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Any word on Eamonn's?

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I was in Alexandria on Saturday and really wanted to try out the new Cathal Armstrong venture for some fish and chips. But when I walked by there was still paper on the windows and a locked door.

Everything I find online says they plan to open this summer. Anyone know a date when Eamonn's Dublin Chipper is scheduled to open?

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  1. No date yet, but this is from a chat on washingtonpost.com last week...
    "Eamonn's, the Dublin chipper from Restaurant Eve owner Cathal Armstrong, told Erin last week that his Old Town fish-and-chips spot would be open "within a few weeks." Permits are a problem, apparently."
    Sounds like it could be awhile or it could be soon, whenever the permits come through.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CiaoTerp

      Thanks,
      I just found this on dcist.com today (posted yesterday).

      "Micro Bite
      Listen, Alexandria bureaucracy. I've been wanting to go to Eammon's forever now. After months of waiting, having the opening date and the backup opening date come and go, and then reading about how you are holding up the final permits for the place, I've had it. I've spent the last two weeks getting increasingly furious about several unrelated things, and all I really need is some beer-battered fish and a really neat cocktail from Todd Thrasher to calm me down. However, you are totally cocktail-blocking me, and I am sooooo pissed. What are you afraid of? Is the sailboat lady from last week's Feed threatening you because you ticketed her for not paying all four meters she uses with her stretch Hummer? Are you too busy inspecting the sixteen identical Applebees on Duke Street? Just approve the permits for Eamonn's, damnit! What is this, communist Russia? Approve them!"
      http://www.dcist.com/archives/2006/08...

      I guess it's all up to Alexandria now. I hope it's soon.

    2. Permits announcements and brown paper still plastered over the front windows as of 6 August.

      What I want to know is whether they'll stick to their guns or cave to diner demands for "heart smart" menu items, caesar salads, and pasta primavera.

      1. We're still waiting! I want some fish and chips.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dcdonjuan

          Have you tried going down the street a few blocks to Daniel O'Connell's? A bit pricey, but I thought the f&c were pretty good.

        2. Opened today, 8/21.

          1. The chipper is open, but without ABC license. The upstairs PX is not open. The menu lists cod, ray and fish of the day, seven sauces to choose from, and battered burgers and sausages, as well as sides of chips, onion rings, cole slaw and mushy peas. For dessert there are deep fried bananas, deep fried Milky way bars and dough balls (not yet available.) They also sell Irish candy, sodas, etc., and will eventually have Guinness on tap.

            2 Replies
            1. re: round hound

              What's the vibe? Is it more upscale like Eve or more pub-like? Kid-friendly or kid-free?

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                It's a take out place with maybe four small communal tables. Kids were there when I was, but there's not much room to run around (especially when the line is long). Better to grab a paper sack of fish & chips, find a nearby park and have a picnic.

            2. Picked up some takeaway from Eamonn's yesterday. Got the curry sauce (cuminy, with a hint of sweetness, cinnamon or nutmeg maybe) and one of the herb mayonnaise based-sauces. Both were excellent. Was kind of disappointed that you only got a single piece of cod, about the size of a Mrs. Paul fish filet. Kinda steep at $10. Tasted great though, not greasy at all, and much better than the batter-monsters you get at Dubliner. Plenty of chips, though. Easily enough for two: fresh cut with skins on, perfectly fried, with no greasy taste. The staff down the street at Five Guys should immediately go to Eamonn's and observe closely how to properly fry potatoes twice.

              Will try the batter-fried burger next.

              4 Replies
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Thanks for the update. A poster on another board mentioned the smallish one piece of fish, but did not mention the large mound of chips. Can you order an extra piece of fish (already supersizing : )

                I hope to get there this weekend to try the cod & chips as well as a fried Mars bar.

                Thanks,

                Kevin

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  I ordered a "regular" size and thought the fish portion was fine - it also was sweet and perfectly fried. And it wasn't $10, it was $7. With an order of chips it was $9.50, and more than I could finish myself. Are we so used to super sizing that a "regular" portion now seems small?

                  1. re: round hound

                    Well, the prices must have gone up already! Today I had the regular fish and small chips/fries with a glass of (free) water, and it came to just under $11.

                    That said, I thought the f&c were pretty good -- better than the O'Connell's recipe I recommended a few weeks ago when this thread started, and definitely better than Murphy's. As it's currently configured, it's not the most comfortable restaurant in the world. But, during the warm summer and early fall days, it's easy enough to take the food out (it already comes in a paper sack) and eat outside.

                    1. re: theoneontheleft

                      I was there last night and also have the menu in front of me: regular piece of cod is $6.99 and chips are $2.50. delish! perfectly fried, light batter, great fries. the reason it is "not the most comfortable restaurant in the world" is because it is not a restaurant. it is a chipper - you take it away in a paper bag. no plates, no table service. bus your own mess. there are a few tables if you want to sit down inside but really, it's not set up as a restaurant.

