Cheap Eats 2011: Irene's Restaurant
Comments () | Published August 17, 2011
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Irene's Restaurant
Address: 601 Second St., Laurel, MD 20707
Phone: 301-362-3371
Neighborhood: Laurel
Cuisines: South American
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Baliada with chicken, avocado, and scrambled eggs; chicken soup; pollo guisada; pupusas; berry batida milkshake.

The decor, reminiscent of a 1970s fast-food chain, is explained by the fact that this once was a Kenny Rogers Roasters. It's probably time for an update, but the Honduran and Salvadoran cooking has as much soul as the country singer himself, making it easy to look past the surroundings. A trip here is incomplete without a sampling of pupusas--crispy corn cakes oozing fillings such as bean-and-cheese or cheese-and-zucchini and served with a crunchy cabbage slaw. If you're feeling extra hungry or want to share, try the beef baliadas "with everything": two gigantic pancake-like tortillas stuffed with beef, scrambled egg, avocado, beans, and cheese.

Also good: Sweet-corn tamales; chicken soup; pollo guisada, a chicken stew; horchata; maranon, an agua fresca made of cashew fruit that has a Concord-grape-like flavor.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/17/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews