Shouk (Issue 1070)

In which we are reminded that, when looking for an access point to a potential client, a change in direction or perspective can reveal hidden entries.

A few days before our arrival in Dublin, our friend, Sarah, sent her recommendation for a three-day Dublin itinerary. For dinner, the arrival day evening (after we’d flown overnight, Boston to Dublin), she recommended the restaurant, Shouk, which describes itself as “The most authentic Middle Eastern food in Dublin… we are all about fresh, healthy and tasty food… the best that the market has to offer… homemade sour dough pita bread…and a nice selection of mezze dishes, salads and dips.”

I read the online reviews, which included, “… My God, it was well worth the wait. Every single item has a particular role to play in this gorgeous food journey. I have never tasted baba ghanoush like it…Can’t wait to go back. Outstanding!”

While we hadn’t expected to focus on Middle Eastern food while in Dublin, these recommendations were too positive to ignore.

Although the mid-afternoon was overcast with intermittent rain, we decided to take a  “Hop On, Hop Off” bus to begin our orientation to the city and to hop off at a stop about a mile from the restaurant.  A 25-minute walk.

We hopped off the bus at the designated spot into light rain and a chilly wind. I pulled out my phone, typed Shouks’s address, and reviewed the map. About 1.25 miles to Shouk with two turns.  Easy.

With a quick stop at a coffee shop for a chocolate croissant (to sustain ourselves through the walk… and no better appetizer for Middle Eastern food, don’t you think?), we walked through the rain up Dorset Street Lower which turned into Drumcondra Street Lower.

“Are we nearly there?”

According to my rain-drop decorated phone, a bit further.

“Are we nearly there?”

“Yes, we’re very close.  It should be just up here on the left.”

“I don’t see it. Are you sure we’re in the right place? Are you sure we’re on the right side of the street?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”  We kept walking and looking around. I looked down at my phone again. The distance to the restaurant had INCREASED a hundred yards.

“I’m so sorry, I’ve walked us past it.”  This news was NOT in any respect well received. Patience was wet and thin.

We turned and, retracing our steps 100 yards along, we saw the door to the restaurant.  From this direction, easily seen, plain as day.  From our original direction, hidden behind a wall with no sign visible from the street.  The change in perspective revealed our prize.

And, it was so worth it. The hummus was rich and creamy, the pita bread warm and soft, and the online reviewer was right:  I have never tasted baba ghanoush like Shouk’s. Smokey, deep, and smooth. Outstanding. Cannot wait to go back!

Nick Miller trains bankers to attract and expand relationships with businesses. More profitable relationships, faster. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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