                2. The regular-size serving of cod is indeed very small by today's standards, maybe one-third or even one-fourth the size of a serving at Finn MacCool's on the Hill. The shape and the style of breading didn't bring back British Isles memories the way Go Fish in Rehoboth Beach did, but it is a wonderfully plump and flaky piece of cod.

                  The sauces are an interesting diversion (the "Marie Rose" is probably very close to the "fry sauce" of Utah fame), but I'll stick with malt vinegar.

                  I'll be back, but next time I'll order more generously. It's a beautiful little space run by very nice people.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                    They make a big point that they're an "Irish chipper," but they don't really say what that means. What's the distinction between Irish/English/Scottish chip shops? The fish? Portion size? How they're fried? Batter type? Sometimes I fancy a lighter piece of cod like Eammon's, but other times I want a couple huge gnarly slabs I can drown in vinegar, like they have at Duffy's.

                  2. Went to Eamonn's today. Friends ordered the cod and said it was very good. Lightly battered and cooked perfectly. Chips were fabulous. I unfortunately ordered the ray. Didn't really care for the taste or the bones in the center. Never had ray so I can't compare it to anything else. I'll go again for the cod and maybe the burger. Tried the Snickers and Milky Way bars fried. They were tasty but small. I hope they have more than 1 beer selection when they do get their liquor license.

                    1. I went on Friday afternoon and had a pretty good experience. Ordered a small cod, which was surprisingly small, about 3" by 4". Very tasty, though. My husband and I ordered a large chips to share, which was more than enough for the two of us. The tartar sauce was really interesting, more herby with little pickle flavor. We also tried the Hot Chili, which wasn't particularly hot and was a great accompaniment for the cod. Next time I'll get a regular fish, and there will definitely be a next time.

                      1. I wasn't impressed by it. The atmosphere was great, but the cod was too greasy and had to thick a breading. The chips were also just okay. I guess I like my chips Belgian style. The sauces were good. I had the Fronch and one of the other ones, and they were good, but they would have been better with Belgian style fries. Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to be a regular. I will probably try it again in a couple of months.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ChewFun

                          What's a Belgian style fry?

                          1. re: MikeR

                            If you don't know, you are missing out on a great thing. It's a slim, crisp but not greasy fry that has no skin on it. It's closer to a McDonald's fry than a steak fry.

                            1. re: ChewFun

                              Why would they sell Belgian fries at an Irish chipshop? I'm just glad they don't sell Irish nachos.

                        2. You're missing my point, which was that I didn't like the chips very much. They were pretty mediocre, limp and greasy.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ChewFun

                            I get your point. But I'd chalk it up to a batch of fries that weren't freshly fried, or they didn't change the oil. It'll happen at any place that sells fries at least occasionally.

                            Order the fries at the Five Guys around the corner: now THAT's a mediocre, limp, and greasy bag of fries. And they're always like that.

                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              I agree. Mine were anything but limp and greasy. According to another board, Eammon's went through half a ton of potatoes in the first six nights they were open! So maybe it would be worth keeping ChewFun's experience with one single bag of chips in perspective. http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php?...

                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                I go to the King St & Beauregard 5 Guys once or twice a month. I've had limp fries maybe one out of five times, took them back to the counter and asked for fresh ones, and the replacements have always been just fine.

                                There's nothing wrong with complaining about food not made well, even in a fast-ish food place, when you know they can do a better job.

                                1. re: MikeR

                                  I've been to most of the ones in Arlington and Alexandria, and tried both of the ones in DC, and over the past 3 years, I have yet to get a fry that isn't sopping with grease.

                                  I'll take a crack at asking for a fresh batch next time, but that's kind of a hassle when the place is swamped for lunch.

                            2. Does anyone know if the PX has opened yet?

                              1. apparently yes it is. More info here: http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php?...

                                1. Stopped by yesterday. It was doing a brisk business.

                                  Had the cod and an order of the chips. The cod was superb. Perfectly cooked, excellent batter.

                                  The chips were pretty good. I'm not a huge fan of fresh cut fries as I always find them greasy, but the frist I had were pretty crisp and not very greasy. Overall, pretty good.

                                  I loved their sauces. Particularly like the curry and the Kitty O'Shea

                                  1. My second trip was even better than my first one. they have the batter perfected now - it stays on the flakes of fresh fish down to the last nibble.

                                    also, the PX upstairs is open. it is completely different atmosphere from the chipper. (for one thing, there's no food - just drinks) The door is outside on the side street and if the blue light is on, it is open and you ring the bell and they let you in to go upstairs. It is a really sophisticated, classy intimate speak easy. Men have to wear jackets. No rowdiness - a nice soundtrack of Cole Porter tunes was playing and there was soft candlelight everywhere. The drinks on the menu were inventive - classics with a twist. If you want to go somewhere really nice with a date in Old Town either before or after dinner, this place is perfect.