My Top 10 Dishes of 2021 #6

#6: Wild at the Cave’s Pork Belly Salad-

After a rousing 18 holes at Doolin Pitch & Putt, my golf chums and I went looking for lunch at Doolin Cave, a local tourist attraction. As I was looking over the cafe menu of toasties, snacks and sandwiches, one entree, the pork belly noodle salad, stood out. It seemed a bit more ambitious than the rest. I was torn.

“Never order the steak at the pancake house,” is a bit of advice that has served me well over the years. But somehow the chef in the kitchen looked a little too competent to be wasted on toasties. So I threw caution to the wind and went for it. And wow, was I rewarded.

Two thick slices of slow cooked pork belly were served over egg noodles tossed with carrots, leaves and onions. The salad was lightly dressed in a sweet, spicy Asian sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Despite the fact that it was served in a cardboard boat with disposable wooden utensils, the meaty salad was absolutely delectable.

I discovered that the cafe is run by Wild Catering, an upscale food service operation based in Doolin. When the company took over the café at Doolin Cave, the resulting eatery became known as Wild at the Cave. It is now Wild Catering’s home base. The company specializes in food for special functions and business gatherings.