I got my flight on DFS from Bagram to Dubai on the 14th. One thing about Bagram is the beautiful view of the mountains. When I got there, I saw no snow on the highest peaks and by the morning of the 14th, there was snow. Winter is on the way. I never thought I would look forward to Iraq heat, but I just can’t handle the cold. My flight left in the afternoon and stopped at Kandahar before heading for Dubai. Dubai does not allow flights to land originating at a US military base. Kandahar is not officially a US base, it is a UN base and uses the Kandahar airport versus a strictly military air base.
The flight wasn’t real long, maybe an hour and a half, but they served a typical airline meal. I had lamb that was a bit tough, but lamb is my favorite meat, so I was a happy camper. The Arab custard with ground pistachio nuts on top wasn’t bad, either. But, these days, it was good for airline food and we all know to expect to eat poorly on a plane. Long gone are the glory days when one could actually get a decent meal. Anyone remember Pan Am? They also had beer, I had two cans of Heineken. Not bad for the first alcohol in six months. We won’t discuss the moonshine that may or may not have existed in Afghanistan.
I would have loved to at least spend the night in Dubai, as the hotel restaurants have alcohol. A nice dinner with an appropriate wine would have hit the spot. I have heard Gordon Ramsey has a restaurant there. Unfortunately, I was booked to Kuwait later that evening. There will be good food, but no wine. I came into the airport at Terminal 2. I was able to have my bags transferred to my connecting flight because I was flying on Emirates Airlines. That saved me a ton in excess baggage fees and the trouble of doing the duffle bag drag, going through security and rechecking my bags. A huge relief. My colleague had paid $30 for a taxi to Terminal 3 earlier in the day, I rode for free on a shuttle bus.
Once I hit Terminal 3, it took what seemed like forever to find a bar. I finally stumbled upon The Irish Village, a restaurant and bar in the airport. I spent most of my layover here. Obviously, my meal was the best food I’ve had since leaving the states with the possible exception of the one dinner I had with the Afghan National policemen, but that was completely different.
The Irish Village, Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Four Maudies – recommended
The Irish Village is a surprisingly good restaurant, especially if you are used to US airport food. I have also had good food (and bad) at the Frankfurt, Germany, airport. I don’t think I’ve ever had good food at a US airport. Four Maudies may be a bit of a stretch given my lack of decent food over the past six plus months, but what I had was darn good, especially for pub food. For airport food, this may actually deserve five Maudies. I settled on four.
The menu was quite varied and had typical pub foods like fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepard’s pie and the like. I ordered a pint of draft Guinness and tried to decide what I wanted. I finally decided to get Irish Cider Mussels for an appetizer and chicken and mushroom pie with chips (fries) for my entree. Everything looked good to me, it was a tough decision. I almost ordered Guinness and beef pie or fish and chips instead.
The mussels arrived and I ordered a second pint of Guinness. That was certainly hitting the spot. I had no idea how much a
UAE dinar was in relation to dollars and I didn’t really care. I assumed I was spending a lot on this meal. The mussels were a tad bland, but the sauce was tasty, with a hint of the cider taste. The bread that came with it was good, like a German brotchen. A mussel with bread sopped in sauce, was good and portion size was generous.
A waiter came over with a Guinness and beef pie when I was done with the mussels and I was sipping on the Guinness. I said that wasn’t my order, so he left. A bit later, the head waitress came over and said they got my order wrong. Would I take the Guiness and beef pie? I was in a good mood, and that pie looked good, so I said I’d take it. I am glad I did. I am sure the chicken and mushroom pie is good, but the Guinness and beef pie rocked.
It had a wonderfully baked full crust, nicely browned and perfectly cooked. The sauce was extremely dark, as to be expected, and flavorful. The meat and veggies were tender and good. All in all, it couldn’t have been much better. The fries were perfectly fried and complemented the pie. I was very happy with the meal, even if they did get my order wrong. I had a double gin and tonic for dessert. I know, bad boy, but I had to get in my two favorite drinks outside of wine. This really wasn’t a wine meal. I was well fed and pleasantly warm when I headed off to my gate for the flight to Kuwait City.
Tags: Bagram, Bagram Air Base, DFS, Dubai, Dubai International Airport, Emirates, gin and tonic, Guinness, pub, pub food, restaurant, restaurant review, restaurants, The Irish Village, United Arab Emirates, Warzones