Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Restaurant Review: The Dubliner - Washington DC

Excellent Irish Pub

Atmosphere, Music, Food and Drinks all Fit the Bill

This was on the "list" of places to visit during my short trip to DC for work but we didn’t think we would make it because it was a little bit out of the central area where we were all congregated for a conference so we settled for some other food for dinner one night and planned to try and hit this one another time. Sometimes fate intervenes; maybe in this situation we call it “Irish luck” and realize that someone or something was smiling upon us?

We had decided to take the Night Bus Tour to get to see the monuments and learn about some of the history of the capital on our last night in DC. While we had trudged around on our own exploring this city, and had walked about 16 miles our first day there, we thought it might be relaxing and fun to try seeing more of the landmarks from the comfort of the top level of a double decker bus.
Irish Stew with Rolls and Kerrygold Butter
The tour began and ended at Union Station. While it was after ten thirty, we walked a couple of blocks away from the station so that we could pick up a taxi or uber without a crowd. And there it stood like a shiny beacon across the street. The Dubliner. You couldn’t miss it as it seemed illuminated from the patio lights next door (at another Irish place) that shone upon the sign. . . Yes, there was definitely some smiling going on.

Did I mention it was late? Well, by the time we got there it was closer to eleven, but the three piece band was still belting out Irish song. We were quickly seated and greeted by our authentically Irish waiter, who has been in the states for about three years, and still says “feck”. He had a biting sense of humor but lamented that we were too late to enjoy the regular menu and were redirected to the “late night menu” with items such as potato skins. I guess we looked pitiful because we had admired a nearby table’s bowls of Irish stew and he was able to rescue some from the kitchen and bring it out to us, along with white bread rolls and Kerrygold butter.

Old Fashioned and Irish Catholic
Soon after we arrived, the band was done and they switched to old classic rock that didn’t damper our Irish spirit. Maybe the drinks helped? There was an Irish Catholic involved which included Irish whiskey, ginger syrup, lime and fizz. I really do think that they are on to something with this name. I want drinks for every nationality. . . English Jew, German Lutheran, and American Buddhist should all be created! But I digress. . . There was also a couple of Old Fashioneds involved, featuring Woodford Reserve bourbon, simple syrup, Angostura, and brandied cherries. Now I have had some Old Fashioneds in my time but never with brandied cherries. These are on my list of items to purchase because I’m not going back to maraschinos after these!

Now the pictures aren’t pretty and I’m not doing it justice but this is what happens when your phone’s battery is dead after a bus tour with monuments, and it’s late at night, and you are relying on friends who are enjoying liquid refreshments for pictures. This stew was hearty and full of tender chunks of beef, so hearty that you could eat this with a fork as the broth was so thick. 

Potato Skins
It should also be noted, that while we did get the stew we did partake in some of the late night menu too. The potato skins were good and should not just be relegated to late night bar food fare. These were really good and I would have enjoyed them just as much in the daylight. Nice crispy potatoes generously laden with good cheddar and nice crispy bacon. You couldn’t go wrong with this!
This is a fun place but more than that it was an experience. I’m glad Irish luck was on our side and we ended up getting to enjoy this place.

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