Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: Irene’s Restaurant

The space once housed a rotisserie-chicken franchise, but in fact this is a proud, family-style operation that delivers where it counts.

The standout is the baleada ($4.75 for two), essentially a Honduran taco or burrito. A pizza-size flour tortilla is tossed on the griddle, then smeared with creamy refried beans and drizzled with crema. A superb variation adds diced rotisserie chicken, slices of avocado, and scrambled eggs. The baleadas come two to an order for $4.75—the single best dining value in the area. There’s also a generous portion of pollo guisado ($7.95)—two pieces of stewed chicken with rice and beans, two tortillas, and a salad—and excellent pupusas ($1.50 to $1.75) with a mound of the fresh, tangy slaw called curtido.

Open Monday through Friday 9 to 9.

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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 Logan Circle.