Saturday, December 3, 2011
Alexandria, VA 22314
Appropriately dubbed (i'm here all week folks, and twice on Sundays) a Dublin Chipper, this is Cathal Armstrong's take on a traditional Fish & Chips joint. The restaurant is no-frills with a few tables up front and wood paneling across the span of the place. You order up from the cash register and then try to get lucky and snag a place to sit. Fittingly, they yell out your name and order and you run up to the cashier to get it and head back to your seat to enjoy a treat.
The fish is served in brown paper bags which you rip open and spread in order to eat your food. The chips are served in the same way. You have a choice of fish from cod to grouper to ray but if it's your first time visiting, I would recommend the cod. The batter on the fish looks heavy and slightly burnt but when you bite into it, it gives you the right about of crisp and texture while preserving the moistness of the fish. The cod has such a wonderful texture and its flavor never gets obscured by the batter. The fries, like the fish, were as tasty as the fish but the one thing that set this place apart were the sauces. From plain Tartar sauce to the Marie Rose (Mayo, ketchup, tabasco and lemon) to the Chesapeake (Old bay added) to the Kitty O'Shea (capers and kalamata olives); the sauces separate this from your grandfather's fish & chips. So much so that it makes you wonder why you settled for plain old tartar sauce all these years and that it's completely dumbfounding why you've never ever flavored mayonnaise before.
The promise of Eammon's is that it will give you some old fashioned comfort food from the old country with a slight twist which is found in their outstanding dipping sauces. It delivers exactly as promised. Nothing more. Nothing less.