Irish Inn at Glen Echo

This turn-of-the-century Glen Echo house holds both a lively pub and a more formal dining room.

From June 2006 Cheap Eats

This yellow house in the woods–which has seen days as both a brothel and a biker bar–is loaded with character. In its pub room, carefully prepared burgers and bangers are accorded as much attention as the perfect pours of Guinness.

While most of the inn is taken up by staid dining rooms with a more expensive menu, the mood in the barroom is laid-back. Palisades regulars and drop-ins share laughs across the tables or hunker over the bar for a pint. Some nights there's live Celtic music, and you'll always hear plenty of brogue–many servers come from Ireland.

The kitchen turns out excellent fish 'n' chips, with lightly fried, Guinness-battered cod and an herbed tartar sauce. Two sandwiches stand out: the Kildare melt, a gooey mess of grilled Irish ham and cheddar, and the Angus burger, laden with cheddar and onions. Shepherd's pie, served in a miniature copper pot, is a success, but other Irish classics–a plate of boiled ham and cabbage with watery parsley-cream sauce or bland potato-and-leek soup–fall short. Still, details like the warm currant scones that kick off brunch prove this isn't everyday pub grub.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.