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Caitlin on Chippers

8 July, 2011

Eaomonn’s — A Dublin Chipper
728 King St
Alexandria, VA

I headed to Old Town in search of royalty or, at least, a good chipper. I drove down Duke Street, went past Prince and Queen Streets and turned on King Street. There I parked, paid the ticket meter, and walked along King taking in a plethora of delis, bistros, cafés, and restaurants ranging from traditional Italian and French to Greco-Asian fusion sushi. My flip-flops and I covered half a mile before coming to Eaomonn’s, located conveniently on the corner and easily spotted from either King or  its cross-street, S Columbus.

From the outside it didn’t look like much and first glance of the inside doesn’t improve that opinion. The average harried professional would have passed by this tiny, order at the counter and find a seat chipper. But to those wise enough to slow down, Eaomonn’s offers much more than a portable meal served in traditional wax paper wrapping and a brown paper bag.

The waiter—there’s only one—takes your order at the counter and gives you a choice of cod, halibut, or whatever special they were able to pick up at a good price. And it’s fresh! That’s right, they buy the fish daily, direct from the market. This isn’t a frozen fish franchise nor do they serve you languishing in its own juices, “aged” mystery fish. Expect quality ingredients. Aside from the mandated red wine vinegar on the varnished walnut tables, they offer a variety of dipping sauces from traditional tartar to chili to a homemade speciality called O’Shea. I tried a variety and have to come down in firm favor of the slightly sweet O’Shea which pairs nicely with the vinegar.

When at Eaomonn’s desert is a must. They offer a variety of sweets, all fried of course. If you’ve never had one, you need to try the fried Snickers bar. A whole Snickers, rolled in a flour batter, fried till golden brown then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Order it when you order the meal and it will have cooled to the perfect temperature by the time you finish your main course, still warm and gooey on the inside but cool enough you won’t scald your mouth or dainty digits.

For those few odd-ones that don’t like fish, you can order yourself a butter burger, served up in variety.

The only downsides to Eaomonn’s is the slightly stuffy heat resulting from deep fat fryers in a small space and the price of beer. They offer the perfect lager or ale for any fish and sauce combination (most imported–Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, Boddingtons), the price per bottle is what you would expect to pay for a draft pull at other shops its size. Unless you have a particular hankering for a traditional Irish or British brew to wash down your meal, stick to water and pick up a sixer on the way home.

Overall Rating: four out of five cod up.

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