I didn't, but I forgot about my teeth when I tasted it anyway! The broccoli is definitely there but its flavour shines in a whole new light when paired with cheddar. The cheese definitely takes over but the broccoli gives that subtle 'green' flavour which cuts through the sometimes tangy cheddar flavour. The soups are well-seasoned, amazingly rich and full of flavour!
The soup is a definite winner with me but I thought both combinations were brave menu options - especially considering that Dannyboy's is located in the student village at Kelvin Grove. (C'mon, students and broccoli?) All credit to the little sandwich bar, though. These brave options have really paid off. The girls at a table next to us had bowls of soup and all I could hear is "yummmmm!", "O-M-G, this is yummy" and "it's so rich, but so good!". (The last girl seemed a little more food-literate than the others.) Point being, the soup at Dannyboy's is good and I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Now, onto main course. Taking into account my ratio obsession, I looked at the BLT with all that lettuce and thought 'oh no, everything must match up'. I took the first bite and was once again pleasantly surprised because there is just the right amount of everything! Besides that amazingly stretchy bread, the point of difference in this BLT is that it comes loaded with, what seems to be, bacon jerky. It's really quite good. You get flakey, real, salty bacon in every bite and it really brings the shredded iceberg lettuce to life. It is also a very smart ingredient in that, this dried bacon means the rest of the sandwich doesn't go soggy because of any fat or heat. The salty bacon is complimented by the tomato and then bought back down to earth by the mayonnaise. It's a really fantastic twist on the bacon, lettuce and tomato combo that seems to occupy the menu at every cafe and sandwich bar.
The fact that I've been to Dannyboy's pretty much once a week for over a month kind of says it is good. It's an original little place where you are greeted with a big smile from staff and always thanked for coming as you leave. You'll take one look at its decor and realise that it's this cool, young place but its menu options signal a sophisticated, fresh establishment that has really thought about their food. The staff here take pride in their food and always serve quality quickly. Lesson learned? Never underestimate a good bargain!
Shop 3, 88 Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove
Price range: $3.95 - $13.95