Friday, 9 January 2015

Simply Northern Ireland

My native Northern Ireland and its people are known for many things, some good, some not quite so good.

In the negative column is our dietary habits, which often veer towards the unhealthy (I still maintain the diet of a dog despite spending 20 of the last 24 years living "across the water").

More positively is our sense of humour (i.e. those of us who don't get offended by, I dunno, gay wedding cakes).

It is with the above in mind that I direct your attention to The Ulster Fry, a very recently launched parody website named in honour of our national dish (also known as the Heart Attack on a Plate).

A few days ago, The Ulster Fry produced a most excellent (spoof) piece about the imminent arrival of a Belfast restaurant which was seeking to give "a trendy new makeover to that staple of the Northern Irish dinner table - the humble crisp sandwich."

Going by the name of "Simply Crispy," the alternative eatery would invite diners to choose from a  menu of "gourmet crisp sandwiches" or create their own "from an exciting range of breads, crisps and spreads."

The article continued: "Whether it be the staple Tayto Cheese and Onion on Sunblest sliced pan with Flora, or the more exotic Thai Sweet Chilli on Italian Granary with a splash of balsamic vinegar – the choice is almost limitless."

Owner 'Gavin Spleen' told The Ulster Fry: “Simply Crispy will cater for all tastes, and all pockets.  Hungry carnivores will love our Beef Mini Chips on Medium Ormo, a bargain at £3.50 (crusts off 50p extra), while veggies might like to try Pickled Onion Space Raiders in a Belfast Bap with a Wotsit side-salad for a mere £5.95. Our piece de resistance is the ‘Inner Ring’ – a slice of Nutty Krust lovingly rolled into a thin sausage then inserted delicately through a series of Tayto Onion Rings, garnished with parsley and crushed Pringles.”

All good fun.

But you'll never guess what happened next.

Actually, I'll let The Ulster Fry tell you themselves from a post which appeared on the website earlier today:

"Yep, you guessed it – someone is now opening a cafe selling crisp sandwiches.

"Simply Crispy, the REAL one, is opening next week, in Belfast! A nice young man who owns a cafe in Belfast city centre loved the idea so much, he wanted to partner with us to convert his premises into Simply Crispy, and bring the idea to life. And so, The Ulster Fry, exactly 27 days after we launched our parody news website, have accidentally got involved with a cafe, selling crisps, inside bread. Which is a perfectly sensible sentence really. Rest assured we won’t be involved in making crisp sandwiches – but we will be eating them!

"Simply Crispy is opening on 8 Bedford Street, Belfast on Monday 12th January. They will be serving a selection of crisp sandwich meals with a selection of filling sides, and the prices won’t be as ridiculous as the ones we made up – crusts off will be free if you want it. We’ll need your help to make it a success, so get sharing, get tweeting (#simplycrispy) and, more importantly, get down there and get eating."

Only in Northern Ireland.