The Ateing House was the only establishment of old where a farmer could get a ‘good feed’ like he was used to at home!
Of course this was in the days before there were fancy ‘restaurants’ and ‘caf
If truth be told, m’ own granny ran such an establishment in
Tam Dunne of Dromantee used to tell the story of the Newry Ateing House! The woman of the house prepared and served dinners on Fair Days (she may have done it every day, but Tam was there only on Fair Days).
The hungry farmer could get a slap-up feed consisting of fried steak and onions, with a mug of strong tea, for a reasonable sum. Sometimes there were potatoes too, boiled in their jackets, and lashings of buttered bread.
The woman asked Tam if he wanted the steak plain, or ‘gobbled’.
He asked what the difference was, and she replied,
‘The gobbled steak is a penny dearer.’
‘Ah, well, so’, says he, ‘I’ll have it gobbled’.
When it was set on the plate, the woman began to ‘gobble’ or munch on his steak!
He cried out!
I suppose today’s equivalent is to request your steak ‘tenderised’!