Pizza Perfection at Donegal’s Goose & Gander Pizzeria
Donegal’s food reputation is on the rise and the Goose & Gander Pizzeria is a venue you’ll want to put at the top of your list. Located in the seaside village of Downings in north Donegal, Goose & Gander serves up perfect woodfired pizzas with the most inviting flavour combinations, as well as zesty cocktails from the Goosetails bar.
Fun, funky and always woodfired, the menu at Goose & Gander offers a variety of pizza and fire breads on its signature thin sourdough, loaded nachos and charcuterie boards. House favourites includes the ‘Jack & Coke Pulled Pork’ (slow cooked pork, BBQ smoke, Jack Daniels & Coke marinate and jalapenos) and the ‘Tarte Flambee Flat Bread’ (sour cream and parmesan base, smoked bacon, chestnut mushrooms & shallots with truffle oil).
If you have room, finish off your night with something from the dessert menu. From whipped ice-cream to adult only milkshakes, there’s something for everyone. Try the Sweet & Salty (€4.50) which includes whipped ice-cream, popcorn and pretzels, drizzled with butterscotch sauce.
Established in 2015 by local man Chris Healy, Goose & Gander started as a small pizzeria in the near-by village of Carrigart, serving a small range of pizzas and craft beers to around forty customers per night. The owner admits it wasn’t an easy start, having no experience ever making pizza, but undeterred they made it work and now serve up to 400 people a night during the summer season.
“It’s been an amazing journey for Goose & Gander. I’ve always been interested in cooking with fire and wood ovens and grills, so I bought a wood oven and knocked out a window and installed it. I had no clue what I was doing and filled the bar with smoke every day for a week until I got the chimney the right height. Eventually I made my first okay pizza and in truth, it would have made a Neapolitan pizzaiolo cry!”, Chris said.
“There’s very little in the traditional sense of pizza at Goose, we’re different and we like it. Our dough is light and crisp, and the cracker crust is synonymous with Goose. The rule in the kitchen is to treat the dough base as a plate and use three good things and we use loads of bold ingredients. The Goose & Gander menu is made up from blackboard specials from over the years. We built a fantastic kitchen and front of house team six years ago, and they’re all still here – God love’em!”, he added.
To keep up with demand, Goose & Gander moved to its current location at the Old Tramore Inn in Downings. The rustic and trendy interiors of the pizzeria complement the traditional style of the Old Tramore Bar – something Chris was keen to keep from the outset:
“I grew up in Downings and the Old Tramore Inn was a huge part of my late teenage years and early 20’s so I was very keen to keep part of the history intact while also breathing in new life with Goose & Gander Pizzeria. During the summer there were queues out the door seven nights a week and from the end of September we’ll roll back to weekend hours, but it still means that we can give visitors a reason to visit Downings as well as creating local employment in the area all year round.”