Friday, March 26, 2010

Eamonn's - A Dublin Chipper

I love walking down King Street in Alexandria. I like the historic buildings, twinkling lights in the trees, and fun people watching. However, I've always been underwhelmed at the quick-service restaurant options. If you don't want to sit for table service, the non-chain options are really limited. Thank you to Eamonn's for coming to our rescue one drizzly Sunday and filling this void.

Eamonn's calls itself a "Dublin Chipper" which means they serve Irish-style fish and chips. It is the brainchild of Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong whose names you might know from Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, or PX. Don't expect white tablecloths or fancy cocktails here. Eamonn's is a laid-back kind of joint. And just in case you get confused and think this is a British place, the menu reminds: "Oh by the way, this is not a British chipper, or any other chipper, this is our chipper, if yis don't like it . . . hump off." You got that?

After ordering at the tiny counter from a menu scratched out on a chalkboard, our food was delivered piping hot in brown paper bags. To go along with your cod and chips, Eamonn's offers several homemade dipping sauces (one free sauce with each order, extras are 50 cents). Though I think fried fish is heavenly with plain ketchup, we tried the hot chili sauce and it was outstanding.

The fish was fresh and flaky, and fried to a perfect crisp. The chips were thick-cut and served just as hot as the fish. I think temperature is the key to good fish and chips, and Eamonn's nailed it.

While the price is a bit steep for a piece of fried fish ($8.00 for the regular piece shown in the foreground, $5.00 for the small piece in the background), I know they aren't using cheap old whitefish here.

Eamonn's has a liquor license which means you can sip Irish beer with your fish. If you're still hungry and feeling adventurous, you can try a fried candy bar or banana to cap off your meal. After all of the fried fishy goodness, we couldn't justify another fried item, so we left and went in search of ice cream instead (see post here). But, I will definitely be back to sample the desserts. Maybe I should walk there from DC to burn off the calories...

Second Thoughts from B

Fish n Chips. Now that's a dish that I can eat anywhere, partially because it is next to impossible to mess up. Dress it up, dress it down, it doesn't matter. I love it.

I distinctly remember craving fish n chips when I was little. No surprise there, I suppose. What little kid doesn't like fried, dippable finger food? Anyway, I must have been 3 or 4 when I would request a trip to Bob's Big Boy. Now, nearly 30 years later, I'd be just as giddy behind that same fried basket of wonderful.

So what does this mean for Eamonn's? On one hand it means that I'm happy to recommend a place that makes a high quality fish n chips (although it should be noted that it didn't beat out Againn's version - see here). On the other, I might be so bold to say that I could pay half as much, get twice the food, and be almost as happy anywhere else. Maybe I have low standards, maybe I missed the boat by sticking with my beloved ketchup... All I know is that I've now got a craving.
Eamonn's on Urbanspoon

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