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Jul 25, 2014 03:39 AM

Irish Inn, Glen Echo (July 2014)

I still miss the Inn at Glen Echo, the fine dining establishment that preceded this pub-dining room combo.

It was lovely, romantic, and the food was great.

Husband and I went to the Irish Inn twice when moving into our then-new house, nearby. The choices in this area are limited, to say the least. We were not impressed on either occasion. The food was just OK and it was definitely overpriced. That was about five years ago. Then last winter, we found ourselves there with a group of friends and had a really nice meal on the pub side. Nothing special, just good solid cooking of fairly basic dishes. I was pleasantly surprised.

So last night, three of us went for a girl's night out and I can't speak for the others except to note that not a single yum was heard. For me, it was back to meh. I had two fish tacos that were just meh. Blackened tilapia. You don't expect much flavor with tilapia (why do we import tilapia when we have our own flavorless fish - farmed catfish?). Accompanied by flavorless chopped tomato - in the middle of July, there is no excuse for flavorless tomato. Maybe it was supposed to pass as salsa? No onion. The menu says that they have pickled cabbage slaw on the fish tacos. Well maybe. There was something under the fish but it too was devoid of flavor, even a pickled flavor. All for $15.

The dessert menu was interesting but nothing appealed to me. My friends shared a Guinness bread pudding - to me, an odd choice for mid-summer. I did not taste it - it looked unappealing - two small, dense pieces. They did have fresh berries but I have a refrigerator full of fresh berries so I didn't need to spend $10 on a small bowl of berries.

Let's just say that it is a good thing for the Irish Inn that we have so few restaurants in this area and that it has an outdoor dining deck.

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  1. Who know that blackened tilapia and fish tacos are so popular in Ireland?

    1. Sounds disappointing. Actually spent a half decent mothers day there with no complaints some years ago. But moved out of the area in the early 90's and have only been back after DC Folk Festivals to drink a few Guinness at the bar. Im old enough to barely remember Trav's Roadhouse. Too bad demographics and real estate in that area would never allow a nice comforting dive bar anymore...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Insidious Rex

        I miss Trav's, the old bargeman's bar that survived the Agnes floods. Like the other great old workingmen's joints, it couldn't survive the Reagan-era tide of yuppie cash.

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          well, maybe it can safely revert to a dive now.

          1. re: alkapal

            I doubt it, but maybe with a few decades of benevolent neglect...who knows?

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Trav's was great - no place left like it in Metro area

      2. Irish Inn at Glen Echo just used up its last chance with me. Convenience is not enough to make up for the fact that the food is not good and too expensive. I used to think that the pub side/pub grub was good but now? Nope.

        Had a hankering for a reuben. For $13 (I'd noticed the price before ordering, but I was there...and nothing else nearby) plus an upcharge for subbing onion rings, I got a really lousy Reuben. The corned beef was dry and chewy. Sad.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Just Visiting

          head out MacArthur across the bridge to either Wild Tomato or Fish Taco in Cabin John - both are better than Irish Inn.